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Phyllanthus fluitans (Red Root Floaters)

Phyllanthus fluitans (Red Root Floaters)

SKU: 00296

Phyllanthus fluitans (Red Root Floaters, RRFs)


Widely considered to be one of the most beautiful floaters for an aquarium, Phyllanthus fluitans, also known as “Red Root Floaters” are beautiful plants from South America that will add a splash of color to your aquascape without needing much care.


They thrive in almost any aquarium and have few special requirements.


They love nutrient rich water and (like all floating plants), act as living filters that remove harmful substrances from the water such as fish waste and heavy metals which makes your tank a healthier home for your animals and dramatically reduce the need for frequent water changes. 


Red Root Floaters can be fast growing and will compete with algae for nutrients as well as light. As such, they are a fantastic, natural way to reduce algae in your aquarium. If you have high nutrient loads in your tank, these plants will grow very quickly. You can remove some occasionally if you do not want them to cover the surface of your aquarium or use one of our handy floating rings to keep them all in one place.


Named for the striking color of their roots, Red Root Floaters develop beautiful, dense networks of suspended roots that are very useful for shyer inhabitants, fry or shrimplets. The large root networks provide shelter from bullies and are a natural micro-habitat for various plankton that fry and baby shrimp happily feed on.


P. fluitans thrive in a wide range of water conditions and do not require CO2 or high lighting though good lighting will enhance their red coloration. 


They are reported to grow best when there is minimal surface agitation so if you have a strong canister filter, we suggest using a Lily or Violet pipe rather than a Poppy. The ideal outflow would be a Spin type. If you are already using a Poppy pipe outflow, just set it lower in the water to reduce surface agitation.


Red Root Floaters are frequently referred to as a “floating ferns”. We don't know where that comes from or why it is so common but it's incorrect. They are a flowering plant (angiosperm) and will produce small but quite obvious white flowers in the aquarium. 




Difficulty: Very Easy

Type: Floating Flowering Plant (angiosperm) 

Size: Individual plants rarely exceed 2cm or 1”

Position and Usage: Floating plant with beautiful red coloration. Naturally cleans your water. Suspended root networks can be substantial and provide a much appreciated refuge for smaller fish and shrimp. 

Growth rate: Moderate to Fast

Lighting: 2/5 – 5/5

Water Conditions: 15 – 30°C; pH of 6.0 – 8.4; Tolerant of a wide variety of pH and hardness levels

CO2: Not required

Special requirements: Loves nutrient rich water. Higher lighting makes them redder. Grows better when there is less surface agitation

Propagation: New plantlets form from the mother plant and break off when they are large enough.

Notes: NOT a fern (as commonly referred to) - these are angiosperms (flowering plants) and will produce small white flowers.

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