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Green Foxtail Aquarium Plant: Complete Planting & Growing Guide

Green foxtail is a resilient aquatic plant that is aesthetically pleasing in planted aquariums. The plant thrives in watery environments and grows in the front. It offers a serene environment for the aquarium's residents by adding a naturalistic element to the aquarium's interior.

It is an excellent plant for beginners and has several benefits for water quality. It is simple to keep and cultivate in aquariums.

Numerous aquascapers and inexperienced aquarium caretakers have been attracted to the green foxtail plant because to its attractiveness and high survival rate.

"Green Foxtail Aquarium Plant: Complete Planting & Growing Guide" by BestForPets (bestforpets.org) will help you maintain the plant's lush, green appearance.

Green foxtail is also referred to as:

  • Green bristlegrass
  • Foxtail millet
  • Bottle grass
  • Pigeon grass
  • Myrio green or foxtail
  • Cut leaf Watermilfoil

Quick Summary of Green Foxtail

Care level:  Beginner
Family name:  Haloragaceae
Common name:  green foxtail
Origin:  Bolivia, Rio Guapore
Color:  Green
Growth rate:  Moderate
Minimum tank size:  10-gallon
Water conditions:  Freshwater; 60°F to 86°F
Supplements:  Fertilizer
Placement:  Foreground
Compatibility:  A variety of other low growing plants
Lighting:  Low

The Appearance of Green Foxtail

Green foxtail is a bright green hue that begins as a darker shade but rapidly transforms into a vivid light green once established in an aquarium. The leaves are delicate and fluffy in texture. The plant is fragile and can be easily ripped apart by aggressive fish or snails.

It should be planted on the ground, where its thick leaves will produce a verdant green wall. Depending on the quantity of nutrients present in the water, it grows at a moderate rate of 1 to 2 inches each week. The green foxtail plant may reach a height of 10 feet in big tanks, its size is easily maintained, and it can be cut by the stems. The upper portion of green foxtail may also grow above water and produce flowers.

Buyers Guide: Where to Find It?

The green foxtail plant is difficult to find in pet stores and must be acquired online. Although it is difficult to locate in shops, various sizes of healthy specimens are marketed online.

The plant should be sent at a temperature between 60 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit so that it arrives in good condition. Prior to being placed in the aquarium, the plant must be quarantined for two weeks. This is done in order to eliminate any diseases or snails that may have caught a ride on the plant.

General Care & Maintenance

Green foxtail is simple to maintain and does not require intense illumination, CO2 injections, or potent plant food. Although there are several areas of care that the plant might benefit from. It is possible to plant green foxtail with the roots completely covered.

Leaving the roots exposed increases the danger that the plants may become unstable in the water, which leads to a second placement option: floating in the tank. Green foxtail creates a hiding spot for little fish and fry, as well as a refuge for other occupants.

Standard plant fertilizers from your local aquatic supply store will provide all the nutrients required for plant development. If you desire rich, towering green foxtail, you must fertilize it at least once every month.

A green foxtail plant that is healthy will not have any discolored or rotting leaves. This sort of plant cannot thrive in saltwater conditions and should only be kept in freshwater habitats that are either chilly or tropical.

The Habitat, Tank Conditions & Setup

  • Tank/aquarium size: Ideal aquarium size is no less than 10 gallons. Despite the fact that this plant does best in bigger aquariums or ponds where it may reach its full size. Regularly trimming green foxtail will guarantee that it grows to the desired height. It is impossible for green foxtail to grow in vases or bowls.
  • Filtration: Green foxtail is a good nitrate absorber, but it still requires external filtration to prevent it from growing in poisons that would kill it. A typical filter with an aeration system is sufficient to support robust plant growth.
  • Water pH & Temperature: Green foxtail is not overly finicky when it comes to water temperature, however it does prefer a consistent temperature between 18°C and 28°C. The ideal pH range for water is between 5.0 and 7.0. It likes low pH and somewhat tropical temperatures for optimal growth.
  • Substrate: When put in a substrate, green foxtail develops more quickly than when it floats in water. The substrate allows the plant to absorb nutrients efficiently and protects it from being displaced by the current. Aquatic plant substrate medium supplies green foxtail with the optimal quantity of minerals necessary for the plant’s color retention and development.
  • Plant Tankmates: Other species of low-growing plants can be maintained with green foxtail. Consider that the larger green foxtail develops, the more likely it is to compete with other plant species for nutrients and light.
  • Illumination: Green foxtail requires little in the way of lighting and may be grown without the use of a grow light. They require at least 8 hours of natural or artificial illumination. A window on the tank can fulfill their illumination requirements.

Tips When Planting

If you choose to plant green foxtail into a substrate, you should use aquatic-safe, high-quality soil as opposed to sand. If the soil has natural fertilizers, it is not necessary to add additional nutrients. Green foxtail can also be grown in glass cups that suction to the edges of the glass, or in terra-cotta pots that sink to the bottom of the aquarium.

Place the dirt into the cup, followed by the roots. This is especially advantageous if you choose not to add a dirt substrate to the entire tank. Planting green foxtail in containers prevents some fish species from destroying them and causing a mess. Root tabs should be put to the planting hole for the foxtail.

6 Advantages of Green Foxtail

1. Green foxtail absorbs nitrates, a byproduct of the nitrogen cycle, efficiently. It has also been shown that the plant absorbs low quantities of ammonia and nitrite, which are hazardous to fish in concentrations over 0 parts per million. Due to its rapid growth, green foxtail may successfully remove 10pp nitrates in a few of weeks. Although this does not negate the need for frequent water replenishment to eliminate pollutants.

2. It limits algae growth because it consumes the majority of the nutrients in the water. Algae cannot develop if they do not obtain the appropriate nutrients.

3. Within the water, green foxtail does not shed or lose its leaves. Therefore, you should not expect to discover detached plant parts floating until a fish or insect has pulled it off or the plant is dying.

4. The plant offers protection for fish eggs and fry. Numerous kinds of fish will seek to consume their young and newly produced eggs, although this risk is reduced when the fry begin to hide among the leaves.

5. When light is present, green foxtail oxygenates the water throughout the day. This does not imply that it should replace an aeration system, but it does supply modest quantities of oxygen to give residents a breath of fresh ‘air’.

6. It is durable and tough enough to endure numerous slight blunders by the caretaker. This is just another reason why it is an excellent starter plant.

2 Concerns About Green Foxtail

1. At night, aquatic plants utilise the oxygen available in the water. Without an aeration device such as an air stone, the lack of oxygen can kill the people overnight. This necessitates that you maintain a reliable aeration system at all times.

2. Green foxtail frequently arrives full of snail eggs which can swiftly become a nuisance invasion for many tanks. Always separate the plant before placing it in the main aquarium. You may wish to check for snail egg and snail larvae-killing treatments that are safe for water plants.

Final Thoughts

Green foxtail is a fantastic addition to any aquarium and can breathe life into a conventional design. The plant is simple to care for and requires very little for its growth. Aside from its ease of maintenance, its benefits exceed its disadvantages. Green foxtail is a wonderfully gorgeous aquatic plant that, when paired with other plants and aquascapes, may provide lifelike tones.

We hope “Green Foxtail Aquarium Plant: Complete Planting & Growing Guide” by BestForPets (bestforpets.org) has helped you discover the proper technique to care for green foxtail so that your aquatic plant will flourish.

Author Image

Dr. Deborah Fletcher

Deborah R. Fletcher, DVM, is a skilled veterinarian with more than 15 years of experience dealing with companion and exotic animals. She has experience caring for a variety of animals, including household cats and dogs, reptiles, birds of prey, and even primates. Dr. Fletcher is a valuable part of the BestForPets team, where she contributes to their aim of providing pets and their owners with the finest possible treatment and services.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Deborah Fletcher


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