Vallisneria americana: A Species Care Guide

Vallisneria americana is a popular aquarium plant that can be found in many pet stores. It is also known as tape grass, eelgrass, or vallis, Jungle Val, and Water Celery. It is a member of the Hydrocharitaceae family under order Alismatales. The genus name, Vallisneria, was given to this plant by Carolus Linnaeus in honor of Antonio Michele Vallisneri.

Vallisneria americana can grow in a wide range of substrates, it prefers a sandy or muddy bottom. The plant has a strong root system that anchors it in place, allowing it to withstand currents and waves. Additionally, the roots help to aerate the substrate and improve water quality. If you are interested in growing Vallisneria americana, be sure to provide a suitable substrate for the plant to thrive. With the right conditions, this beautiful plant can add eye-catching view to your aquarium.

Vallisneria americana is an important food source for many aquatic animals, including fish, amphibians, and reptiles. This plant is also used extensively in the aquarium trade.

If you are planning on planting Vallisneria americana in the substrate, there are a few following things you need to know:
First, Vallisneria americana requires a nutrient-rich substrate. A good option is to use a quality plant fertilizer that contains iron.
Second, Vallisneria americana roots best in clay-based substrates. If your substrate does not contain clay, you can add some to it.
Finally, Vallisneria americana needs a well-lit aquarium. A good rule of thumb is to provide at least 2 watts of lighting per gallon of water.

Habitat and Distribution

Vallisneria americana is widely distributed across the tropical and subtropical regions of Europe, Asia, Africa, and North America. In the United States, it is distributed from Florida to Maine. It typically grows in freshwater ponds and lakes, but can also be found in brackish water habitats. This aquatic plant prefers still or slow-moving water, and can be found growing in mud or sand substrates.

Systematic Position

Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Order: Alismatales
Family: Hydrocharitaceae
Sub Family: Hydrilloideae
Genus: Vallisneria
Species: Vallisneria americana

Physical Appearance

It is a perennial plant that can grow up to 2 feet in length and has a bushy appearance. The leaves of this plant are long, slender and thin, and they are usually a dark green color and are arranged in a spiral around the stem. The flowers of Vallisneria americana are small, white and inconspicuous, and they grow on spikes that rise above the water surface.

Vallisneria americana
Vallisneria americana

Vallisneria americana Quick Facts

Scientific Name: Vallisneria americana
Common Name: Tape grass, eelgrass, or vallis, Jungle Val, and Water Celery
Origin: Southeastern United States
Growth rate: Fast
Plant Size: 24 inches
Tank size: 20-30 gallons
Water temperature: 64 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit
Water pH: 6.5 to 8.0
Water Hardness: 8 to 15 dGH
Lighting Level: Moderate
CO2 Requirement: Moderate – high
Substrate Requirement: Nutrient-rich substrate
Fertilization Requirement: Nutrient-rich substrate
Propagation: By dividing the rootstock, through rhizomes or stem fragments, or through producing flowers
Care level: Easy

Housing and Care Facts

Water Parameter Requirements

The Vallisneria americana is susceptible to several diseases, so it is important to monitor water quality closely if this plant is being kept in an aquarium setting. As an aquatic plant, Vallisneria americana requires specific water parameters in order to thrive. The pH of the water should be between 6.5 and 8, with a hardness of 2-15 dGH. The temperature should range from 68-86 degrees Fahrenheit (20-30°C). The water should have low levels of nitrates (<10 ppm) and phosphates (<0.5 ppm).

Water Temperature and Lighting Requirements

This plant prefers warm water temperatures of 68-86 degrees Fahrenheit (20-30°C) and requires moderate to high levels of light.

Water pH

It does best when it is planted in nutrient-rich substrate with a pH range of 6.5-8.0 and can be propagated by dividing the rhizomes into smaller pieces.

CO2 Requirements

It requires moderate to high light levels and CO2 supplementation for optimal growth.

Substrate Requirements

Vallisneria americana is undemanding and it can grow in a variety of wide range of substrates, including sand, gravel, mud, and clay. This plant does not tolerate highly acidic or alkaline conditions. Vallisneria americana can also grow in nutrient-rich substrates, such as those containing organic matter. However, this plant does not tolerate stagnant water conditions.

The ideal substrate for Vallisneria americana is sandy loam with a pH of 6.5-8.0. If you are planning on growing Vallisneria americana, be sure to provide it with a suitable substrate that meets its requirements.

It does best in a nutrient-rich substrate, but will also do well in a more basic substrate as long as it is not allowed to dry out.

However, it should be noted that this plant cannot tolerate waters that are too polluted or too shallow.

Fertilizer Requirements

Vallisneria americana is a beautiful, hardy plant that is perfect for the beginner aquarist. It is often used in aquariums and ponds. It is undemanding and will grow in a wide range of substrates, from sand to gravel to mud.

This plant is easy to care for, but it does have some specific fertilization requirements. There are a few things you need to know about its fertilization requirements.

Vallisneria americana is a heavy feeder and requires a lot of nutrients to grow well. It is best to fertilize this plant weekly with a high-quality fertilizer. If you do not fertilize this plant regularly, it will not grow as well and may even die.

Vallisneria americana needs a high level of nitrate in order to thrive. The best way to provide this nutrient is through regular water changes and the addition of a high-quality aquarium fertilizer.

Benefits of Vallisneria americana

This plant has many benefits for both people and the environment. It helps improve water quality by removing toxins and improving oxygen levels. It also stabilizes sedimentary soils and reduces erosion. These plants provide a vital habitat for fish, crabs, and other aquatic creatures. They also serve as food for these animals. It is an important part of the ecosystem and should be protected.

For people, the Tape Grass is a great source of food. The leaves are edible and can be eaten raw or cooked. They contain high level of vitamins A and C, as well as other nutrients. The roots of the plant can also be eaten after being boiled or roasted.

The Tape Grass is also beneficial to the environment. It provides oxygen for fish and other aquatic life forms. The plants stabilizes pond banks by acting as a natural filter system, which prevents erosion.

Problems with Vallisneria americana

The Vallisneria americana, commonly known as the Tape Grass, is a submerged aquatic plant that can be found in many different climates. Although it is an easy plant to care for and has many benefits, there are some problems with it.

One problem with the Tape Grass is that when it grows too large, it can take over an aquarium and block out light from other plants. This will cause those plants to die and create an unhealthy environment for the fish.

Additionally, if there is not enough light available, the Vallisneria americana will not grow very well and may become discolored.

Another issue with this plant is that it often releases a lot of debris into the water column which can clog filters and disrupt tank ecosystems. The leaves of this grass also tend to decompose quickly which can lead to ammonia spikes in tanks with low levels of filtration.

If you are considering planting Vallisneria americana, be aware of the potential problems that can come with it.

This plant can be invasive, and it can also be difficult to control. If you are not careful, it can take over your pond or aquarium.

It is also important to note that this plant can be toxic to fish, so be sure to research that before you make any decisions.


Vallisneria americana is often used for decoration or as a food source for fish. The plant grows more vigorously and produce more leaves.
As you may know, Vallisneria americana is a hardy plant that can grow in a variety of conditions. However, if you want your plant to look its best, it is important to prune it regularly. In addition, pruning can help to control the spread of the plant and prevent it from ugly appearance in your aquarium.

Here are some tips on how to prune your Vallisneria americana:

  1. First, identify the leaves that are yellowing or browning. These leaves need to be removed in order to allow the plant to focus its energy on healthier leaves.
  2. Cut the leaves off at the base, being careful not to damage the stem.
  3. Once you have removed all of the unhealthy leaves, you can start trimming back the healthy leaves. Trim them back by about one-third their length.
  4. Finally, cut off any flower stalks that have already bloomed. This will encourage the plant to produce more flowers.
    By following these above tips, you can keep your Vallisneria americana looking healthy and beautiful.


This plant is unique because it has the ability to propagate easily. This plant is easily propagated by dividing the rootstock into several pieces and planting them in individual pots. The new plants will grow quickly and will soon be ready to be replanted in the aquarium.

It can also propagate through rhizomes or stem fragments. When a piece of stem or rhizome breaks off from the parent plant, it will start to grow its own roots and shoots in order to become an independent organism. This process can happen relatively quickly, which makes it an ideal way for this species to spread throughout its environment.

Diseases and Control Measures

Diseases of Vallisneria americana are caused by a number of different organisms, including bacteria, fungi, and viruses. These diseases can cause significant damage to the plants, resulting in reduced growth or death. Some common diseases of Vallisneria americana include bacterial blight, fungal root rot, etc.

Bacterial blight is a common disease that affects Vallisneria americana plants. The bacteria responsible for this disease are typically spread through water droplets or contact with infected plant tissue. Symptoms include: stunted growth, wilting leaves, and black spots on the leaves and stem.

Bacterial blight can be treated with antibiotics if it is known early enough; however, if left untreated the disease can lead to plant death.

Bacterial leaf spot is caused by the bacterium Xanthomonas campestris pv. vallisneriae. Symptoms include: small black spots on the leaves that eventually turn into brown lesions.

Fungal root rot is another common disease that affects Vallisneria americana plants. It is caused by the fungus Pythium ultimum. This fungus is typically spread through water droplets or contact with infected plant tissue. Symptoms include: stunted growth, wilting yellowing of the leaves followed by death of the plant.

Fungal root rot can often be treated by removing any infected plant material and then treating the soil with a fungicide; however if left untreated it will often lead to plant death.

There are also several viral diseases that can affect Vallisneria americana plants. Viruses cause symptoms such as mottling or spotting on the leaves, stunted growth, and chlorosis (yellowing).

Concluding Remarks

Vallisneria americana, also known as eelgrass, is a common aquatic plant that is often used in aquariums and ponds. Vallisneria americana is native to the southeastern United States, but it has been introduced to other parts of the world. This plant prefers to live in areas of freshwater where the water is clear and there is little to no current. Vallisneria americana can also be found in brackish water, but it does not tolerate saltwater.

Vallisneria Americana is a beautiful, hardy plant that is perfect for the beginner aquarists. It is a popular plant in the aquarium trade and has a number of benefits. It is an excellent oxygenator and helps to keep water quality high. Vallisneria americana is also a great plant for providing hiding places for fish and shrimp. It can be left floating or planted in the substrate.