How to Care for a Dwarf Aquarium Lily
Wish you could put lily pads in 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. Its bulb is a compact bush with 4-inch, arrow-shaped green leaves. Then it eventually grows long stems of lily pads floating at the water’s surface. The dwarf lily is a different kind of green aquarium plant. It has unique textures and interesting colors that range from pinkish-green to reddish-bronze.
How do you plant a dwarf aquarium lily?
Aquarium Co-Op will ship a single dwarf aquarium lily bulbs in a protective peat moss package. (Our bulbs do not come with leaves or roots because they often get damaged or melt after being planted.) Give the bulb a quick rinse in warm water to remove any dirt. 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 might float initially, but eventually they will sink when they are sufficiently waterlogged.
After the bulb starts to sprout leaves, gently place it in the substrate. This prevents the bulb from being moved around by your fish or the water current. Once roots are rooted into the ground, they will anchor the plant.
Once the lily is sprouted, gently push the bulb into a substrate.
How long does it take for aquarium plant bulbs to grow? If you see no growth after one to three weeks, try turning the bulb over and give it another one to three weeks to sprout. Plant bulbs actually have a top and bottom side, but we cannot see it until it starts growing leaves up toward the surface and roots down toward the substrate.
Why are the bulbs becoming moldy or covered with a fuzzy growth? Organic objects, such as plant bulbs or driftwood, can often develop biofilm from harmless bacteria and microorganisms when placed underwater. 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. As long as the bulb is firm to the touch and eventually starts sprouting, the biofilm is not dangerous to the lily and doesn’t 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. If you purchased your dwarf lily from Aquarium Co-Op, please email our Customer Service with your order number and pictures of the bulb, and we’ll be happy to refund or replace the plant. 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 can you take care of a dwarf lily
The hardy plant can withstand extreme tropical temperatures of 72-82°F (22-28°C). 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.
Remove some, but not all, of the lily pads that cover the entire water surface.
Can you Propagate a Dwarf Water Lily
If your dwarf aquarium lily grows well and is eating well, it might start to produce little shoots that have daughter plants attached. Simply cut off the side shoots and replant them in a desired location in your fish tank. If your plant isn’t thriving, you may be experiencing a nutrient shortage. To help you diagnose the problem, take a look to our article about plant nutrients.