Ammannia gracilis is a very attractive and popular aquarium plant among aquarium enthusiasts due to its brilliant colouration, hardiness and relatively less troublesome growing requirements. It is also known as Red Ammannia, Large Ammannia, Delicate Ammania and Pink Ammannia.
It is native to West Africa where it is found in floodplains, marshes, streams and riverbanks. In nature, it prefers to grow with very powerful shoots in sandy soils with minimum nutrients. It is a palustris plant and it can grow in both emerged and submerged conditions. In submerged condition, the leaves are elongated and narrow with red and brown in colour while in emerged condition, the leaves become shorter, round and dark olive green in colour.
Ammania gracilis has a bare, fleshy and erect stem that extends up to 60 cm in length. The stem bears narrow and wavy leaves which are arranged in opposite direction. The leaves which grow over water surface are linear or back-ovate shape with olive green in colour while the underwater leaves have a lanceolate shape.
The colour of the leaves varies from pale green to a bronzy red. These colour variation mainly depends on the light intensity and nutrients. The length of the water surface leaf is 2 – 6 cm and width is 1 – 1.8 cm and the length of the underwater leaf is 7 – 1 cm and the width is 0.7 – 1.8 cm.
The Colour of the upper part of the leaf can vary from olive green to brownish-red while the lower side has a purple colour. The immerse plants produce inconspicuous flowers on the leaf axis. Inflorescence of the plant has 6 – 7 flowers of pale lilac colour. Fruit bears rounded seeds, which has a two-nested spherical shape.
Ammania gracilis is most suited to the mid-ground to background position of the aquarium. It can add a brilliant splash of colour to any layout. It is a deciduous herbaceous plant with flexuous branches that reach 35 – 40 cm in height, with flexed, rooted and branched prostrate stem at the base.
To keep Ammania gracilis, at least 100 liters aquarium is required. For bushier plant, you should cut the stem in the middle position when the top reaches the surface. Each stem should be planted in the individual hole. Plants should be planted in the middle of the tank.
Ammania gracilis is a very popular aquarium plant. It provides sufficient shelter for your aquarium inhabitants and also adds a brilliant splash of colour to your aquarium.