Aponogeton Bernierianus: Housing and Care

Aponogeton bernierianus is a very popular aquarium plant among the pet fish keepers due to its hardiness and mesh structure dark greenish leaves. It is named after the French naturalist Francois Bernier. It belongs to the family Aponogetonaceae under order Alismatales. Now, this species is threatened due to habitat degradation, destruction, soil erosion, pollution and over exploitation etc. Synonyms of Aponogeton bernierianus are Aponogeton quadrangularis Baker and Ouvirandra bernieriana Decne.

Systematic Position

  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Phylum: Tracheophyta
  • Class: Liliopsida
  • Order: Alismatales
  • Family: Aponogetonaceae
  • Genus: Aponogeton 
  • Species: Aponogeton bernierianus

Distribution And Habitat

It is distributed in the eastern regions of Madagascar. It generally occurs in slowly and rapidly flowing streams, lakes, rivers, forest reservoirs and swamps with shady and open sunny areas.

​Physical Description

Aponogeton bernierianus is a very attractive and beautiful aquatic plant. It has a thick, bushy and tuberous rhizome which up to 4 cm thick. The rhizome produces roots which are fleshy and cord like with up to 5 mm in thickness. This root system can reach up to 5-8 cm depth ranges in soil or gravel which help the plant attached with soil.  

It has immersed green to dark green, rarely reddish-brown leaves which usually 50 -120 cm long and 6.5-10 cm wide. The leaves are ribbon shaped, strongly arched and wavy. The petiole can reach up to 13 cm in length while the leaf blade is wrinkled, wedge-shaped and rounded which can grow up to 10 cm in width.Enter your text here…

The apex of the blade is narrow-wedged with a blunt or sharp end. The venation is clearly expressed, parallel and the main vein protrudes on the underside with it noticeably up to 5, less often up to 9 longitudinal veins. It has 3 – 15 cm long petiole. 

During dry season they produce flower in 60 cm deep, clear water. The flower is very small white, occasionally with a pale pink hue in color. The flower bears very small 2-3 corolla petals which measuring up to 1.5 mm in length and 1.5-2.0 mm in diameter. Fruit is an oval shaped with a small beak-like process while seeds are small with a simple covering.

Quick Aponogeton bernierianus Facts

  • Scientific Name:Aponogeton bernierianus
  • Origin: Eastern regions of Madagascar
  • Height: 50-120 cm
  • Width of leaf: 1.5-10 cm
  • Water pH: 6.5-7.2
  • Water hardness: 1 – 1.5 ° dGH
  • Water temperature: 25-26 ° C
  • Lighting needs: ​Medium – strong
  • Growth rate: Average
  • Care level: Difficult

Housing And Care Facts

For the better maintenance purposes of your plant, the aquarium should have good environment with similar to natural. This plant prefers good water quality parameters and the water should be soft with a pH of 6.5 – 7.2, hardness of 1 – 1.5 ° dGH, and temperature of 25 – 26 ° С.  

The aquarium soil should be medium-grained and contain gravel. In this case, the depth of the soil layer should be 10-15 cm.  For optimum growth, the aquarium water should be replenished with clean water from running water reservoirs. In this case, water changes should be done every week or at least once every seven to ten days.

The tank should also have best air pumps for continuous mixing of water with oxygen. The aquarium must be kept clean and protected from fouling by algae. This type of plants need moderate to strong light. The duration of light for this species should be maintained between 10 to 12 hours. We recommend you to install fluorescent lamps with 0.4 – 0.5 watts per liter of water.

Propagation / Reproduction

It can propagate in aquarium condition if appropriate care is taken. For cultivation of plants you should use coarse-grained sand with a small addition of fatty clay. Propagation is done by separating the parts of the rhizome or cutting the daughter plants. During propagation, cutting off part of the rhizome should be at least 2 cm with leaf buds using sharp razor or scissors. 

The place where you have cut the rhizome must be treated with a saturated peat solution with the addition of birch charcoal so that it does not rot. In this case, aquarium water must be kept clean constantly and it should be protected from fouling of algae which adversely affect the growth and development of the plant. This plant also does sexual reproduction through seeds production.

Also Read: Dwarf Baby Tears (Hemianthus callitrichoides) Care Sheet


Aponogeton bernierianus looks very beautiful, especially among other species due to its mesh structure of leaves and greenish coloration.  This beautiful and attractive plant is available in local pet fish store or online vendor with sensible cost. We prescribe you to keep this attractive greenish plant to make your aquarium like in a natural environment.

​If you need to know more about aquarium plants please have a look on our review of Best Aquarium Plants For Betta Fish.

Leave a Comment