Ceratopteris cornuta

Aquarium suitability: yes
Usage: Background, Plant for spawning, Midground, Specimen plant, Water surface
Difficulty: easy
Growth: very fast
See also: Ceratopteris pteridoides , Ceratopteris richardii , Ceratopteris thalictroides

  • Pteris cornuta P. Beauv.
  • Ceratopteris thalictroides (L.) Brongn. f. cornuta (P. Beauv.) Glück

Habit, plant type:

  • rosette
  • free-floating submerged plant
  • free-floating (surface)
  • fern
Botanical name [?]: Ceratópteris cornúta (P. Beauv.) Le Prieur

Major group (unranked): Ferns (Monilophytes)
Order: Polypodiales
Family: Pteridaceae
Genus: Ceratopteris


The water sprite Ceratopteris cornuta has been placed in the species C. thalictroides by various authors. In aquaristics, however, those forms with more coarsely pinnate/lobed leaves are known under the name of C. cornuta, and those with more finely pinnate leaves as C. thalictroides.
Ceratopteris richardii is quite similar to C. cornuta and can only safely be discerned by close examination of the spores. This species is used as model organism in plant genetics. It is even possible that C. richardii is kept in the hobby, however, that it is mistaken for C. cornuta.

Like Ceratopteris thalictroides, C. cornuta can be planted in the substrate as well as cultivated as a floating plant.

To be continued ...

References and further reading:
  1. follows
Light medium to high 
Temperature tolerance 18 to 30 °C
Optimum temperature 22 to 28 °C
Carbonate hardness 0 to 21 °dKH
pH value 5 to 8 
Carbon dioxide (CO2) 10 to 40 mg/l
Nitrate (NO3-) 10 to 50 mg/l
Phosphate (PO43-) 0.1 to 3 mg/l
Potassium (K+) 5 to 30 mg/l
Iron (Fe) 0.01 to 0.5 mg/l

Growth: very fast

Propagation: Proliferating leaves, Spores

Can grow emersed?: yes

Suited for outdoor cultivation / ponds: unknown

Winter hardiness: not hardy in Germany

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Wasserpflanzen sind ein fester Bestandteil der meisten Aquarien. Beim Aquascaping, dem Naturaquarium, Biotop-Aquarium oder dem Gesellschaftsaquarium sind Wasserpflanzen nicht nur für die Wasserqualität entscheidend, sondern sorgen auch stets für eine optische Aufwertung des Aquariums.