Green foxtail is a hardy aquatic plant that looks beautiful in planted aquariums. The plant is suited for freshwater conditions and grows along the foreground. It adds a naturalistic touch to the inside of an aquarium which creates a tranquil environment with the aquarium’s inhabitants. It is a great plant for beginners and has plenty of advantages for water quality. It is easy to grow and maintain in aquariums. The beauty and survival rate of the green foxtail plant has drawn in many aquascapers and novice aquarium keepers alike.
This is a complete care guide to inform you on growing and planting green foxtail that will help you keep the plant growing lush and green.
Quick Summary of Green Foxtail
|Common name:||green foxtail|
|Origin:||Bolivia, Rio Guapore|
|Minimum tank size:||10-gallon|
|Water conditions:||Freshwater; 60°F to 86°F|
|Compatibility:||A variety of other low growing plants|
The Appearance of Green Foxtail
Green foxtail is a light green color that starts as a dark shade in the beginning but quickly turns a vibrant light green once it has been established inside of an aquarium. The leaves are fine and have a feathery texture. The plant is delicate and can easily be torn by boisterous fish or snails. It is best placed on the ground where will grow dense leaves that form a lush green wall. It grows at a moderate rate at about 1 to 2 inches every week depending on the number of nutrients present in the water. It can grow up to 10 feet tall in large aquariums and maintaining the size of the green foxtail plant is easy and the plant can be cut by the stems. Green foxtail can also grow with the top part out of the water and will produce a flower.
Buyers Guide: Where to Find It?
The green foxtail plant is not readily available in pet stores and should be purchased online. Although it is not easy to find in stores, there are healthy specimens sold online in various sizes. The plant should be shipped relatively quickly at a temperature between 60°F to 86°F so that it can arrive in good shape. The plant should be quarantined for 2 weeks before being placed inside the aquarium. This is to kill off any pathogens or snails that may have hitched a ride on the plant.
General Care & Maintenance
Green foxtail is easy to care for and it does not require harsh lighting, CO2 injections, or strong plant fertilizers. Although there are various care aspects the plant can benefit from. Green foxtail can be planted with the roots fully covered. Leaving the roots exposed puts the plants at risk of being unstable within the water which leads to another placement option, floating in the aquarium. Floating green foxtail provides a great hiding place for small fish or fry and creates a shelter for other inhabitants.
Typical plant fertilizers from your local aquatic shop will cover all the nutrients the plants need for growth. Green foxtail should be fertilized at least once a month if you want it to grow lush and tall.
A healthy green foxtail plant will have no discoloration or decaying leaves. This type of plant is unable to grow in saltwater environments and should strictly be kept in a freshwater cold or tropical environment.
The Habitat, Tank Conditions & Setup
a minimum aquarium size of at least 10-gallons is ideal. Although this plant will do best in larger aquariums or ponds where it can grow to its full size. Regularly trimming green foxtail will ensure that it remains the size you want it to grow to. Green foxtail is unable to grow in vases or bowls.
Green foxtail acts as an effective nitrate absorber, but it still needs some external filtration to keep it from growing in toxins that will burn the plant. A standard filter with an aeration system is enough to satiate the plant for substantial growth.
Water pH & Temperature
Green foxtail is not too picky when it comes to the water temperature, but prefers a stable temperature between 18°C and 28°C. The pH of the water should be between 5.0 to 7.0. It prefers to grow in low pH and slightly tropical temperatures.
Green foxtail grows faster when it is placed in a substrate than when it floats in the water. The substrate enables the plant to effectively absorb various nutrients and prevents it from being moved around by the current. Aquatic plant substrate medium provides green foxtail with ideal amounts of minerals required by the plant for color preservation and growth.
Other varieties of low-growing plants can be kept with green foxtail. Keep in mind that the larger green foxtail grows, the more likely it is to compete with nutrients and light with other species of plants.
Green foxtail is not demanding when it comes to lighting requirements, and you can easily keep them with no grow light. They require at least 8 hours of natural or artificial lights. A bright window on the tank can cover their lighting needs.
Tips When Planting
If you prefer to plant green foxtail into a substrate, you should use quality aquatic safe soil rather than sand. If the soil already contains natural fertilizers, then you do not need to add in any excess nutrients. You can also grow green foxtail in glass cups that suction to the sides of the glass, or you can use sinking terra-Cota pots at the bottom of the aquarium. Place the soil inside of the cup and then bury the roots. This is also beneficial if you do not want to add a soil substrate throughout the whole aquarium. Containers with green foxtail planted in also prevent certain fish species from digging them up and creating a mess. Root tabs should be added to the hole you are planting your foxtail in.
The 6 Advantages of Green Foxtail
The 2 Concerns About Green Foxtail
Green foxtail can make a great addition to your aquarium and bring life to any standard setup. The plant is easy to maintain and asks for truly little in return for its growth. Aside from the ease of care, its advantages outweigh the bad. Green foxtail is a uniquely beautiful aquatic plant that can create naturalistic tones when combined with other plants and aquascapes.
We hope this article has helped you find the right way to appropriately care for green foxtail and have your aquatic plant growing well.
Featured Image Credit: Jerry Lin, Shutterstock