Aquarium Plants Profile: Glossostigma elatinoides

 To ask a question about this aquarium plant email: Don Matakis

 Grows to a height of 3/4 to 1.2 inches (FOREGROUND)
 The width of each plant is about 1.2 inches, based on leaf growth
 Medium high to very high lighting (2.5 - 3.5 watts/gal)
 Optimum growth temperature is 72 to 79 degrees

Glossostigma elatinoides is much in demand in Japanese-inspired aquariums. It is one of the smallest aquarium plants, and thus a good foreground plant. A difficult plant demanding a lot of light. Grows upwards if light is poor. Make sure larger plants do not overshadow it. When planting in the aquarium small clumps (approx. 1/8 pot) should be placed at intervals of a few centimetres to help the plants grow together more quickly. CO2 addition and soft water promote growth significantly. (Excerpt From Tropica)

Glossostigma elatinoides is a medium difficulty stem plant that will thrive in aquariums with adequate lighting and not too hard water. The plant typically grows to a height of only 1.2 inches.The width of each leaf is about 1.2 inches, based on leaf growth.The leaf is petiolate.

In order to achieve strong shoots the substrate should be nutrient rich and light intensity high. Specimens should be planted individually spaced apart and will then grow in. while it may be painstaking to plant them individually, it is well worth the effort. Optimum growth temperature is 72 to 79 degrees, although it can grow in temps from 59 to 79 degrees.

Glossostigma elatinoides requires medium high to high lighting (2.5 - 3.5 watts/gal) to do well. If kept in low-light tanks, this aquarium plant has a tendency to wither away. Separate each stem and plant individually. This will result in better growth and help Glossostigma elatinoides to spread.

Don's Notes:

My experience with Glossostigma elatinoides is that it grows better with iron nutrients in the  substrate. I have floated little pieces of stem on the surface and had them continue to grow and then planted them in the substrate. Glossostigma elatinoides only requires sufficient fertilizers and an adequate source of the gas CO2 (carbon dioxide), or a good liquid carbon substitute like Excel or Natural Aquarium Vital. It also likes water that is not too hard. The leaves are a beautiful shade of bright green, making it an excellent foreground plant for higher light aquariums. In lower light the plant tends to grow upward as if to reach the light, and eventually withers away.

This aquarium plant comes from New Zealand, Australia, and Tasmania.


Don Matakis is the Aquatic Grower & Senior Aquaculturist for

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