Bolbitis Heudelotii: A Unique Alternative to the Common Java Fern

rare bolbitis heudelotii fern

Aquarium enthusiasts are always on the lookout for unique and visually appealing aquatic plants to enhance their underwater landscapes. In this regard, Bolbitis Heudelotii, also known as the African Water Fern, presents itself as a captivating alternative to the common Java Fern.

With its broad leaves and vibrant green color, this plant adds a touch of elegance to any aquarium setting. But its appeal goes beyond aesthetics; Bolbitis Heudelotii also offers numerous benefits for both the aquatic environment and its inhabitants.

In this article, we will explore the care requirements, propagation techniques, and the many advantages that Bolbitis Heudelotii brings to your aquarium. So, let's dive into the world of this fascinating plant and discover why it stands out as a unique alternative to the widely known Java Fern.

Key Takeaways

  • Bolbitis Heudelotii is a beginner-friendly plant that can add beauty to any type of aquarium.
  • It has a robust and undemanding nature, making it suitable for a variety of water conditions.
  • The plant provides shade and shelter for small fish, shrimp, and snails, and acts as a natural oxygenator.
  • It also serves as a feeding and breeding ground for fish, and the fry can use it as a hiding place and feeding area.

Bolbitis Heudelotii Care

caring for bolbitis heudelotii

Bolbitis Heudelotii, a versatile and robust plant, requires minimal to moderate care to thrive in aquariums. When it comes to bolbitis heudelotii growth, providing moderate lighting is essential.

This plant performs best under moderate light levels, which can be achieved using fluorescent or LED aquarium lights. It is important to ensure that the light intensity is not too high, as this can lead to algae growth and stunted plant growth.

Additionally, bolbitis heudelotii prefers slightly soft water with a warm temperature, ranging from 74 to 84 degrees Fahrenheit. By maintaining suitable lighting conditions and water parameters, aquarists can promote healthy and vibrant growth of bolbitis heudelotii in their aquariums.

Planting Bolbitis Heudelotii

When establishing Bolbitis Heudelotii in an aquarium, proper planting techniques are crucial for ensuring its successful growth and attachment to the chosen platform. To effectively plant Bolbitis Heudelotii, follow these steps:

  1. Clean and prepare the plants: Before planting, ensure that the plants are free from any dirt or debris. Trim any damaged or yellowing leaves to promote healthy growth.
  2. Select suitable driftwood or rocks: Choose a sturdy platform, such as driftwood or rocks, for attaching the plant. Softwood and porous rocks are recommended materials as they provide a good surface for the plant to attach to.
  3. Tie the plant securely: Using fishing line or plant-safe thread, tie the Bolbitis Heudelotii to the chosen platform. Make sure the ties are secure but not too tight to avoid damaging the plant.
  4. Leave the plant attached: Allow the plant to remain attached to the platform until it has a secure hold. This will ensure that the roots can establish a strong connection.

Proper maintenance is essential for the healthy growth of Bolbitis Heudelotii. Remember to provide a gentle water flow to prevent root damage and maintain a temperature of 74 to 84 degrees Fahrenheit. Occasional fertilizers and CO2 injections can also benefit the plant. Avoid aggressive water flow, regularly check water temperature, and make necessary adjustments to create an optimal environment for the plant's growth.

Practical Care Tips

effective pet care advice

After properly planting Bolbitis Heudelotii, it is important to follow practical care tips to ensure the healthy growth and thriving of this unique aquatic plant. Two crucial factors to consider are water flow and temperature control. Bolbitis Heudelotii prefers a gentle water flow to prevent root damage. Aggressive water flow can lead to stunted growth and damage the delicate leaves. It is also essential to maintain a temperature range of 74 to 84 degrees Fahrenheit, which promotes optimal growth. Regularly check the water temperature and make necessary adjustments to create an ideal environment. Additionally, occasional fertilizers and CO2 injections can provide additional nutrients for the plant's development. By paying attention to these practical care tips, aquarists can ensure the successful cultivation of Bolbitis Heudelotii in their aquariums.

Care Tips Details
Water flow Provide gentle water flow to prevent root damage and stunted growth. Avoid aggressive water flow.
Temperature control Maintain a temperature range of 74 to 84 degrees Fahrenheit. Regularly check and adjust water temperature.

Propagating Bolbitis Heudelotii

To propagate Bolbitis Heudelotii, aquarists can follow these steps for successful propagation:

  1. Prepare the plants: Select the healthiest plants for propagation and prepare a sharp knife or plant scissors for cutting.
  2. Remove portions of rhizomes: Gently remove portions of the rhizomes from mature plants, making sure to keep the leaves and roots intact.
  3. Secure the rhizomes: Tie the rhizomes securely before rehoming them, ensuring they have a stable attachment.
  4. Provide suitable conditions: Place the propagated plants in an environment with suitable lighting, temperature, and water parameters.
  5. Monitor growth rate: Regularly observe the growth rate of the propagated Bolbitis Heudelotii to ensure its health and development.

Benefits of Bolbitis Heudelotii

advantages of bolbitis heudelotii

Bolbitis Heudelotii, also known as the African Water Fern, offers a range of benefits that make it a valuable addition to any aquarium. This plant stands out with its vivid green color and broad leaves, adding beauty to any type of aquarium.

One of its key advantages is its beginner-friendly nature, making it suitable for novice aquarists. Additionally, Bolbitis Heudelotii is robust and undemanding, able to grow in a variety of water conditions. It provides shade and shelter for small fish, shrimp, and snails, acting as a natural oxygenator by providing extra oxygen for the aquarium.

The plant's leaves also serve as a feeding and breeding ground for egg-layers and mating fish, while fish fry can use it as a hiding place and feeding area.

When compared to other aquarium plants, Bolbitis Heudelotii proves to be a versatile and low-maintenance option, making it an excellent choice for those seeking innovation in their aquatic environments.

Stats and Facts

With an average height ranging from 16 to 22 inches, Bolbitis Heudelotii, scientifically classified under the order Polypodiales and family Dryopteridaceae, is an epiphytic plant native to the humid bogs, rivers, and streams of Africa. This unique plant has a moderate growth rate, making it an ideal addition to aquariums of all sizes.

Here are some key stats and facts about Bolbitis Heudelotii:


  • Found abundantly in humid bogs, rivers, and streams of Africa
  • Thrives when attached to wood, rocks, or larger flora bodies
  • Commonly used in aquariums attached to driftwood, rocks, or plant hangers

Growth Rate:

  • Bolbitis Heudelotii has a moderate growth rate
  • It can adapt and grow in a variety of water conditions, making it versatile and easy to maintain

Ideal Placement

perfect position for success

The ideal placement for Bolbitis Heudelotii in an aquarium is in the midground or background, where it can showcase its vibrant green color and broad leaves while providing shade and shelter for small fish, shrimp, and snails.

This unique plant adds depth and visual interest to aquascape designs, creating a lush and natural look.

When considering the ideal placement, it is important to take into account the lighting requirements of Bolbitis Heudelotii. Moderate lighting is sufficient for this plant, as excessive lighting can lead to algae growth and damage the leaves.

Placing the Bolbitis Heudelotii in the midground or background ensures that it receives enough light without being exposed to direct, intense light.

This placement also allows the plant to grow and thrive while complementing other aquatic species in the tank.


Native to the humid bogs, rivers, and streams of Africa, Bolbitis Heudelotii, also known as the African Water Fern, can be found abundantly in the Congo River Basin, where it is referred to as the Congo Fern.

This epiphytic plant, belonging to the Polypodiales order and the Dryopteridaceae family, grows attached to wood, rocks, or larger flora bodies. It is commonly used in aquariums, where it is attached to driftwood, rocks, or plant hangers.

The origins of Bolbitis Heudelotii in the Congo River Basin make it a unique and interesting addition to any aquarium. Its natural habitat in Africa provides insight into its preferences and adaptability to different water conditions, making it an innovative and versatile choice for aquarists seeking a vibrant and low-maintenance plant.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Bolbitis Heudelotii Survive in Low Light Conditions?

Bolbitis heudelotii can survive in low light conditions, making it suitable for a low tech setup. Propagation methods include selecting healthy plants, cutting portions of rhizomes with leaves and roots, and securing them before rehoming. Benefits include its vivid green color, beginner-friendly nature, and ability to provide shade, shelter, and oxygenation in the aquarium.

How Often Should I Provide Fertilizers and CO2 Injections for Bolbitis Heudelotii?

Fertilizers should be provided to Bolbitis Heudelotii on a regular basis, typically every two weeks. CO2 injections are not necessary for this plant, as it can thrive in moderate lighting conditions without additional carbon dioxide supplementation.

Can Bolbitis Heudelotii Be Grown in a Brackish Water Aquarium?

Bolbitis heudelotii is not suitable for brackish water aquariums, as it thrives in freshwater conditions. Its growth rate is influenced by water parameters such as temperature, pH, and lighting, making it adaptable to varying conditions.

Is Bolbitis Heudelotii Suitable for a Nano Tank?

Bolbitis Heudelotii is suitable for a nano tank due to its slow growth rate and ability to thrive in different water parameters. Its compatibility and versatility make it an innovative choice for aquarium enthusiasts seeking a unique addition to their setup.

Does Bolbitis Heudelotii Require Any Special Pruning or Trimming Techniques?

Pruning techniques for Bolbitis Heudelotii involve trimming dead or damaged leaves close to the rhizome. Trimming benefits aquarium maintenance by promoting the growth of new leaves, maintaining a neat appearance, and preventing overcrowding.


In conclusion, Bolbitis Heudelotii is a visually appealing and low-maintenance aquatic plant that can enhance the beauty and health of any aquarium. Its vivid green color and broad leaves make it an attractive alternative to the common Java Fern.

This plant provides shade, shelter, and natural oxygenation, creating a thriving ecosystem for various aquatic species. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced aquarist, Bolbitis Heudelotii is a versatile plant that is sure to add beauty and functionality to your underwater landscape.

For example, a study conducted on a tank with Bolbitis Heudelotii showed a significant increase in the breeding success of small fish and shrimp due to the plant's ability to create a suitable habitat.