Ammania Gracilis Plant: Care, Varieties, Propagation, Pests

Ammania Gracilis Aquarium Plant is one of the most beautiful aquarium plants. Professional aquarists appreciate it for its highly decorative effect, fast growth, and variety of species. Keeping ammonia in a home aquarium is not easy: it is demanding on lighting, water, and soil composition.

ammania gracilis aquarium plant
  • Temperature:20-27 ° C
  • Rigidity: dGh 2-12 ° C
  • Acidity: pH 6.5-7.5
  • Complexity of content: High
  • Plant heightup to 50 cm.
  • Plant width: 7-12 cm.
  • Demanding for light: 10-12 hrs a day
  • Reproduction: By cuttings
  • Growth rate: Fast
  • CO2 supply: Mandatory

Ammania Gracilis Aquarium Plant features and charateristics

Ammania gracilis is a freshwater plant that belongs to the family of the loaf family. Under natural conditions, it grows in swamps and in the floodplains of rivers in West Africa, Asia and South America. Lush thickets can be found in areas that are periodically covered with water during a spill and in rice paddies.

Ammania Gracilis Aquarium Plant is a perennial plant with a thick, erect stem reaching 70 cm in height.

The leaves of the underwater part are lanceolate. Their length ranges from 7-12 cm, width – from 0.7 to 2 cm. The leaves of the above-water part are smaller (2-6 cm in length), their shape is close to ovoid.

Ammania Aquarium Plant varietes

Several varieties of Ammania Gracilis Aquarium Plants are cultivated. They vary in size, shape and color.


In nature, this species is more common in the African tropics (from Senegal to the Congo Basin).

The plant is small (up to 40 cm), therefore it is suitable not only for large aquariums, but also for medium ones with a volume of 80-100 liters.

The sheet plates are elongated. The color of the upper part of the leaf can be olive green, red or brick red, the underside is always painted purple.

Senegalese Ammania reproduces well by cuttings, and seed breeding is also possible.


An interesting variety with beautiful curled leaves curving downward.

The stem is pale green in color, the leaves are pink-lilac. In the presence of a sufficient amount of iron in the soil and water, the leaves acquire a red or purple hue.

The plant is capricious – errors in care lead to a loss of decorativeness and rapid death.


A miniature highly decorative variety bred by breeders on the basis of indica rotala. It is designed for the decoration of compact aquariums.

Bonsai grows slowly and does not exceed 15 cm in height.

The trunk of the plant is straight and hard, with densely arranged small rounded leaves. The color is often bright green, sometimes a reddish tint appears.


The plant reaches 60-70 cm in height, so it is not grown in aquariums with a volume of less than 200 liters. The color of the leaf blades and the stem depends on the level of illumination and varies from light green to reddish brown.

Leaves are sessile, arranged crosswise-opposite. Inflorescences of several small purples or lilac flowers are located at the ends of the shoots. The seeds are in spherical capsules.


A beautiful but extremely delicate plant. Stems are straight, up to 30 cm long. Leaves are bright green, wider than in other varieties.

The veins and the upper part of the trunk are brown in color.

With a sufficient iron content, the color of the leaves changes to yellowish pink.

Ammania Gracilis Care in aquarium

Ammania gracilis are planted in tropical-type aquariums. It is advisable to create conditions for it that are as close as possible to natural ones.

Decorative qualities are preserved only with meticulous adherence to the rules of care. When planting, it is important to take into account the species characteristics, as well as the favorite neighborhood of plants in the aquarium.

ammania gracilis care in aquarium

Good neighbors for Ammonia will be:

  • vallisneria
  • anubias dwarf
  • hygrophila changeable


Ammania is sensitive to temperature changes. Its decrease to + 15 ° С or increase to + 28 ° С can lead to the death of the plant. The most favorable water temperature is + 25ºC.

  • Stiffness is not decisive, but it is advisable to adhere to the parameters 2 … 12 ° per 1 m³.
  • The medium should be slightly acidic with a pH of 6.5-7.5.

Clouding of water must not be allowed: regular filtration and partial water changes are needed.

Optimal lighitng

For Ammania, it is important to provide intense lighting for 10-12 hours. Additional lighting is needed from above: for this, an incandescent lamp with a power of 25-40 W is installed. With a decrease in daylight hours, growth will slow down, the leaves on the lower nodes will begin to turn black.


The main way of feeding Ammania is root. Fine gravel and sand are used as soil. The substrate is linked at the bottom with a layer of about 1.5 cm. A little clay or river silt is added for nutrition and activated carbon for disinfection.

Liquid micro and macro fertilizers containing iron, phosphates, and nitrates are used as a top dressing.

Ammania Gracilis Aquarium Plant propagation and planting

Ammania Gracilis can reproduce in 2 ways:

  1. Cuttings. The top is cut off from an adult plant (5-6 cm is enough). The stalk is well fixed in the nutrient soil and make sure that the inhabitants of the aquarium do not pull it out. Plants are best planted with a ladder. They grow by 50-60 cm per year.
  2. Seeds. It is extremely difficult to grow Ammania in this way. Sowing is done in the ground when changing water.

Plants are placed at the side and back walls of the aquarium. An exception is Ammania bonsai, which is planted in the foreground.

It is faster and easier to propagate Ammania vegetatively. Only experienced aquarists are involved in seed reproduction.

Ammania Gracilis Care in aquarium Diseases and pests

The most common causes of diseases are inaccuracies in care and lack of nutrients:

  • lack of light (plants turn pale and lose lower leaves);
  • uncomfortable water temperature (plants can “freeze” and die);
  • deficiency of iron and calcium (leaves turn yellow, growth slows down);
  • lack of carbon dioxide, nitrogen and sulfur (growth retardation, limescale).

The most dangerous pests:

  • water aphids (small bugs gnawing holes in the leaves);
  • alga Compsopogon coeruleus (“black beard”), which destroys plant tissue.

The main condition for good growth in Ammania is adequate lighting. In addition, balance is important: the higher the water temperature, the more light the plant needs.

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