Hottonia palustris (Water violet): Aquarium Background Plants

Hottonia palustris

The Water violet is also referred to as:

  • Featherfoil
  • Hottonia palustris
  • Water primrose

The plant is not only used in the aquarium, but also in ponds.

However, if you decide to cultivate the water feather in your own aquarium, you should do so with caution: The plant has some requirements in the aquarium that must be met in order for it to flourish.

Hottonia palustris (Water violet): Quick facts

Popular names:              Water violet, Featherfoil, Hottonia palustris, Water feather, Water primrose

Mistaken names:            Hottonia inflata

Full botanical name:      Hottónia palústris L.

Level of difficulty:           medium

Use:      Background and Middle ground

Aquascaping:    finely pinnate or fine-leaved, can easily be cut into a bush / branches out well

Growth: fast

pH value: 5 – 7

Temperature tolerance: 4 – 28 ° C

Carbonate hardness: 2 – 14 ° dKH

Total water hardness: 0 – 30 ° dGH

Propagation: Cuttings

Can grow immersed? Yes

Hottonia palustris (Water violet): Habitat

Hottonia palustris is a water plant native to Europe with comb-shaped pinnate, alternate leaves. It is not only suitable for cold water, but also for moderately warm tropical aquariums. 

IMPORTANT! The Water violet is under special legal protection in some parts of Europe and is therefore an endangered species. You should therefore take special care if you decide to use it in your aquarium.

Hottonia palustris
Hottonia palustris

Hottonia palustris (Water violet): Shape and Color

The Hottonia palustris is a delicate plant that should be handled with care.

The water violet forms very decorative light green bushes with pinnate leaves. The shape of the shoot tips is reminiscent of snow crystals which branch out from ice flowers. The leaf structure creates a voluminous optical impression.

Hottonia palustris, the water feather, forms very decorative light green bushes with pinnate leaves. The shape of the shoot tips is reminiscent of snow crystals. 

Between the many small, neatly arranged leaves there is still enough space to offer small aquarium animals hiding places in the aquarium.

Under ideal conditions, the Hottonia palustris can grow very quickly in an aquarium and has the potential to reach 40cm.

Hottonia palustris (Water violet): In the Aquarium

Ideal lighting in the aquarium plays a very important role for Water violets.

For the Hottonia palustris to grow normally,

  • The lighting has to be very intense. It is important to ensure that no other plants in the aquarium obscures the lighting
  • The plant thrives in cold water. It must therefore never be exposed to warm water
Hottonia palustris in the Aquarium

Hottonia palustris (Water violet): Positioning and Propagation

The Water violet if not considered a classic background plant.

The eventual positioning in the aquarium is dependent on the size of the tank

  • In a smaller aquarium it can therefore be placed in the background – provided that there is enough light available for the plant. The Hottonia palustris can also placed in the middle of the aquarium.

You should also consider planting the Water violet in groups. The groups do not necessarily have to be very large, as the leaves of the Hottonia palustris can also contrast nicely with those of other plants in the aquarium.

If kept well, it will branch and can be trimmed to form a pretty tuft.

If you cut off side shoots during this creative intervention, it is advisable not to simply throw them away, but to replant them – after all, it is a certain achievement when you have managed to cultivate the water feather satisfactorily in the aquarium.

Hottonia palustris (Water violet): Maintenance

It should be well lit (at least 0.5 watt / L) and never be in the shade so that the lower parts of the plant do not rot away, and it is grateful for a constant supply of nitrates and phosphates. 

CO 2– Fertilization leads to a vital, strong appearance. 

Hottonia palustris looks good as a bush in the aquarium middle distance.  The bushy, branched growth of the sloping stems can be promoted by pruning. 

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