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Azolla Filiculoides

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I got some of this native, floating, nitrogen-fixing waterfern at an ANGFA meeting, it's interesting stuff.

Here it is in more shade


Or in fuller, too much?, sun.


The roots are not 'hairy', a characteristic of Azolla pinnata, but they are quite slimy and clump together. If a piece of azolla gets pushed under the surface, it gets trapped in the roots. Would make a great fry haven!


This tub has a very different growth pattern, azolla from the same bag, but initially stocked at less density, maybe gets a little less light.


There were a couple of bags at the last SKG raffle, and will be some at the April meeting too.

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I have never had any luck growing azolla indoors, but love the look of it. I think I'll try and get my hands on some at the SKG April meeting and put it in buckets outside til I can get some water features outside going (once we finally landscape).

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This is actually what I was thinking, but then the same plant grew differently in two different tubs, so I wasn't sure how much stock to put in growth pattern, but you're right, it didn't all seem to be growing like pictures I had seen of filiculoides. But it doesn't have the same hairy roots that pinnata is supposed to have. At least I don't think so.

I will look into it :lol:

...Just looking at your pics, the pinnata has clearly hairy roots which mine doesn't appear to. And the growth pattern of the two as shown in the link you gave appears quite similar, given how much mine varies under slightly different lighting, certainly from leaves alone mine -could- be either.

... on revision I do think the leaves of mine look more like pinnata, triangular, as opposed to filiculoides, 'lobed'. But the diagnostic I was given was the hairy roots, along with the open pattern of growth. I will look again tmw for any hairy roots, as is clearly visible in your pic, on mature fernlets :) I was definitely given it as filiculoides by an ANGFA member, and another confirmed the ID.

Thanks for bringing this to my attention Bender!

Edited by killimike
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I have azolla in my garden pond, so a bit of algae grows on the roots too. The goldfish fry do love it, and I regularly bring some in and put in the betta tank, and they love hiding in it too, and the mystery snails love to munch on it. Even if I cover the surface of the tank in it, it will be mostly gone in a day or two.

The bettas like to hunt the occasional goldfish fry which are accidentally brought in with it too..

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