The Najas conferta may be a little less well-known than the widespread hornwort – but these two plants have some similar properties:
Both plants can be used as background, but also as floating plants
They both grow very quickly and also help maintain the ecological balance of the tank
The Najas conferta also a fairly undemanding plant that is perfect for beginners.
The genus Najas belongs to the frog-bite family (Hydrocharitaceae). So these plants are related to waterweed and Vallisneria. There are around 50 species worldwide
Najas conferta: Quick facts
Synonyms: Najas arguta
Origin: Central and South America (Panama, Bolivia, Peru, Brazil, Ecuador, Costa Rica)
Visual: The Najas conferta is quite brittle. The stiff stems are round and up to 60 cm long.
Temperature: 20-28 ° C
pH value: 6.0 -7.5
Water Hardness: 1-10 ° KH
Light: medium to much
Difficulty: The culture is not difficult. The brittle plant does not tolerate currents. If there is insufficient light, growth slows.
Other: The Najas conferta is very hard to source commercially and it normally shared among enthusiasts. The plants should also produce flowers and fruits in the aquarium.
Najas conferta: Characteristics
- They are herbaceous aquatic plants that grow in fresh or brackish water.
- The stems are thin and branched.
- Roots form on the lower leaf nodes.
- The leaf blades are linear with only one leaf nerve. Sometimes the median nerve is prickly on the underside of the leaf.
- The leaf margins are serrated to finely serrated with 5 to 100 teeth on each side. There are also 1 to 3 teeth on the tip of the leaf.
- They branch out at almost every leaf node. The leaves are sessile, linear, about 1.5 to 2.5 cm long and about 0.5 to 1 mm wide.
- About 10-20 coarse teeth are arranged irregularly on both leaf edges. At the base of the leaf is a small, approximately 2 x 3 mm, brownish leaf sheath. The leaf sheath has 6 to 8 teeth.
- The plants are monoecious with small unisexual flowers. The male flowers are about 2 mm in size, with a stamen and spathe. Dust bag with 2 compartments.
- The female flower is about 3 mm large with an ovary and spathe
- The seeds are ellipsoidal to spindle-shaped and 2.0-3.1 mm long and about 0.6 mm in diameter
Najas conferta: Special flowers
- The flowers form in the leaf axils.
- The bracts of the inflorescences are transparent, bronze, light green to reddish.
- Flower envelopes are mainly found in male flowers, but often absent in female flowers.
- The inflorescence stalk of the male flowers is short, elongates somewhat when pollen is ripe, and pushes the anthers through the inflorescence.
- The anthers are sessile (without a stem) and have 1 to 4 chambers. The female flowers are sessile. The ovary is simple with a basal egg attachment. The scar is terminal with 2 to 4 branches. The fruits burst when the ovary wall rots.
- The wall is very delicate and encloses the seeds very tightly (achenes). The seeds are spindle-shaped to ovoid.
- The tip is sometimes asymmetrical or bent back.
- The seed seam (raphe) is at the base.
- The seed coat (testa) is 3 or 10 to 15 cell layers thick, hard and brittle.
- The areoles (small tissue gaps or pits) are formed by the two outer cell walls of the seed coat.
- They are arranged irregularly or in 15 to 60 longitudinal rows.
- The end walls are usually slightly raised.
Najas conferta: Pollination under water
- In the case of the Najas species, pollination takes place in the water.
- The peduncle elongates very quickly within 3 to 5 hours and bends so that the anthers are not in the leaf axils, but on the opposite side.
- This improves the spread of the pollen with the water flow because it cannot stick to the leaves near the anthers.
Najas conferta: Maintenance
Pruning the plant consists of the main task in order to keep the plant in check.
If handled too roughly, parts of the plant can break off – and this often does not necessarily happen at the point where the aquarist really wanted to thin out the plant.
Regularly thinning out the Najas conferta can cause a little work, but the aquarist is usually not unrewarded for this. Fast-growing plants often mean that pollutants and algae have less of a chance in an aquarium – this is also the case with Najas conferta.
Najas conferta: As a background or floating plant
As a floating plant
Najas conferta can, like hornwort, simply be used as a floating plant.
The plant is then simply put into the aquarium, but can of course still move around a little. You should be careful if you want to combine Najas conferta as a floating plant and light-hungry plants on the substrate in an aquarium.
In this case, it cannot be ruled out that the Najas conferta will limit the amount of light entering the aquarium too much, at least over time, and that the soil plants will suffer accordingly.
As a background plant
If you want to add more structure to your aquarium and do not want to reduce the incidence of light too much, but at the same time do not want to do without the Najas conferta, simply use the plant as a background plant.
For this purpose, the Najas conferta is carefully planted in the back area of the aquarium, whereby it is essential to ensure that the tender roots are not damaged.
Every now and then there can be problems with the hold after planting. This is due to the fact that the roots of the Najas conferta are not very pronounced.
The aquarist should therefore check from time to time whether the plants are still firmly anchored if he wants to avoid the entire emergence of the Najas conferta.