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Synonyms: Egleria fluctuans
Hardiness: Difficult
Light Needs: High
Plant Structure: Stem
Family: Cyperaceae
Genus: Eleocharis
Region: Central/South America
Location: Brazil, Venezuela
Size: Stem width: 6-9cm (2-3
Growth Rate: Fast
Can Be Grown Emersed: No


Eleocharis fluctuans is an elegant plant with a reddish brown stem and delicate olive green leaves. Hailing from South America, namely Brazil and Venezuala, it grows as a floating mass of stems not unlike a Najas species. This plant is still very rare in the hobby and is only available through trading with other hobbyists.

Floating plants in the hobby are typically thought of as easier to grow than most. However, the extremely fine leaves of this plant require strong lighting and a good fertilization routine to really flourish well in the home aquarium. The addition of carbon dioxide will also greatly enhance its growth. Also, it is similar to Tonina and Eriocaulon species in its need for soft and acidic water. A KH reading of 3 degrees or lower and a pH of 6.5 or lower will result in healthier and faster growth. If grown in water that is too hard or basic, it can begin to blacken and growth is greatly inhibited.

Eleocharis fluctuans, while a floating plant will root in the substrate if planted. To propagate, simply top the stems and replant the tops next to the bottoms. Leave the bottoms in the substrate as these will form new side shoots and create an appealing bush effect. Care must be taken when trimming Eleocharis fluctuans as it is very brittle and will break off under the slightest force.

This particular species lends itself well to the wild Nature Aquarium style often achieved using Eleocharis vivapara. Having a nice almost messy looking backround of E. fluctuans accompanied by a neatly trimmed foreground lawn makes for an excellent contrasting aquascape.

Photo #1: US and International Copyright 2004 by SuperCTW All Rights Reserved.