Anacharis – A Complete Guide (Care, Diet, Facts)

Anacharis, the perfect plant for every Pond or Aquarium! Many fish species call for some sort of plant life to be inside the tank. Some fish need plant life for food purposes. It provides hiding places for fish who need them. It provides aeration to the tank. And it adds a visual appeal to the spectators.

The Anacharis is often going to be an easy and sufficient choice above other forms of plant life. This plant is a great choice for many reasons, but it’s often bought because it’s hardy. Along with being low maintenance and easy to care for.


Anacharis History

Although, you will find these fish at your local pet store as an Anacharis this isn’t the only given name they carry. They are also known as Engeria Densa and Elodea Densa.

They got the name Anacharis by an old English scientist and it just stuck. There is confusion even by the most skilled marksman trying to classify the Anacharis from the two-plant life called Elodea canadensis and Hydrilla verticillata.

While all three looks very similar there are a few small differences that set each one apart from the next.

Anacharis has larger leaves than the other plants.

About the Anacharis

The Anacharis grows throughout North and South America. They can also be found in other areas of the world, just not in the amount as the America’s.

Anacharis is a high demand for people looking for plant life within their tank. For that reason, they are available in most pet stores.

Its dark green leaves provide a lush appeal to them.

This plant is found in slow moving non-aggressive ponds, lakes, and streams and few rivers. In the wild these plants will sink or float depending on the weather patterns. When it’s warm and sunny the plant will rise to be able to perform photosynthesis. Yet, it will sink back into the water during cold climates in order to stay alive and not freeze.

These plants will grow in waters up to 13.5 feet deep (4 meters). Anacharis are very forgiving when it comes to climate change. It can tolerate change in nutrients, carbon dioxide, Ph, and oxygen levels. This can easily be explained because of the extreme difference in everything from when it’s floating and sunken. Due to it being so accepting of different things it is a great plant for beginners.

Anacharis Appearance

These beautiful specimens are a great choice when it comes to adding visual appeal to a tank. Their long green stems and bright green leaves that grow through the length of the plant gives out the visual interpretation of much more plant life than the naked eye can see.

Growing around 3 feet tall and 3 millimeters think this plant can fit any sized tank. Each node on the plant can grow 3-6 leaves. The leaves can either be oval or oblong shaped and 1-4 centimeters long. At the end of each branch there will be a group of leaves. And at the end of each stem you will find some long thin stringy roots.

This plant grows white flowers during summertime that has three petals. You will see them floating on or above the water.

Buying Anacharis

When choosing an Anacharis to join your tank it is important to know what to look for in order to buy a healthy plant. A healthy plant will have a sturdy stem with many green leaves.

Stay away from dark green, brown, or black leaves. Or a weak limp stem. This is a sign of a stressed out or sick plant. You don’t want an unhealthy plant in your aquarium it’s not good for other plant life or your fish. You don’t normally buy this plant alone; it’ll come in a bunch of 6-15 stems depending on size and store preference. They should be roughly 6-8 inches when you buy them in the store.

For some reason pet stores tend to cut the roots off so you will not find any when you first buy them. Don’t worry Anacharis roots will grow back.

Most pet shops will tie the bundle together using a rubber band of an elastic. Be sure to cut this off as soon as possible because it does damage to the stems and has been known to completely kill from the rubber band up to the top of the stem by cutting circulation.

If your buying Anacharis for an aquarium it’s easy to estimate the amount that is right for your tank. How much to add for the perfect ratio. It’s a little harder when it comes to a pond.

For a pond up to 50 square feet you should have roughly 1 bunch per square foot. For a pond between 51-200 square feet use 1 bunch per 2.5 square feet. For a pond 200 plus use 1 bunch per 3.5 square feet.

Planting Anacharis

After removing the band to allow plant life to circulate air throughout the whole stem again check each individual for imperfections. Such as a weak stem, or discolored leaves. If you spot any damaged leaves or any damage of the stem when the stem was cut that part off to allot it to grow newer stronger stems or leaves.

Take off the bottom row of leaves off each stem and plant them in roughly 1.5 inches of substrate. Leaving at least an inch between each Anacharis. If you plant them close together you may end up with dead plants. You will force your plants to fight for substrate, if planted in substrate to shallow you may end up with a floating plant.

In most tanks the goal is to add an appealing visual for yourself and others to see. So, most people use Anacharis as just a background plant. Planting them along the backside of the tank. Some people chose to plant along the sides of the tank as well.

As you can plant to your personal preference just keep in mind the visibility of the viewers. Although, the alternative to planting the Anacharis is to simply not plant them. As I said before they do fine just float at the top.

Caring for an Anacharis

Some plants you spend all your time worrying about the growth and production of. Worried if it’ll stay alive. About its living conditions and it’s special needs. Although, the pro and con all wrapped in one’s how well this plant flourishes in every environment. You will spend all your time trying to make this plant not take over your whole tank.

Depending on the substrate your tank has your plants may grow better floating. You wouldn’t be the first to say so. Although, it completely depends on your type of substrate.

A wise tale is that the grow better floating because they are closer to the sun, rather than on the water floor stuck in substrate. Just because something can grow easily everywhere doesn’t mean that it has personal favorites or preferences when it comes to certain things.

Tank Conditions

As I said they can grow in so many different conditions. They can lie in cold waters down to 60°F, they can live in warm waters up to 82°F. Although, they are more keen to tropical tanks they like the water being between 72-78°F. They strive in waters with a hardness between 3-8dKH and a Ph of 6.5-7.5.

Be sure to have a good source of lighting, providing at least 2 watts of light per gallon of water.

These plants will die if they aren’t given enough light. Although, if they are given too much light, they will grow green algae that will stick to the plant. The closer to the surface the more likely they are to grow algae.

Anacharis need a carbon dioxide fertilizer and a substrate fertilizer when living in a tropical tank. Fertilizers should be added weekly. This will give them a longer happier plant life. In a cold-water tank, they thrive without any fertilizers.

Growth Rate

Given the right conditions Anacharis are a plant with an extraordinarily fast growth rate. A planted Anacharis grows up to the top of the tank tan branch’s out across the top of the water. Sometime the plant will arch downward after reaching the surface of the water and begin displaying a forest effect.

Being a fine root even after they begin to settle into the substrate it is delicate. Having such fine roots means they are easily broken or uprooted.

These plants don’t grow roots just at the base of the plant they will grow roots elsewhere and may move toward the substrate or they may just free float until they detach. Depending on the look you are trying to go for you may wish to keep the plant trimmed up and looking nice. Although, some people prefer to let them go wild and do as they please. There is no right or wrong.

Trimming is an easy task. You just select the areas that you believe have grown too much and you trim your where you please.

How often you trim your Anacharis is also up to you. It’s up to you on the amount of time you wish to spend on your tank. Along with the neatness you wish your tank to have.

Even in the worst conditions your plants will most likely grow. Just not as fast as a plant in good conditions. This plant does not grow to fit their tank so they will need trimming eventually no matter the purpose of the plant.

Propagation and Reproduction

As you fully understand now these plants don’t have a problem growing. With that being said they don’t have a problem reproducing either. People end up with more than they bargained for more often then they end up with none at all. You can have a few stems and end up with too many for your tank in just a couple years.

If you cut off a section of a healthy stem you have figure out the propagation process for this plant.

Find a healthy stem with a good bunch of leaves and cut a section at least 8 inches long.

Trim the leaves off the bottom and plant the cut offside down at least 1.5 inches into the substrate.

Just like that the new root will develop roots of its own and will begin growing again. Be sure to take the leaves off of the bottom of the stem or else the leaves will begin to decay and rot.

Uses for the plant.

If you allow the plant to grow and bush out it will provide hiding places for small fish and fry. It can also provide a safe place for fish to lay their eggs when breeding.

Anacharis is also a great source of food for multiple fish species. In most cases this plant is great for preventing algae. Although as mentioned before floating Anacharis do have a risk of getting green algae build up.

It absorbs nutrients and secretes a substance that helps in preventing blue-algae in the tank. Anacharis acts as a filter by catching and holding debris floating around the tank.


The number one mistake beginners make is not including plant life into an aquarium. When it should be a necessity; especially in a freshwater aquarium.

The deal is if you’re looking for a plant you just can’t go wrong with this plant. It goes well with nearly every dish in a tank can have.

This plant can grow in nearly every condition, mailing it a great option for both cold, warm, or tropical tanks.

Anacharis are a plant that never stops growing so weather you want a nice clean cut plant that looks good or a pant with personality to supply housing and hiding anything for you fish you will end up needing to give it a trim.

The Anacharis is a great plant for anyone. From beginners who are just trying to figure it all out to experts who need an easy plant to care for.

You just can’t go wrong with an Anacharis for your tank.

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