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Amazon Frogbit Freshwater Aquarium Plant Care Guide

Amazon Frogbit Freshwater Aquarium Plant Care Guide

Amazon Frogbit, scientifically known as Limnobium laevigatum is a fascinating floating plant known for its lush foliage and ease of care in freshwater aquariums. This aquatic gem brings a touch of the Amazon’s rich biodiversity right to your home aquarium.

It not only enhances the visual appeal of your tank but also plays a vital role in creating a balanced and thriving underwater environment. Let’s delve into the characteristics, care, and considerations that make this plant an excellent choice.

Key Takeaways

  • Amazon Frogbit is a floating plant that cleans your aquarium water by soaking up extra nutrients. This stops too much algae growth.
  • Keep the leaves dry and have enough light for the frogbit, or the leaves might rot or turn yellow.
  • This plant provides shade and protection for fish, which makes them feel safe in your tank.
  • Remove extra Frogbit plants often so they don’t crowd each other and block light to lower plants.
  • Snails and shrimp are good friends with Amazon Frogbit because they clean the algae off its roots.

Amazon Frogbit Native Habitat & Origin

  • Common name: Amazon Frogbit
  • Scientific name: Limnobium laevigatum
  • Native to: Central & South America
  • Care level: Easy
  • Growth Rate: Moderate to fast
  • Maximum size: 20 Inches (50 centimeters)
  • Water temperature: 64 – 80°F (18 – 26°C)
  • Water pH level: 6.0 – 7.5
  • Water hardness: 0-12°GH
  • Lighting: Medium to high
  • Minimum Tank Size: 20 gallons
  • Tank placement: Floating
  • Co2 requirement: None

Amazon Frogbit comes from Central and South America. It likes to grow in slow-moving rivers, lakes, and ponds where it can float on the water’s surface. Since a scientist found it in 1814, this aquatic plant has traveled far from home.

Now you can find Amazon Frogbit in places like Australia, Africa, and North America too. But there’s a problem – it grows so well that in these new places, it takes over spaces where local plants used to live.

People call this kind of plant an invasive species because it moves into areas and spreads quickly, making it tough for other plants and animals.

Amazon Frogbit Appearance

Amazon Frogbit has bright green leaves that are smooth and clear of any marks. These round leaves float on the water’s surface, making them look like a small water lily pad. The plant also shows off long, fuzzy roots that stretch out under the water with tiny hairs trailing off them.

These roots can grab onto things in the aquarium.

Looking at Amazon Frogbit you might notice tiny white flowers floating among the leaves. Each flower is either male or female, which means they have separate boy and girl flowers.

They bloom to create new plants, adding beauty to this popular floating aquatic plant.

Size & Growth Rate

In a home aquarium, this plant can grow up to 20 inches (50cm), with leaves ranging from 0.5 to 3 inches (1 – 7cm), spreading across the water surface and potentially causing oxygen depletion.

Bright green leaves sit on top of the water while fuzzy roots hang down below. These roots can grow up to 12 inches (30cm). To help Amazon Frogbit thrive, make sure they have moderate to high lighting but don’t worry about adding CO2.

This plant grows fast when it has lots of light and the right food. It spreads out by breaking off parts of its stem, which then grow into new plants.

You’ll want a tank that holds at least 20 gallons to give these plants space to spread out.

Amazon Frogbit Care

Ensuring your Amazon Frogbit thrives involves creating a balanced ecosystem within your aquarium that mimics its natural habitat. Mastering the art of cultivating this floating plant means paying close attention to water quality, light exposure, and nutrient balance.

Water Parameters

Amazon frogbit does best in warm water that is not too hard. Keep the temperature between 64 and 80°F (18 – 26°C), the pH should be a bit acidic to neutral, from 6.0 to 7.5 with a water hardness between 0 – 12 dGH.

These plants like still or slow-moving water, so a gentle filter works well. Make sure the top of your tank is open so the leaves can float freely on the surface without getting wet.

Lighting Requirements

Good light keeps Amazon Frogbit healthy but it doesn’t need super bright lights. An ordinary aquarium light will do just fine for this plant’s needs. If you see that it’s growing slowly, you might want to add some liquid fertilizer to feed it more nutrients.

Remember not to let the leaves go underwater when you put them in your tank; they could rot if they get soaked.

Nutrient Requirements

This plant gets its food from the water it floats in and thrives with ample nutrients. Adding liquid fertilizer enhances its growth, providing extra nourishment for robust and healthy development.

How To Propagate Amazon Frogbit

Planting and making more of the Amazon Frogbit is simple. You can help it grow well in your aquarium with just a few steps.

  1. Pick healthy plants: Choose a healthy plant with bright green leaves and strong roots for the best start.
  2. Float them on water: Gently place the plants on the surface of your aquarium’s water. Make sure not to push them underwater.
  3. Avoid wet leaves: Keep the tops of the plants dry. Wet leaves might rot, which can harm or kill the plant.
  4. Provide enough light: Place your tank where it can get lots of light, but not direct sunlight which could be too much for the Frogbit.
  5. Check water conditions: Keep the water clean and at the right temperature and pH level for this plant to thrive.
  6. Use nutrients wisely: Add liquid fertilizers carefully to feed your Amazon Frogbit without overdoing it.
  7. Allow space to grow: Make sure there’s enough room for each plant so they don’t crowd each other out.
  8. Control growth if needed: If you have too many plants, take some out to stop overcrowding.
  1. Look for new shoots: These small offshoots will form naturally as the plant grows.
  2. Let them attach: Wait until these baby plants develop their own roots before moving them.
  3. Separate gently: Once they’re ready, you can softly pull apart these shoots from the mother plant.
  4. Spread out new Frogbits: Float these new babies on top of the water in different parts of your tank or share with friends.

Benefits of Amazon Frogbit

The Amazon Frogbit aquarium plant offers several benefits to aquarium enthusiasts. Its lush, floating foliage provides natural shade, creating a comfortable environment for aquatic tank mates. Additionally, the plant helps in oxygenating the water and absorbing excess nutrients, contributing to a balanced ecosystem.

Natural Filtration

Frogbit works like a little cleaning crew in your fish tank. It sucks up extra stuff the water doesn’t need, like nitrates and waste from fish. Think of it as a sponge that soaks up all the things in the water that could make algae grow too much.

By taking away these nutrients, it keeps your tank water clean and clear without needing lots of gadgets or chemicals.

This plant also makes a thin shield on top of the water with its leaves. This helps to slow down how fast algae can take over by blocking some sunlight. The roots hang down into the water and grab onto bad things there, helping even more with keeping everything tidy for your underwater friends.


Amazon Frogbit helps water in your aquarium stay fresh with oxygen. It uses its leaves on the surface to take in carbon dioxide from the air. Then, it sends out oxygen into the water below.

This green friend floats and works like a little oxygen factory for your underwater buddies. It makes sure there’s always enough air for fish to gulp down through their gills. Shrimp also get peppy when the water has plenty of bubbles from plants like this one.

Shade And Cover For Fish

Frogbit floats on the surface of the water, making a cozy shelter for fish. This plant can grow thick and hide the water below. Fish love to swim under frogbit’s leaves where they get enjoyment as they play and forage for food.

The leafy cover also lets shy fish stay hidden when they want to be alone. Plus, small baby fish (fry) find great spots to hide from bigger ones under these green umbrellas!

Compatible Tank Mates for Amazon Frogbit

It’s essential to choose fish species that appreciate the floating habitat without nibbling excessively on the delicate leaves. This plant can coexist with a variety of freshwater fish, snails, and other aquatic plants.

Tetras, Gouramis, Clownfish, and Betta Fish love living with Amazon Frogbit. They feel safe under the floating leaves and play around the trailing roots. These fish enjoy gentle water currents that the Frogbit’s roots help create.

Ramshorn snails, Nerite snails, Malaysian Trumpet snails, and Mystery snails love to hang out among the roots of the plant where they find food and shelter.

Amazon Frogbit gets along well with plants that enjoy low-light conditions. Since it floats on the water’s surface, it doesn’t fight for space or nutrients with plants rooted in the substrate. Some good options are Java Moss, Anubias, and Vallisneria.

Be sure there is enough room for both the floating Frogbit and submerged plants to get light.

Some aquatic plants like lots of sunshine and may not do as well under the thick cover of Frogbit leaves. To keep everyone happy, you might need to manage how much Amazon Frogbit you have so that all your plants can thrive together.

What To Look for When Buying Amazon Frogbit

When selecting a healthy plant for your aquarium, follow these guidelines to ensure a thriving addition

  • Choose frogbit with bright green leaves and long healthy roots. This means they get enough light and nutrients.
  • Leaves should be whole, without tears or holes. Damaged leaves could mean pests or disease.
  • Make sure the leaves lie flat on the water’s surface and don’t curl up at the edges. Curled leaves may show poor health.
  • Check that there are no signs of yellowing on any part of the plant. Yellowing can indicate that it lacks proper care or nutrition.
  • Inspect for pests like tiny snails or insects under the leaves before you buy. You don’t want these critters in your tank.
  • Smell the frogbit to ensure it doesn’t have a bad odor, which could mean rotting parts not easily seen.
  • Ask if the shop has grown these plants in conditions similar to your aquarium so they won’t need big adjustments later.

Common Issues

While this plant is resilient and a beneficial addition to freshwater aquariums, it’s not without its challenges. Keep an eye out for certain problems that can arise, from density dilemmas to potential pests. 

Overcrowding & Competition

Amazon Frogbit loves to spread out in aquariums. But if there are too many plants, they can fight for space and light. This tangle makes it hard for the roots of each plant to get what they need.

The leaves on top may block light from reaching the bottom ones, which isn’t good for their health.

Care is needed to keep it from taking over your tank. Without enough room, these plants can struggle and even hurt other life in your aquarium. Make sure you control how much it grows by removing extra plants often.

Wilting & Yellowing

Wilting and yellowing may happen if your plant doesn’t get enough light. It loves bright light to stay healthy and green. If the leaves start turning yellow or droop down, it might be time to move them closer to a light or use a stronger bulb.

Make sure you keep the leaves dry too. When placing Amazon frogbit in your tank, don’t let their leaves go underwater. Wet leaves can rot and cause wilting. If yellowing goes on, try giving them liquid fertilizer so they have all the nutrients they need to grow well.

Pest & Algae Growth

Little bugs like snails may find their way onto your plants. They can eat the leaves or lay eggs on them, causing damage.

Algae also might grow on your frogbit if there is too much light or nutrients in the water.

You can stop pests by thoroughly inspecting new plants and placing them in a quarantine tank before introducing them to your tank. This will ensure they don’t bring any unwanted guests with them. 

To keep algae away, balance the amount of light and food in your aquarium. This will help make sure that algae won’t cover the floating frogbit leaves and block out sunlight.

Wrapping Up

Amazon Frogbit stands as an exquisite addition to your aquarium, offering not only aesthetic charm but also contributing to a balanced ecosystem. With its unique floating nature, this plant creates a captivating underwater landscape

Adding this charming plant doesn’t just make your tank look better; it also helps keep the water clean and creates a cozy space for your aquatic buddies to hide and thrive.

I’m Elle, the founder of FishHQ. I created this website to share knowledge, tips, and inspiration for beginner hobbyists to help them create a healthy, happy, and vibrant environment for their fish to thrive. Read more...