African Or Congo Fern


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Aug 10, 2005
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Miami, FL
Common Name(s) - Congo or African fern

Scientific name - Bolbitis heudelotii

Family: Lomariopsidaceae

Geographic origin - Africa

Type (stem, bulb, rhizome, floating, etc.) - Rhizome

Max. size (height, width) - Up to 50cm (20 inches)

Lighting required - low-moderate, but adaptable

Temperature - 22-28 degree C

Water chemistry requirements (pH, hardness) - An undemanding species that will grow in a variety of habitats

Growth rates - slow

Demands - Appreciates an aquarium with a strong current. Grows much faster with CO2 injection.

Additional info - This is one of the loveliest ferns available in the trade. It is listed as a slow grower, but my plants have grown at a pretty rapid rate. I started with 2-inch plants and now they are over 10 inches tall and have spread to about that width too. Not great for smaller tanks, as it needs quite a bit of room for its large, showy, dark-green leaves. It bears a striking resemblance to terrestrial ferns and can be grown emmersed. Bolbitis can be propogated by simply cutting the rhizome. It attaches firmly to wood, and grows best when placed under the filter output current. It forms an attractive display and is best used as a backdrop in lower light tanks or as a centerpiece.


Full plant shot in a 20g. This specimen was 10"x12" at it largest after 9 months of growth. It was divided in half in March, 2007.

A detailed shot of the leaf shape of Bolbitis.

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