Anacharis – A Comprehensive Care Guide

Anacharis is a versatile and popular aquarium plant that serves as a natural water purifier, a hiding spot for fish, and a food source for invertebrates.

This guide provides essential information on Anacharis care, including its origins, growth habits, ideal water conditions, planting and propagation, and suitable tank mates.

Whether you’re a novice or an experienced aquarist, this guide will equip you with the knowledge and skills to maintain a healthy aquarium ecosystem and foster the well-being of your aquatic inhabitants.

Key Takeaways

  • Anacharis is an easy-to-care-for aquarium plant suitable for beginners and adaptable to various water conditions.
  • Anacharis serves as a shelter and a dietary source for fish and invertebrates and helps improve water quality.
  • Anacharis can be planted or floated in the aquarium and requires moderate lighting and nutrient-rich substrate to thrive.
  • Anacharis can be propagated easily by snipping off a stem and planting or floating it in the substrate.

Species Summary

The plant known as Anacharis (Egeria densa) is widely used to decorate aquarium tanks and is very popular among hobbyists. It can be referred to by various names such as Waterweed, Elodea, Egeria, or Brazilian waterweed. This plant is highly beneficial and easy to maintain, making it an ideal choice for aquarists of all levels of expertise.

The water plant is found across North and South America, but it is most common in Southeast Brazil, Uruguay, and Argentina, where it thrives in ponds, sluggish rivers, and other bodies of water.

Surprisingly, Anacharis can thrive in the warm waters of its natural habitat and even in cooler environments further north. This has led many to consider it a perfect freshwater aquatic plant that adds vitality to any tank and is easy to maintain.

The Benefits Of Having It In Your Tank


Incorporating aquatic plants in an aquarium, such as Anacharis, provides numerous benefits to the tank’s ecosystem.

Firstly, Anacharis is a natural filter, improving water quality by absorbing harmful substances like ammonia and nitrates. This results in a healthier environment for fish, reducing the risk of diseases and stress.

Additionally, Anacharis provides shelter for fish and invertebrates, creating a natural habitat for them to thrive in. It can reduce aggression between tank mates and provide security, which is especially important for shy species.

Finally, Anacharis can also serve as some species’ live vegetation dietary source, providing essential nutrients and fiber for optimal health.

Incorporating Anacharis in an aquarium is a wise decision due to its easy maintenance and ability to enhance aquarium aesthetics. The plant requires minimal care and attention, making it suitable for beginners or busy aquarium enthusiasts. Anacharis can grow in various water parameters, making them adaptable and versatile.

Furthermore, the plant’s natural beauty can add a touch of elegance and sophistication to any tank, creating a natural underwater landscape.

Overall, the benefits of having Anacharis in an aquarium are numerous, making it a valuable addition to any aquatic ecosystem.


Anacharis is an exceptional plant that does not have lengthy, blade-like, or lancet-shaped leaves. Instead, it grows very tall and consists entirely of a stem.

A distinctive appearance is created as groups of four to six leaves grow from the stem. Although the leaves are relatively small, they are flat and sturdy.

Anacharis is usually bundled and fastened with a rubber band. If you look closely, you can see tiny, narrow roots. These roots will continue to grow whether the plant is anchored in the substrate or left to float freely.

Although they are not the strongest, the roots effectively gather essential nutrients and provide stability to the plant.

When Anacharis is in good health, it will display a bright green hue. However, if the plant is turning dark green or black, it suggests that it is decaying.

Size & Growth Rate

Typically, Anacharis is only about six to eight inches long when purchased. However, it can grow significantly longer.

Anacharis plants can reach a length of three feet when grown naturally. However, in an aquarium, they usually only grow up to the waterline.

Anacharis has a relatively fast growth rate but varies based on water quality, fertilizer use, and lighting. Plants exposed to brighter light and more extended periods of daylight tend to grow at a faster rate.

Anacharis Care

For those with limited plant care experience, Anacharis is an ideal aquatic plant choice. It’s highly adaptable and can flourish in various conditions, making it a reliable option. Even though it has its preferences like any other plant, Anacharis is known for its ease of maintenance and resilience. This adaptability makes it an excellent low-maintenance choice for aquarium enthusiasts. Anacharis is a great companion for novice and experienced aquarists.

Anacharis has another benefit in its oxygenating water, making it an essential part of any aquatic environment. It absorbs carbon dioxide and releases oxygen, creating a healthy environment for fish and other aquatic creatures.

Furthermore, Anacharis is a fast-growing plant that can quickly fill an aquarium space, providing a natural-looking habitat for your aquatic pets. It also competes for nutrients in the water, which helps reduce algae growth.

Overall, Anacharis is a versatile and easy-to-care-for plant perfect for anyone looking to add plants to their aquarium.


Adequate lighting is crucial for the growth and health of Anacharis, as it requires moderate lighting to thrive. Light intensity plays a significant role in the plant’s growth rate, as too much or too little light can adversely affect it.

A well-lit aquarium lasting 10-12 hours per day is ideal for most species of Anacharis. The light spectrum is also essential, as it affects the photosynthesis process in the plant. Blue and red wavelengths are crucial for Anacharis growth, and light fixtures that provide a full light spectrum are recommended.

It is important to note that too much light can lead to the growth of hair algae, which can damage or kill the plant. Anacharis can also die in low-light tanks, so it is essential to strike a balance when lighting the plant.

It is best to start with moderate lighting and adjust as necessary based on the plant’s response. Overall, providing the right lighting conditions is crucial to ensure the growth and health of Anacharis in an aquarium setting.


Anacharis roots are delicate and require a secure and nutrient-rich substrate to anchor themselves and absorb necessary nutrients.

The best substrates for Anacharis include nutrient-rich gravel and sand substrates that provide a stable base for the plant.

The substrate depth should be at least two inches to ensure the roots have enough room to anchor and grow.

It is important to note that Anacharis can grow well in either planted or floating conditions, and the choice of substrate will vary depending on the desired growth method.

How To Plant It

Proper substrate selection and preparation are crucial to plant Anacharis in your aquarium successfully. Anacharis has delicate roots that require a nutrient-rich plant substrate or simple aquarium gravel to anchor it securely.

Before planting, it is essential to remove the rubber bands and trim the stems to the desired length. The plant should then be buried at least two inches deep in the substrate to ensure it stays in place. Anacharis can also be grown floating in the aquarium, which can be an even easier option.

Planting techniques for Anacharis are relatively straightforward and can be done by beginners. Anacharis has specific nutrient requirements for optimal growth. The substrate should be nutrient-rich, and the plant should receive moderate lighting of around 2 watts per gallon of volume. Too much light can lead to hair algae growth, which can be harmful.

Starting from cuttings is also an easy way to propagate Anacharis, and it can be done by simply cutting the stems and planting or floating the cut portion. With proper planting techniques and nutrient requirements met Anacharis can thrive and provide shelter and a dietary source for fish and invertebrates while improving water quality in the aquarium.

Trimming & Pruning

At some stage, you will have to cut and prune your Anacharis. This is bound to happen as the plant puts all its effort into growing upward.

In due course, the Anacharis plant will extend upwards and reach the water’s surface. But, there is no need to fret because the plant’s stem is typically not sturdy enough to continue growing in the air. Even if it could, it would only last for a short time as it depends on water to survive.

Keeping Anacharis plants healthy and beautiful requires a bit of maintenance. To avoid curling, trim the plant, which will quickly bounce back to its usual growth pattern.

Fortunately, trimming Anacharis is a simple and uncomplicated procedure. You only need to trim the stem above a whorl of leaves. Although trimming it above this point is recommended, the plant can still heal even if cut at any part.

Anacharis does not need to be pruned. There may be a greater amount of leaves in the center or upper portion of the stem, although it is never sufficient justification for pruning.

It is possible to prune any stems growing sideways, but many aquarium enthusiasts opt to retain them as they contribute to the thickness of foliage.

Tank Mates


Most freshwater aquarium fish can thrive with Anacharis. This plant is tall and can provide benefits to all types of fish occupying the water column.

Fish that thrive in warm waters, like those in the tropics and Central/South America, make the most compatible tank companions.

In general, Tetras and Cory Catfish are commonly chosen as companions in a fish tank. The Neon Tetra and Black Skirt Tetra particularly enjoy the Anacharis plant. Due to their size, they can easily swim through the leaves and enjoy themselves in a dense group of Anacharis.

The plant is also appreciated by shrimp, specifically the cherry shrimp, which are commonly included. They make use of the leaves in various manners. They consume any existing algae or waste on them and seek refuge from potential predators within the plant’s leaves.

The statement also applies to fragile creatures such as snails and other species.

Fish that consume plants are the only kind to stay away from, particularly Cichlids and several varieties of Goldfish.

The fish are too rough for the fragility of the Anacharis plant, which can easily be uprooted and have its leaves ruined.


This particular plant does not generate rhizomes, tubers, or new plants growing from its roots. It also doesn’t produce runners. Instead, it makes stems that grow sideways, adding to its overall height.

In terms of maintenance, its ease of containment is largely due to its growth pattern and reproduction cycle. Therefore, the question arises – how can it be spread or multiplied?

You simply need to trim the stem, and the trimmed part will grow its roots!

You can use the cuttings you created during pruning or take outside stems to use instead. Regardless of your choice, simply plant the stem in the same manner as before, and it should thrive.

It is recommended that the stem being propagated should be at least five inches in length. If it’s any shorter than that, it may need help successfully establishing itself.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Anacharis be grown in a planted tank with other types of aquatic plants?

Anacharis can be grown with other aquatic plants in a planted tank, but compatibility with other species depends on their requirements. Anacharis’ fast growth rate, moderate light requirements, and nutrient uptake can benefit other plants, while its oxygenation benefits fish and invertebrates.

How often should Anacharis be pruned to keep it manageable?

Pruning frequency for Anacharis depends on its growth rate, which can be rapid under optimal lighting and nutrient conditions. Propagation methods are easy, and regular pruning helps keep it manageable. Adequate lighting and nutrient-rich substrate are essential for proper growth.

Is Anacharis suitable for outdoor ponds or only indoor aquariums?

Anacharis is suitable for outdoor ponds and indoor aquariums. However, their environmental requirements, growth patterns, and nutrient needs differ. Ideal tankmates for Anacharis include tropical fish and species from Central and South America, but not Cichlids or Goldfish.

Can Anacharis be used as a food source for aquatic animals other than fish and snails?

Anacharis can be a nutritious food source for aquatic animals, including fish and snails.


Anacharis is a fantastic freshwater aquarium plant that can add a touch of beauty to your aquatic world. The good news is that propagating it is a piece of cake – just cut and replant!

However, there are some common mistakes you need to avoid, such as giving it too much or too little light, not pruning it regularly, or allowing algae growth to take over.

For a healthy Anacharis, give it moderate light, trim it regularly, and keep the water clean. If there are any problems, remove dead leaves and adjust lighting and water.

If you’re looking for other plants to add to your aquarium, consider Hornwort, Water Sprite, or Java Moss as alternatives.