How to Care for a Dwarf Aquarium Lily
You’ve always wanted to put lily pads into your aquarium. Nymphaea Stellata, also known as the dwarf aquarium lily, is a great option. This easy-to-grow, beautiful species is from India and Southeast Asia. It’s often used as a background or midground plant. The bulb produces a bush with 4-inch, arrow-shaped leaves. Later, the lily pad grows long stems that float on the water surface. Dwarf lily offers a unique texture and interesting color palette, which is different from your average green aquarium plant.
How can you plant a dwarf aquarium Lily?
Aquarium Co-Op will send you a small aquarium lily bulb in a sealed package. The peat moss protects it from shipping. (Our bulbs do not come with leaves or roots because they often get damaged or melt after being planted.) To clean any dirt or debris, take the bulb out and rinse it in some water. Place the bulb on top of the gravel or substrate in your fish tank without burying it or else the bulb may rot. Some bulbs may initially float, but they eventually sink once they have become too waterlogged.
Once the bulb begins sprouting leaves, you can gently tuck it into the substrate so that only a third or half of the bulb is buried. This prevents the bulb from being moved around by your fish or the water current. Once the roots grow into the ground, they will firmly anchor the plant in place.
Once the lily is sprouted, gently push the bulb into a substrate.
How much time does it take for aquarium plants bulbs to grow. Turn the bulb over and wait one to three more weeks. The top and bottom sides of plant bulbs are visible, but it is not possible to see until it begins growing leaves upwards and roots towards the substrate.
What causes the bulb to become moldy? If organic objects such as driftwood and plant bulbs are submerged, they can develop a biofilm of microorganisms and harmless bacteria. It could look like white mold or fluffy fungus is covering the bulb. If you have algae eaters, shrimp, or snails in your aquarium, they will often consume this fuzzy layer for you. The biofilm doesn’t pose a danger to the lily as long as it isn’t able to spread to other plants.
Why is my aquarium lily bulb not sprouting? If the above instructions are followed without sprouting, or the bulb feels mushy and emits an unpleasant odor, it is most likely a failure. In our experience, we find that less than 5% of bulbs fail to revive, but if this happens to you, the next step would be to contact the fish store or plant seller where you got the plant from. Aquarium Co-Op will gladly refund or replace your dwarf lily if you email us with the order number and photos of the bulb. Dwarf aquarium lilies are one of our favorite beginner plants, and we want to make sure you’re successful with them.
Most lilies grow quickly when they are submerged in water. They produce many leaves from one point on the bulb.
How do you care for a dwarf lily?
This tough plant can thrive in tropical temperatures between 72-82degF (22 to 28 degC). It doesn’t require CO2 injection and can live in aquariums with low to high lighting. Once it starts sending lily pads to the top, you may need to prune a few of the surface leaves so that they won’t block light from reaching the other plants in the fish tank.
Dwarf aquarium lilies, like most live aquatic plants, are great for consuming organic waste compounds and improving overall water quality for your fish. Lilies will grow very quickly once they are established in your tank. You may need to supplement their growth with liquid fertilizers or root tabs.
Trim the lily pads, but not all of them, if they cover the entire surface.
Is it possible to propagate a dwarf water lily?
When your dwarf aquarium lily is feeding and growing well, it may begin to send out little shoots with daughter plants attached to them. Simply cut off the side shoots and replant them in a desired location in your fish tank. You may have a problem with your plant’s growth. Take a look at our article on plant nutrients to find out how you can fix it.