Whether you've got a green thumb or are green with envy, you can have a planted aquascape that looks like a slice of nature. Don't worry, it won't be hard or expensive. All you will need is one plant - vallisneria. If you haven't gotten to work with this plant yet, you're in for a treat. Not only does it look beautiful, but it's undemanding! It can also single-handedly transform an aquarium into a luscious jungle. Unfortunately, you probably won't win any awards for aquascaping using only one easy-to-grow plant. However, it will be an impressive display. Not only will you and your fish appreciate it, your college buddy who thinks you're weird for liking fish will be impressed. Even other hobbyists will lust after your shockingly simple aquarium.
There are only two requirements to grow vallisneria. First off, you must feed it. We recommend our Easy Green all-in-one fertilizer, but other fertilizers or heavy fish loads can work as well.
The second requirement is to provide it with light. We recommend Finnex Stingrays LEDs for shallow tanks and Fluval 3.0 Plant Spectrum LED lights for deeper tanks.
Vallisneria is great because it does all the work for you. Simply plant one bunch of the plant in the back corner of your tank. Then it will continue to spread throughout your gravel. After a few months, your tank will become a lush jungle with fish weaving in and out of all the long leaves. We love how it grows so quickly and uptakes a lot of nitrates. Plus, it's easy to remove if it's spreading somewhere you don't want it to. Just pull it out of the gravel and replant where you want it.
Don’t fret, you African cichlid keepers! Vallisneria also does wonderful in African setups. You can even create a Lake Tanganyika biotope using this miracle plant.
Best of all, vallisneria is cheap and frequently found at fish stores for less than $10. Usually any hobbyist that keeps it will gladly give you a plant to get started in your tanks. Vallisneria grows so fast that it often goes to compost.
I suggest everyone give it a try. If you've got multiple high tech planted aquariums, a vallisneria jungle is a nice reprieve from all the maintenance. If you've never had plants before, it'll unlock a whole new world to you. Once you've got it growing, you'll always have it around in at least one tank. You never know when you'll want to turn a tank into a planted masterpiece with a single plant.