Najas guadalupensis is an aquarium plant, different species of which can be found in Asia, Africa, Europe, and even on the American continent. It easily adapts to different conditions, survives well in the water bodies of Russia. Tropical species are more demanding on water temperature, but local ones retain their viability even with minimal positive values.
Najas Guadalupensis plant habitat and characteristics
Najas guadalupensis is easy to spot in any freshwater body. Some species prefer to live in brackish water. In aquariums, tropical species are more often grown, which grow better in warm water.
All types of naiads correspond to this description:
- a thin and brittle stem of a rich green or reddish hue;
- leaf blades sit tightly on the stem, they do not have petioles, are arranged in pairs, opposite;
- it blooms inconspicuously, pollination occurs with the help of water movement.
The leaf blades of the Najas Guadalupensis are similar to the leaves of Elodea but narrower, and in some species even longer. This gives the plant a special tenderness, and its thickets – openwork.
In aquaculture it is valued as an ornamental, floating and fast-growing hydrophyte.
Aquarists appreciate the most beautiful varieties of Najas. Unpretentious cultivars have been used for decades and are often recommended for beginners.
Shoot length can reach 100 cm. The leaves of the Guadalupe variety are thin, not more than 2.5 cm wide. With a large length (up to 4 cm), they look delicate, and the slight curvature of the plate gives the bushes a decorative effect. In strong light, the stem takes on a reddish tint. The Guadalupe Naiad appeared in aquariums along with tropical American fish and took root in culture more than 100 years ago, so the subspecies is most often called simply Nayas or Southern naiad, without a specific name.
Compared to the previous one, it forms a thicker stem. The leaf is hard, thin, and long. In the axils of the leaves, new shoots are quickly formed, which at first look like bunches of thin blades of grass.
A relatively new variety, introduced from the reservoirs of Brazil. It appeared in aquaculture less than 10 years ago and is less common in Russia.
The stems branch quickly and strongly. The peculiarity of the leaves is the presence of pronounced denticles, which are painted in a dark shade of burgundy. In bright light, the entire plant can turn pink, retaining the dark tips of the teeth. The length of the leaf blade is about 3 cm, the width is 3 mm, the leaf is smoothly curved downward.
INDIAN, OR ROYAL
The tops of the stalks of the naiad indica resemble the tops of palm trees: their leaves are tightly collected, and the internodes are short. As the stem grows, the distance between the whorls increases, but the brush effect is not lost, since new thin and long leaf blades are growing all the time. The rest of the plant is similar to other varieties.
This species is characterized by wider and shorter leaf blades. In an aquarium, egeria resembles a particularly lush elodea, with which it is often confused. Unlike other naiads, the stem of the plant is thicker than leafy, and the apical whorls do not form a pronounced brush.
Najas Guadalupensis plant is confused with elodea?
Both plants belong to the Hydrocharitaceae family and are highly vigorous. It is possible to distinguish between Elodea and the genus Naiads by a characteristic feature: the latter have a serrated leaf edge. It feels rough to the touch. Elodea has a smooth leaf.
Both plague and naiads do not form a developed root system. They are often used as plants floating on the surface without being fixed in the ground. But when setting up an aquarium, you can press a bunch of stems to the ground, and they will soon take root.
Najas Guadalupensis benefits for aquarium
The rapidly growing tender green grass in the aquarium serves as a decorative backdrop for any other plants, especially the reddish varieties. Naiads help you quickly set up a new aquarium. Growing up, they contribute to the establishment of the gas balance of the environment, and in old aquariums they serve as a good filter, retaining food particles and other dregs. In the thickets of floating stalks, fry of viviparous fish find refuge.
Najas Guadalupensis care
Despite their fragility, naiads are unpretentious and quickly adapt to changing conditions when transferred to new water bodies. But they also have their own requirements for care.
WATER TEMPERATURE AND COMPOSITION
Najas guadalupensis prefer warm (+ 22 … + 26 ° С), but not overheated water. At temperatures above + 28 ° C, the fragility of the stems increases. But a wide range of acceptable values allows plants to be used in combination with different inhabitants: tropical fish, crustaceans, etc.
For the plant to grow better, frequent water changes are recommended. Acidity and hardness are not too significant: naiads easily adapt to their changes.
The plant absorbs nutrients not from the soil, but from the water, through all the covers of the stem and leaves. It often does not even form a root system or grows thin, non-branching white roots. Often it is grown without rooting at all – it floats on the surface and under it, and with strong growth it occupies the entire water column.
You can press the naiads to the bottom of the reservoir without using special soil mixtures.
Naiads grow well when shaded since they themselves form dense thickets. In the shade, the reddish tint of the foliage is lost, even in those varieties that have it (for example, Roraima). Bright light can cause redness in many species: some of them stain only the stem (for example, sea, egeria), in a number of varieties the leaves turn pink (Roraima, Guadalupe, cold-water species).
When choosing to light, you need to take into account that shading causes stretching of internodes, like any plant. Naiad in the shade looks less leafy, becomes thinner. The bright light contributes to the preservation of short internodes and makes the naiad look like an elodea.
Najas Guadalupensis propagatin for aquarium
Breeding aquatic grass is not difficult:
- break off the apical part about 10 cm long;
- place it in suitable conditions without pressing it to the ground;
- if necessary, lateral shoots (3-5 cm) are broken off from the cuttings, which also begin to grow.
Reproduction occurs only in a vegetative way. The seeds, like the flowers of the plant, are small and are not used as planting material.