Bolbitis difformis easy aquarium plantBolbitis difformis is a mini aquatic fern that grows perfectly in an aquarium. This miniature fern originated from Western Africa.

It doesn’t grow more than a few inches and gives off a grass carpet-like look, making Bolbitis difformis aquarium plant a great addition to your home design.

Being a deep-water fern, the plant likes to be in the high humidity and moisture to accumulate. It has small fronds that give it a herb-like character. You can grow this miniature plant in any terrarium or aquarium — these are its best places to thrive.

Bolbitis difformis takes time to mature and get bigger. Moreover, this plant grows the best as a terrestrial plant when given moist and warm habitat. Curiously, it is also known as Baby Leaf, Mini Bolbitis, and Bolbitis Davallia and it is a rare breed.

Another innate thing of this plant is, it fixes its roots to the hardscape and appears to be like a grass mat. For this reason, you can grow Bolbitis difformis along with shrimp or beta fish in the aquarium.

Bolbitis Difformis: Specs

Mini Bolbitis is one of our most favorite aquatic plants that not only increases the beauty of the aquarium but also requires minimal care. It can thrive its best in the 75G tank and can give off a forest-like aesthetic to the aquarium.

The plant has fern leaves whose color varies from light to dark green and its shape is intricately designed. The leaves of this plant are lengthy and flowy, which makes them look pleasing and forest-like.

The plant is slow-growing but its length can go up to 16-18 inches when cared for right. You may need to wait a bit to reach this length.

Plant Type Epiphyte, Fern
Light Low to Medium
CO2 Suggested
Position Attache to Hardscape
Growth Rate Slow
Leaf Size Varies
Temperature 65-80 F
Water Regular

With that said, let’s hop on to the next part: taking care of Bolbitis difformis.

Bolbitis Difformis Care

The plant is easy to look after. You can keep it at your home and grow it without any hassle. And in return, it can give off a pretty look to your tank.

Bolbitis difformis can do well as long as the water is clean in the tank as the plant requires a healthy environment to grow. This plant doesn’t prefer to be in brackish or salty water and its health may suffer in such water. Thus, make sure you’re offering clean water to your plant.

Further, you can provide fertilizer to the plant after its initial planting for better health. Read ahead to find out some useful tips!

– Tips for Fertilizing Your Bolbitis Difformis

We suggest using an equalized liquid fertilizer once a week. With fertilizer, do not forget to infuse CO2 in water as Bolbitis difformis prefers to have this gas.

We don’t recommend providing fertilizer regularly in low-profile tanks as there will be enough fish waste that can offer nutrients to the plant. Furthermore, we recommend offering a 68-80 F temperature to the plant.

Moreover, the rhizome of the plant must be attached to the hardscape or else, the plant will rot. To avoid that, ensure the plant is placed on top of the hardscape. This plant will thrive in such conditions, and make sure that the water you are providing to it is slightly acidic.

– How To Make Bolbitis Difformis Thrive

Bolbitis difformis grow and careThis plant is not difficult to care for. However, it can be susceptible when it comes to water conditions. Thus, make sure you are offering the preferable water conditions to this plant.

Remember that Bolbitis desires to be positioned in rooms of an aquarium that have increased flow rates. Plus, placing Bolbitis difformis near to water flow can prevent algae formation on its leaves.

Note that this plant is not innate to adapting to abrupt changes. That can cause it to rot and die. Furthermore, we highly contradict placing them with tank mates that are plant-picking. The leaves of the Bolbitis difformis are delicate and do not last long.

Whenever you see the dead leaves on this plant, make sure you remove or trim them from the rhizome.

Planting Guide: How To Plant Bolbitis Difformis

This plant comes from West Africa, a region that has beautiful ferns that grow tall and wide. When it comes to planting Bolbitis difformis, we suggest not covering its rhizome. You can keep its rhizome on top of the surface, be it a plank of wood or stone. Moreover, keep the plant in a position aligning the fishing line until it gains a proper hold. That is.

Other Factors To Care About

– Lighting

As mentioned earlier, Bolbitis difformis doesn’t need a lot of light to thrive. Direct sunlight can rapidly get out of its beautiful small leaves. You can offer this plant medium to low light, and they can grow their best.

– Watering

Bolbitis difformis being an aquarium plant, it needs to be in the water for its best growth, but constant saturation is not required. The fun fact is this plant doesn’t like to be partially submerged in water. Like most of the other plants, the plants can grow in moist environments.

– Substrate

Bolbitis difformis is a versatile plant, but when it comes to the environment, the plant can get a little fussy. However, it goes well when planted terrestrially.

The substrate of the plant should be something that absorbs plenty of water so the plant can absorb it. This will offer good drainage and the best growth. The rhizome is vulnerable to rot if immersed in water for a lengthy duration of time.

– Temperature & Humidity

The plant needs high humidity and a big temperature to grow the best in an aquarium. Make sure you are offering an environment similar to the tropical islands of the Philippines.

– Growth

As a dwarf variety, Bolbitis heteroclita ‘Difformis‘ grows very slowly and won’t grow taller than 4 inches.  It tends to grow wide rather than tall, making it a perfect carpeting plant for smaller terrariums.

– Propagation

You can quickly propagate the plant by chopping the horizontal rhizome, or you can cut off the daughter plants.

Quick Cue: Bolbitis difformis is a dwarf version of the family of aquatic ferns.

– Common Problems

The common problem with this plant is that people often treat this plant incorrectly. Considering them aquatic plants, they either place them in a pool of water submerging them completely, or simply water them excessively. However, in a terrarium, the plant should never be placed in stagnant water, or it will rot.

Bolbitis Difformis: Frequently Asked Questions

Following are some FAQs related to Bolbitis difformis. Read on to know more.

1. What’s the Growth Rate of Bolbitis Difformis?

The plant takes up to 2 months to grow as an adult. The fern can rise 6 to 8 inches wide and 16 inches tall. Moreover, the growth rate of this plant is very slow.

2. How Do I Plant the Bolbitis Difformis in an Aquarium?

The only thing that you need to care about while planting is: make sure the rhizome is placed on top of the hardscape and not covered with anything, or else it will rot.

3. What Tank Mates Should Be Kept in an Aquarium?

The tank mates can be any except those that eat on Bolbitis difformis. Or the plant will be eaten up and rot.

4. How Do I Propagate This plant?

You can cut the plants’ daughters, and it will be propagated. It’s that easy.


A lot of information has been provided about Bolbitis Difformis in this post. You must have discovered much about the plant, correct? Your next step must be bringing this small plant to your home!

Therefore, we are putting forward some key takeaways below so you can remember them at your fingertips and provide your new pet plant with the best of its requirements. Read on:

  • Bolbitis difformis aquarium plantMake sure the tank water is not brackish or salty for the Bolbitis difformis.
  • Keep Bolbitis difformis with no other mate that eats plants.
  • Offer clean water to the plant.
  • Provide CO2 to the plant for better growth.
  • Keep the lighting of the tank up to normal or moderate.
  • Keep the plant near to the water flow so no algae form over it.
  • The plant must be placed over the landscape to prevent its rhizome from dying.
  • Furnish the tank with a large number of rocks and stone and do not cover the rhizome because covering it may cause the death of the plant.
  • Provide high humidity and high temperature to the plant.

With that said, we are bringing this post to an end with the hope that you’ll take care of your plant with complete devotion and offer good supervision. Know that this plant is a bit sensitive to the overflow of water and requires extra water management.

Make sure you offer the amount of water that is required by the plant and you’re good to grow healthy plants. If you have got any queries, feel free to ask us below in the comment section, and we’ll get back to you soon.

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