How To Care For Your New Anacharis (Egeria Densa): Full Care Guide

March 26, 2024

The Anacharis is a popular live water plant because of its lush foliage, long stems, and minimal care needs.

As you continue reading this article, you’ll realize that the Anacharis is more than just an elegant aquatic plant.

Its basic features and many functions in an aquarium installation make it ideal for any beginner enthusiast or any kind of aquarium, and it is a plant that is easy to care for so long as certain care standards are maintained.

Moreover, the Anacharis is a popular plant among novices, because of its adaptability to a broad range of water variables, however warmer climates (over 50 degrees Fahrenheit) are preferred.

How To Care For Your New Anacharis (Egeria Densa): Full Care Guide

It is also a terrific alternative for enhanced oxygenation in an aquarium and a plant that operates efficiently under high lighting.

This Anacharis plant care guide will teach you all you need to know about this famous backdrop plant, as well as why aquarium enthusiasts adore it, where you can purchase it from, how to care for your Anacharis for it, and so much more!

So, continue reading this article as we go over the Anacharis plant’s care in detail, from soil specifications to optimal water parameters, lighting conditions to fertilizer, and from growth to propagation at your own home aquarium.

Overview Of The Anacharis Plant

There’s always more to learn about Anacharis plants. But don’t sweat because caring for this fast-growing starter plant is simple.

The scientific name for what planted aquarium enthusiasts today call the Anacharis was initially “Elodea densa.”

The plant’s formal scientific term is now “Egeria densa,” while some aquarium enthusiasts may also call it the Anacharis Elodea.

Regardless of what you might call it, the Anacharis has certain distinguishing physical characteristics that will help you recognize it quickly.

It is a perennial plant that originated in warmer areas in South America and was imported to North America through the aquaculture industry.

This submerged, watery plant is rather common across the area and may be seen in both still and moving waterways.

Anacharis is a plant with dark green foliage and a rapid development rate that may quickly take over a region and be difficult to eradicate.

Furthermore, excessive vegetation might result in overcrowding and malnourished fish.

While it’s not so much of a problem in a tank, where you can quickly trim and remove it, it can be a problem in nature’s waters like rivers and ponds.

It may also develop dense surface mats that prevent water from flowing.

In North America, staminate blossoms frequently develop on their leaves and these beautiful blooms are one of the reasons why it is often used as an aquarium plant.

Aside from its aesthetic value, it may also provide food for goldfish and Apple snails in a tank.

Being a food source for these aquatic species is a great advantage for the overall habitat’s conditions as it helps with the plant’s continuous trimming, which helps to preserve its look rich and visually pleasing.


Anacharis coloration, with its rich green tints, provides your aquarium with a rich look.

The green coloring varies among individuals and can sometimes change depending on the water conditions in which it is put.

Every plant has a tall, green stem covered with tiny leaves. Each stem may reach a maximum of 3 feet in length and 3 inches in width when Anacharis is found in nature.

When found in a store, their length ranges from six to eight inches. It occasionally develops a delicate white blossom that floats or emerges above the water’s surface.

The Anacharis’ roots can form anywhere on the stem, often reaching the ground and other times floating in the aquarium.

Placement In An Aquarium

Anacharis is primarily a plant that floats so it does not require planting in gravel or substrate. When it free-floats, it grows much quicker.

On bright, sunny days, it will float to the top to absorb sunlight, but on colder or bluer days, it will sink to the bottom.

Given its rapid development, it’s advisable to put it in a tank that is large enough to fit it so that you can avoid getting it damaged as it develops.

Its Advantages For An Aquarium

The free-floating Anacharis plant provides refuge and a hiding spot for newborn fry fish, juniors, and some smaller adult fish. It also provides a location for fish to lay their eggs during breeding periods.

Herbivorous animals like the black swan as well as several snail types, and other animals feed on it. It is also an excellent source of oxygen.

Another advantage is that it consumes fish detritus, phosphates, and ammonium.

This is beneficial to all living things in the aquarium, specifically when it comes to reducing the development of algae.

After all this information we’ve shared with you about the Anacharis and why it is the ideal starting tank plant, you can keep on reading to find out more about how to care for your Anacharis of this lovely plant.

Choosing The Best Anacharis

Choosing The Best Anacharis

When it comes to aquatic plants, the physical look of the plant may tell you a lot. Anacharis plants with thick, firm stems should be chosen.

This is especially vital if you plan on propagating your Anacharis in the future. Avoid weak, pale, or spotty stems, as these are often signs of nutritional deficits in the plants.

Inspect the leaves of the Anacharis you intend to bring home too though. No matter where they are located on the stem, your plant’s leaves should be big, plentiful, and equally green.

Even coloration and thick foliage are reliable markers of a healthy plant that is capable of producing its own food while also oxygenating the water surrounding it.

In addition, mature Anacharis plants will have threadlike white roots extending from the bottom of their stems; inspect the roots to ensure they are not limp or browned.

Here’s another tip: carefully pluck any leaf whorl from your preferred Anacharis. The foliage should not break off, but rather remain firmly connected to the stem.

Remember that weak leaves contribute to a poor Anacharis plant in the long term.

Preparation Of Plants And Aquariums

After you’ve taken home a couple of stems of the lovely Anacharis plants, give them a good rinse. For at least one day, keep them half immersed in isolation or a backup tank.

Use this opportunity to inspect the Anacharis for any parasites or issues that you may have overlooked while in the store.

Additionally, you may use your plant’s separation phase to set up a perfect Anacharis tank.

Although the Anacharis is a resilient plant that can adjust to a variety of water settings, you will have the best results caring and reproducing this plant if you offer it water conditions that replicate the native Anacharis environment.

Water Requirements


Temperatures should ideally be between 72 to 78 °F or 22 to 25 °C.


The Anacharis plant prefers a pH ranging from 6.0 to 8.0.


The optimal water hardness for redtail catfish ranges from 2 to 20 dGH.


Anacharis, like many other living plants, do not like low lighting, which might cause it to perish, thus medium to high lighting is ideal.

Anacharis is an aquatic plant that requires many hours of light exposure. If your tank is in a dim space, try purchasing LED lights that span the entire aquarium as full-spectrum is preferred.

This should allow you to effectively provide light to your Anacharis while also controlling the intensity and length of the exposure.

For optimum Anacharis maintenance, 5000 to 7000 bulbs, whether LED or fluorescent, are advised.

On the contrary, in case your tank is in a place that is naturally lightened up and the tank itself is exposed to light most of the time, you should consider investing in tank covers.

Plain light covers may also be made for your aquarium. Anacharis will thrive in aquariums with 4 to 5 hours of moderate to high lighting.

However, excessive or extended light exposure might cause algae development in your tank. This makes it harder for your Anacharis to improve the water’s quality and feed on fish excrement.


The Anacharis plant is usually developed as a free-floating plant but if you want to root it down, then use gravel as a substrate for your tank.

A gravel-like base is the best option as Anacharis finds it harder to root in denser substrates with finer sand.

Chemical Additives Or Fertilizers

To provide nutrients and support the Anacharis plant’s survival and development, the substrates of the aquariums must have a high organic content.

Warm freshwater aquariums need substrates and Carbon dioxide fertilizer; cooler aquariums do not need fertilizers.

Anacharis may be kept in tropical aquariums without fertilizer, although they will develop at a slower rate and their foliage will turn out to be a lighter green.

As a result, adding Carbon dioxide and substrate fertilizer once a week is beneficial to your plants.

This will let your developing Anacharis ingest extra minerals and adjust to the controlled ecosystem you’ve created in your tank.

To guarantee a healthy and consistent development rate for your Anacharis, use only the finest grade fertilizer obtainable in your region.

Aquarium Companion

Anacharis absorbs fish waste, phosphate, and ammonium, making it very suitable for a wide range of aquatic species. Several aquatic creatures, ranging from turtles to snails, may utilize it as a source of food.

Cichlids and goldfish enjoy it as well.

Proper maintenance will undoubtedly pay off and yield several rewards for your aquarium.

This live aquatic plant will also flourish in an outdoor setting such as a pond or a water garden, where the fish species are more diversified.

However, you should keep an eye out for the aquatic animals that will live beside your new Anacharis.

Even though this plant is highly adaptive, its new branches are still sensitive to hostile aquarium occupants.

You want to allow your Anacharis ample time to develop and expand across your tank before the fish or other aquarium inhabitants decide to eat it.

Having said that, here are our preferred tank buddies for the Anacharis:

1. Tetra Fish

Most Tetras can grow in tanks with an Anacharis plant. These fish like sheltering between the plant’s many leaves are usually too tiny to harm even the tiniest Anacharis stems.

2. Betta Fish

Bettas, like Tetras, will profit from the natural shade and protection that Anacharis can give. Furthermore, Bettas who are timid or feel intimidated frequently seek refuge under the Anacharis’ thick leaves.

Bettas do not eat Anacharis, therefore both your fish and plants will be able to reach their full potential.

3. Corydoras Catfish

The Corydoras Catfish, a calm and serene bottom-dweller, is nearly usually suggested for aquariums with Anacharis plants.

This catfish will not harm immature Anacharis stems and will most likely forget about the plant’s existence completely. It may, however, take refuge in the Anacharis if required.

4. Cherry Shrimp

The Cherry Shrimp is an underrated aquarium partner for the Anacharis.

These shrimps have the ideal size to value the Anacharis leaves and stems and use them as a shield from bright lighting or as a hiding spot they can protect themselves in when they have to.

As for the aesthetics, their red-colored appearance makes the perfect contrast with the vivid or dark green colors of the Anacharis!

Non-Suitable Companions

Of course, even though there are plenty of tank buddies that are highly recommended for your Anacharis plant, there are also other species that should best be avoided. 

Anacharis leaves, for instance, are popular with goldfish and cichlids. If these fish become bored or are famished, they may attack and nibble the new buds.

Therefore, planting Anacharis in tanks with such species is not recommended unless you intend to utilize the plants as a boost to your fish’s nutrition.



Anacharis planting is a simple process. Simply choose whether you want your Anacharis to grow in the substrate or be a free-floating planet.

Here are some tips for planting Anacharis using two alternative approaches.

Anacharis Planting In Substrate

This strategy is appropriate for tanks where the Anacharis will be displayed as a backdrop.

You must use fine and small stones that have been supplemented with your chosen fertilizer for this procedure.

Remove the foliage from the Anacharis stem’s bottom two or three inches. Then, cut a tiny one into the three-inch-deep hole.

Fill the hole with the bare piece of your Anacharis stem and gently tap it with the extra substrate.

Make absolutely sure the stem is stable and deep enough in the substrate to support the formation of Anacharis roots and keep it from rising to the surface.

Anacharis Floating Plants

This is possibly the simplest way for raising Anacharis in the aquarium.

Simply clip the stems of your Anacharis and let them float to the surface of your tank. For aquariums with floating Anacharis, some hobbyists utilize mesh covers or lids.

This keeps undesired bugs and predators away from the Anacharis and acts as a cover from light.

Because of the greater lighting exposure, free-floating Anacharis plants develop quicker than their planted brothers.


One of the many reasons why Anacharis is popular with new aquarium hobbyists is its ease of propagation.

This means that even individuals who are inexperienced in the aquarium game can still harness their own cultivated Anacharis sprouts as a gift to other people who share the same interest or as the inaugural greenery in any new aquarium they are planning to install.

To effectively reproduce your Anacharis, simply follow the methods outlined below:

1. Select The Healthiest Anacharis For Your Tank

The plants you chose should be healthy and have developed well when you originally put them in your tank. They should have firm, uniformly colored stems that are a minimum of 10 to 15 inches long.

2. Take A Piece Of Your Selected Anacharis

Make a diagonal cut to your Anacharis stem with plant clippers. Each cutting you take should be a minimum of 5 inches long.

This increases the likelihood of the plant adjusting to the water and prospering as an independent crop.

Repeat this process for the rest of the Anacharis plants you want to reproduce.

Following that, it is only a matter of following the Anacharis planting technique outlined in the previous paragraphs.

Anacharis Plants: Interesting Facts

  • It is prohibited in numerous places because it is an invasive species.
  • It is among the few water plants that remain green year-round.
  • Both male and female flowers bloom by each Anacharis plant.

The Bottom Line

We definitely covered a lot of ground when it comes to the modest Anacharis plant. You now understand the Anacharis and the fundamentals of caring for this beloved aquatic plant.

Anacharis, formerly known as Elodea densa, is a freshwater plant that is very easy to take care of and has traditionally been the favorite plant for newbie aquarists.

The Anacharis can adapt to a variety of water settings, but it grows best in tanks that imitate its native habitat’s environmental characteristics.

However, just give it adequate light, and fertilizers, and choose its tank buddies wisely, and your plant should do just fine.

So, wait no longer and go buy your first Anacharis plants!
Aleem Ahmed

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