Growing and Caring for Jungle Vallisneria in Freshwater Aquariums

Growing and Caring for Jungle Vallisneria in Freshwater Aquariums

Jungle Vallisneria is popularly known to be a freshwater aquatic plant. Although the scientific name of the plant is Vallisneria Americana, it is also commonly known by names such as eelgrass, tape grass or water celery. It is a resilient plant and has the toughness to survive in diverse environmental conditions.

This plant has been a fan-favorite of fish keepers and aquarium hobbyists since many years because of its hardy nature.

Vallisneria Americana is very easy to find among the other diversities being sold in the market. But you need to be well aware of the plant specifications to be able to differentiate it amongst the many similar varieties available.

Purpose of the plant

Problematic fish such as cichlids and other herbivorous fish that can get aggressive are the perfect habitat for a Jungle Val aquarium. The plant forms tough leaves and grows roots deep into the substrate making, which is where the strength and resilience of the plant comes from.

Therefore, if you have fish that are aggressive, Jungle Val is the best plant for your aquarium.


Planting Jungle Val in alkaline water helps the plant stay health and is the preferred environment for Jungle Val. Water that is more acidic can slow down the growth of the plant.

Care of the plant

Although these freshwater aquatic plants cannot survive a marine setup, they can grow very well in most aquariums, even those containing brackish water. The care for these plants is fairly easy:

  • Use gravel or sand as a substrate for plantation
  • The crown of the plant should not be underwater
  • For nourishment, you can add iron rich fertilizer on weekly basis
  • To increase the growth rate of the plant, you can install high quality aquarium lighting. Light bulbs, LED light, fluorescent tube and CFL are good options
  • Avoid trimming the leaves to shorten them as it will cause the plant to rot in the tank and eventually die

Origin of the plant

The plant can be widely found all across Australia and Asia but it is native to America. Jungle Val ideally grows in shallow and slow moving water like lakes, ponds and streams in a wild environment. You may also be able to find these in water with a depth of fewer than ten feet. The leaves of the plant are long and ribbon shaped which can grow up to six feet long. It acts as the perfect refuge for any shy fish and invertebrates living there.

How long does it take for Vallisneria to Grow?

Jungle Val can grow to a great height and can be measured up to several inches long. It resembles sea grass and can at times grow to match the height of the tank. Therefore, it is ideal to plant these in the background of the aquarium so it doesn’t overshadow other beautiful plants in the aquarium. They are mostly found in fish stores but can be difficult to distinguish as there are a number of different Jungle Val species which can be planted in an aquarium.

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