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Soft hornwort

Soft hornwort
(Ceratophyllum submersum)

Ceratophyllum Submersum is much less known and cultivated than Ceratophyllum Demersum. However, it has anti-algae properties as interesting as its cousin. However, watch out for its rapid spread!

Scientific name

Ceratophyllum submersum

Common name

Soft hornwort
Smoothing- Hornwort
Glatter Igellock (DE)
Glattes Hornblatt (DE)


what are his countries of origin?

Origin: Cosmopolitan

Ideal fertilization

how to fertilize this plant?

CO2: 5-40mg/l
Nitrates (NO3): 10-50mg/l
Phosphates (PO4): 0,1-3mg/l
Potassium (K): 5-30mg/l
Iron (Fe): 0,01-0,5mg/l


which group is this plant?



what is the type of plant?

Floating plant

Water parameters

What are the Water parameters for the maintenance of this plant?

T°: 18 to 30°C or 64 to 86°F
pH: 6 to 7.5
Hardness: 2 to 15°dGH




Minimal lighting

what brightness is needed?



what is the maximum size of the plant?

30 to 130 cm (12 to 51")

Plantation area

in which area of the aquarium install this plant?



how fast does this plant grow?



Who is the Soft hornwort?


Who is the Soft hornwort?

Ceratophyllum submersum is widespread throughout the world: it grows in stagnant (very calm or low current) water rich in nutrients. It is a stem plant devoid of roots.

The main difference with its cousin Ceratophyllum demersum lies in its leaves: they are thinner, but also more flexible and stronger.

The color of its stems is always light green, with a tendency to turn to orange under intense light.

Tip: Ceratophyllum submersum quickly absorbs nitrates and phosphates from the aquarium water. It thus deprives the algae of food: it helps in the fight against them and slows down their spread effectively. On the other hand, this food competition is valid for all the plants in your tank. So, if you do not have any algae, check that the other plants in the aquarium are not deficient. In this case, it will be necessary to put fertilizer so that everyone can be in good health!

Planting and maintenance

How to plant and maintain the Soft hornwort?

Planting and maintenance

How to plant and maintain the Soft hornwort?

This plant is quite flexible: you can plant it in a stem, or use it as a floating plant. This last use offers an excellent refuge for fry of many species.

The more intense the lighting in your aquarium, the faster your Ceratophyllum submersum will grow. In such conditions, you can count 5 to 15 centimeters (2 to 6 inches) of growth per week.

Attention, because of its very fast growth, this plant can quickly make a lot of shade to other plants. You will need to cut it frequently, and eliminate the surplus each week.

This plant does not require a supply of Co2.


How to farm the Soft hornwort?


How to farm the Soft hornwort?

Sampling and cutting of lateral branches. Let the new stem float or plant it.

Good to Know

Good to Know

Find all additional information!

This plant may very well be suitable for an outdoor pond, but the temperature of the water should not fall above 10°C or 50°F.

Note that this plant tolerates brackish water (slightly salty) and can be introduced into this kind of aquarium.

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