One of the easiest to care for aquatic plants, Bolbitis Heudolotii has been known to aquarist for a long time and has been a mainstay of this hobby long before the term “aquascaping” was coined. The plants fern shaped leaves are perfect to accent driftwoods on Jungle Style and Nature Style aquascapes. The late, great Takashi Amano often used this plant on his larger designs. Bolbitis may start out as a small plant but will eventually grow to be a giant. It is a slow grower though, so there is still time to enjoy the plant in its smaller form.
This species from Africa is a fern with rhizomes that should not be buried under the substrate at any time. It prefers tied or glue to driftwood or rocks.
This plant is generally considered as a low-tech plant and with all low-tech plants, its light requirements are rather very low. It can thrive in low lit conditions. In the wild Bolbitis Heudolotii can be found in the jungle streams, well shaded on banks and rocks.
CO2 supplementation is a welcome addition but this plant does not really need it. It can hold on its own for as long as it is put under low to medium light but do take note that any plant’s CO2 requirement will gradually increase with the increase of light intensity.
Grow these plants under soft to neutral water with slightly acidic to neutral PH of 6.0 – 7.5. Taking TDS readings is not that important for this plant. It appreciates cool, clean water though so keep Bolbitis in water temperatures of 20-28 degrees Celsius with regular water changes. It could definitely use regulator dosing especially when put under bright lighting conditions.
Planting and Placement
Tie or glue Bolbitis Heudolotii to rock and driftwood for a Jungle Style or Nature style setup. This plant is best placed as a centerpiece plant or an accent normally at the front. Some aquascapes would place Bolbitis at ground level to achieve a more natural looking Jungle floor. Never plant the rhizome on the substrate as this plant would definitely rot.
Bolbitis Heudolotii is a really slow grower taking weeks to grow out one single leaf. Trimming would not be a major issue. It would be best to let the plant grow out and the cut of a portion of the rhizome to be planted somewhere else. Trimming will include cutting individual leaves to thin it out or cut out a small portion of the rhizome for propagation.
Be careful when placing this plant under high light as leaves are prone to algae.