Great Plants for a Beginning Aquarium

Great Plants for a Beginning Aquarium” presentation by Brandon McLane, Florida Aquatic Nurseries Brandon McLane of Florida Aquatic Nurseries will be speaking on “Great Plants for a Beginning Aquarium” this year at the Aquatic Experience.  He will present some of the newest introductions of tissue cultured plants.  These plants are especially exciting because they are pest, disease and algae free since they have been sealed in a package directly from the lab.  The trend of sending aquarium plants in sealed packaging developed in Europe several years ago and is still popular.  Here are a few of the new and exciting cultivars that Brandon will be covering during his seminar.  Some of these plants are ideal for the popular Nano tanks. (Information and pictures provided by Florida Aquatic Nurseries and


Telanthera A decorative “red” plant,   is commonly known as Telanthera.  With a top leaf of bronze and a deep purple under-leaf,it   offers a colorful contrast to the mostly green aquarium plants.  Most red aquarium plants are difficult to grow,however this plant is relatively easy, and with adequate light and fertilizer, grows vigorously with good color.


Anubiasbarteri-var-nana Anubiasbarteri var. “nana,”though smaller, is the most well-known of Anubias varieties.“Nana,” short and bushy, tolerates almost any aquarium condition.It readily attaches to driftwood or rocks, and the rhizome will creep along almost any structure. There are several forms of Anubias nana, all with slightly different characteristics.  “Nana” is a popular aquarium plant and can be used in terrariums, aquariums and even the harsh conditions of Cichlid tanks.


BacopacarolinianaBacopacaroliniana, an aquatic plant native to the U.S., is undemanding, making a great choice for beginners.  It tolerates a wide variety of aquarium conditions, from low to high lighting, and varying pH’s.  With large, full, green leaves it adds a different texture to the aquarium.  Use it as a background plant or keep stems trimmed back in the aquarium’s mid-ground. The stem plant’s trimmed cuttings can be replanted to make additional clusters.



Long leaves with a hammered texture that flow in the current, Cryptocorynecrispatula“balansae” is an excellent aquatic plant and one of the most popular Cryptocoryne varieties in the trade.


CryptocoryneundulataCryptocoryneundulata is a vigorous Cryptocorynegrown equally well as an aquarium plant or a terrarium plant. There are two color forms, and we grow the red form which exhibits a reddish color in the submersed growth.  Cryptocoryneundulata gets its name from the wavy leaf margins that enhance its splendor. Native to Sri Lanka, it’s one of the easiest varieties to grow and a great “beginners” plant because it tolerates almost any light condition, doesn’t need fertilizer or CO2,  thriving under medium light and regular fertilizer applications.


Cryptocorynewendtii“green” is a vigorous Cryptocoryne that grows equally well as an aquarium plant or a terrarium plant.  Compact in nature,with bright green leaves, it’s native to Sri Lanka, and easy to grow, so it’s a great plant for a beginner.  Tolerating almost any light condition, it doesn’t need fertilizer or CO2, thriving under medium light and regular fertilizer applications.


Created by Tropica Nurseries in Denmark, Cryptocorynewendtii ‘Tropica’ is a vigorous Cryptocoryne that grows well as an aquariumor aterrarium plant. Cryptocorynewendtii“bronze” as it is more commonly known in the U.S. market has large bronze colored leaves with a hammered texture.  It’ an easy variety to grow and a great plant for beginner sas it tolerates almost any light condition and doesn’t need fertilizer or CO2.  Cryptocorynewendtii’Tropica’  thrives under medium light and regular fertilizer applications.


CyperushelferiwillCyperushelferiwill add a grass like look in the aquarium.  It’s long leaves wave in the current and are most pleasing to the eye.  Plant Cyperushelferi in multiple pieces to help create a full backdrop, or near moving waterto see it flow in the current.  This species has been popular in the water garden industry for many years, but it’s the first species used totally submerged in an aquarium.


Brandon McLane-Vice President of Florida Aquatic Nurseries, Inc. in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, one of the largest producers of aquatic plants in the United States. Brandon has been with Florida Aquatic Nurseries since 2006. Brandon attended the University of Florida where he received a Bachelor of Science Degree with a specialization in Landscape and Nursery Management in 2003. He also studied micro propagation under Dr. Michael Kane. Brandon has written several articles on aquatic plants and provided information and photographs for many others. He is a member of the Florida Tropical Fish Farms Association and Florida Nursery and Growers and Landscapers Association, and is on the board of directors for the Florida Aquaculture Association and the International Waterlily and Water Garden Society. Brandon has traveled extensively throughout the world visiting remote areas of Thailand as well as Central America and Europe. World travel affords Brandon the opportunity to share information with other aquatic plant growers and to search for new varieties to propagate.