Azolla filiculoides (Water Velvet) – Species Profile

Close up of Azolla caroliniana by Kurt Stüber. Source:

Azolla filiculoides (aka Water Velvet) is a miniscule floating plant. From a distance it can resemble Duckweed (Lemna minor), due to both having tiny leaves, but the plants are unrelated. In fact Azolla are more closely related to Salvinia. Both are floating, aquatic ferns. This fast growing plant will sprout daughter plants from the parent plant, creating mat-like layer of plant material on the water surface. Like Salvinia, its leaves have a fuzzy, velvety look to them. This comes from the many tiny, water repelling hairs that grow on the leaf surface. Unlike Salvinia, Water Velvet does not grow trailing roots. In a warm body of water with bright lighting, A. filiculoides can take on a rusty red color.

Care Level: Easy
Preferred Water: pH 5.0 to 7.0, Soft
Minimum Lighting: Moderate to Bright
Temperature: 59°F to 79°F (15°C to 26°C)
Leaf Size: Length, 0.75″ to 1.25″ (1.9 cm to 3.2 cm) Continue reading “Azolla filiculoides (Water Velvet) – Species Profile”

Anubias barteri var. nana – Species Profile

A lovely example of Anubias barteri var. nana. by Carnat Joel. Source:

Anubias barteri var. nana is one of five variations of the species Anubias barteri. Barteri is one of the smallest species of anubias, of which there are currently eight recognized. Like all species of Anubias, the plant grows attached to rocks or wood and can grow either underwater or above the water surface. Its long, tendril like roots hang into the water column to absorb nutrients. Due to its shady natural habitat, Anubias tend to be slow growing plants.

Care Level: Easy
Preferred Water: pH 6.0 to 7.5, Soft
Minimum Lighting: Low
Temperature: 72°F to 82°F (22°C to 28°C)
Leaf Size: Length, up to 2.5″ to 3″ (6.3 cm to 7.6 cm) Continue reading “Anubias barteri var. nana – Species Profile”