View Full Version : "Foxtail" ?

02-25-2011, 01:21 AM
My LFS was out of Java Fern, which I know was a beginner plant, but said that "Foxtail" was just as easy, and as long as my light is on for 8 hours, it'll do fine. It was fairly cheap, so I got it.

Google says Foxtail is Myriophyllum, but the images don't quite look like my plant. The major difference is, my stems are bright green
Cabomba Aquatica looks like my plant, and the description of leaves falling off and getting everywhere is exactly what I had when I first put it in, but no mention of calling it Foxtail.

Googling shows it's either a fast growing, easy to care for medium light plant good for beginners.

Other sites say it's an extremely picky, ultra-high light plant that will probably die unless you have a special aquarium and good CO2 regulation.

So what exactly is "Foxtail." And what does it require? This is my first plant, it it really looks fantastic in my 25gal and my ghost shrimps love it, but I'm not entirely sure how to care for it, so different sites seem to have different opinions.

I have a full spectrum white light

02-25-2011, 09:02 PM
The trouble with common names is no one seems to be able to agree which one is which. I've seen "foxtail" applied to several plants from hornwort, cabombas, myrios, and even a proserpinaca. Pictures would be helpful in ID.

Chances are if you bought from a reputable LFS the plant will be easy to care for in your water chemistry. If it was a chain store, the information might be a bit dubious since they often just go by their information cards that have a bit of a one-size-fits-all attitude. The falling apart might simply be the plant adjusting to the different conditions in your aquarium and should fade over time if that's the case.

02-25-2011, 09:29 PM
If it is Cabomba aquatica, it is not an easy plant by any means. It needs a fine grain, iron rich substrate, soft, acidic water, 30 ppm Co2 and very high light. The 75 that has it and two other Cabomba species (caroliniana, furcata) has 360 watts of light over it, pH 6.8, gH 2, and full auto pressurized Co2. I should mention that two species of Myriophyllum are also in the tank, as like most stem plants, needs tons of light to stay compact, at least four watts per gallon. Six watts would not be too much.


02-25-2011, 09:33 PM
I Image searched Hornwort, and that's exactly what my stem and leaves looks like. Mine's a little bit browner looking, but it's a much cleaner match than the original plants.

Here's the Google imagse of Hornwort that look exactly like my plant

I have a picture on my phone of a branch that fell off sitting on a napkin, I just haven't downloaded it to my computer yet.

Not all images of Hornwort look like mine though. This is completely different from anything I have

I'm leaning more towards hornwort though.
I'd also be very relieved if it were actually Hornwort, because the plants I was thinking it was, need a ton of light to survive, while Hornwort looks to do alright in low/medium light.

I also haven't seen my ghost shrimp at all since putting it in... they really seem to love it a lot.

Now assuming it is hornwort, it will do alright in similar conditions as Java Fern/Moss and Anubias? I was planning on those three specific plants as my middle plants, and Hornwort seems to make a really great back wall plant. I just need an easy low/medium light front plant, and I think I'll have a solid planted aquarium.

I have a 15 watt bulb in a 25 gallon.

02-25-2011, 10:16 PM
Here's those pics

02-25-2011, 11:04 PM
That looks like it probably is hornwort. Could also be myrio pinnata, but I doubt that due to general availability. Hornwort should grow well in lowlight, sometimes too well. Just watch out for any algae growing on it, because that can kill sections.

02-25-2011, 11:20 PM
If it helps, it was 1.99 for a gigantic bunch of it, so if possibly anything expensive, chances are it wasn't that.

Between an oto, 6 ghost shrimp and 2 different snail species, if algae manages to become a problem, I have a hunger strike in my aquarium. I'll monitor it anyway, since I'm new to planted aquariums.

Should I trim it back right now?
In my 25gallon (high) aquarium, it comes about 2/3 up the back wall. It fills in what would have been empty space in the middle of the aquarium, but I don't want decaying stems of plant floating around my aquarium cloging the filter. So far I've tried to get as much debris out as possible, and I think I've gotten a good grasp of all the needles that were floating all over when I first put it in. I have no problem trimming it once or twice a week if it really gets out of hand.

Since it's a floating plant, it's not going to grow roots right? Right now I simply have it weighted at the bottom very slightly buried. The pet store guy said it'll eventually grow root like systems that will anchor it.

Will it do fine with Anubias and Java Fern? They appear to get their nutrients three different ways, so they may not conflict, will they?

Right now I have a medium bioload in my aquarium. I'm probably running at about 60% stocked right now, and I plan on adding 3 or 4 more (small) fish to even out a few schools. That'll be enough nutrients to sustain them?

02-25-2011, 11:59 PM
Hornwort doesn't grow roots, but does have the ability to modify it's leaves to grow an anchoring system. Competition for nutrients shouldn't be a problem with hornwort, java moss, and anubius in a lowlight situation. Trimming doesn't look like it'd be necessary yet unless you don't like the look. If it's losing its leaves heavily putting a net or a coarse filter over your intake and cleaning daily/every couple of hours should keep your filter from clogging. Good luck and have fun.

02-26-2011, 12:03 AM
Looks like hornwort to me.

I once bought 3 strands of hornwort, within 2-3 weeks I probably had ~10 strands! But then I had an algae bloom and they died off, huuuge mess >.<

Easy plants though, look fine and all you have to do is snip the stem and anchor it down, and you have a new plant!

02-26-2011, 01:01 AM
Cool, I have a 10 gallon I'm cycling, getting ready for Dwarf Frogs, so I'll borrow some of this massive bundle I have and put them into the 10gal to fill it in better.

01-31-2012, 02:10 PM
hi there, I'm looking for help with this problem, so your help is appreciated:

I have this hornwort plant, I've always liked it, always used it. I set up a new 60gal tank, it's already cycled (2 months now), with a few fish: 2 small discus, 3 small angels, few neons, 2 corys, etc. I have 2 other small tanks for breeding, which doesn't have this issue with the plant.

The problem is that most of the plant becomes dark green to eventually die, with just the new tips having normal green, grows a little bit, and then the same, dark green to die while at the same time, keeps growing, normal green to darker green, etc., you get the idea.

Any thoughts on why this happens?

attached there is a photo of the plant.

Many thanks in advance.

01-31-2012, 07:19 PM
Kimos, you should post your question in the 'stem plants' forum. This thread ended early last year.

Welcome to the forum, by the way.