Vallisneria nana

Narrow Leaf Eelgrass

Aquarium suitability: yes
Usage: Background, Midground
Difficulty: easy
Growth: medium
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Common names: 
  • Narrow Leaf Eelgrass

  • Vallisneria gigantea Graebner

Habit, plant type:

  • rosette
Botanical name [?]: Vallisnéria nána R. Br.

Major group (unranked): Seed plants: Flowering plants (Angiosperms)
Order: Alismatales
Family: Hydrocharitaceae
Genus: Vallisneria


Vallisneria nana is a relatively new addition to the aquarium hobby and comes from North Australia. In the habitat it only reaches heights of around 15 cm, from which its species name, meaning dwarf, derives. In aquariums it can grow to a height of around 70 cm, though, if it is not cut back.

Its light green ribbon-shaped rosulate leaves growing make V. nana a great contrast plant for the middle- as well as for the background of a tank. Once established, V. nana forms many runners. The chains of plants that are thus created sometimes form dense curtains that can cover the entire back of the tank.

In contrast to other Vallisneria species, V. nana is a little more demanding regarding light intensity. Its ideal range starts at 0.4 watt/l and above. If light intensity is lower, or if the individual plants grow very densely and thus take light away from each other, the leaves of V. nana grow out long, which in turn can influence the light intensity for other plants in the tank as well as their nutrient supply.

Regular fertilisation with liquid iron fertiliser and CO2 injection are recommendable as they further growth significantly. If its few demands are satisfied, V. nana is an uncomplicated aquarium plant that reproduces readily.

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