Do real plants really make a difference? Besides keeping plastic out of your tank, live plants offer some beneficial life support to your underwater pets. So, how do you know which plants work best? With the many options available, choosing aquarium plants can be overwhelming.
Jungle Val, or Vallisneria Americana, is a vibrant, grass-like plant that would be a fantastic addition to your fresh water tank. Having something easy and low-maintenance that’s both beautiful and good for your tank is a win-win for everyone.
Read on to learn more about what size of the tank is ideal for Jungle Val, how to plant and care for it, and the benefits they bring to your aquarium habitat.
Benefits of Having Jungle Val in Your Tank
Having any live plants in your tank does more than just provide a nice aesthetic. During their photosynthesis cycles, live plants release oxygen which then provides a more oxygen-rich and clean environment for your fish. Naturally, this also improves the overall water condition of the tank and makes your cleaning responsibilities a little lighter.
In addition to contributing oxygen, Jungle Val also absorbs water pollutants like ammonia, then uses that as its source of nitrogen to feed itself nutrients. Suppose you’re asking yourself whether you have ammonia in your tank. Well, the answer is yes if you have fish. Ammonia is a byproduct of your fish’s waste.
Not much different than a polluted water source in a dirty city, it can be dangerous to your underwater pets if the ammonia reaches high levels. Using plants like the Jungle Val in your tank helps maintain healthy chemical levels and makes your job easier by not having to balance the pH of your water as often.
Expert Tip: Regular water changes should continue as scheduled, in order to ensure safe and healthy support for all the living things in your aquarium.
Another fun benefit to having this flowy plant in your tank is that it’ll provide much-needed coverage and stimulation to your tank tenants. Fish and other water-based animals like to hang out in the vegetation.
It can provide them a sense of safety, a darker place to relax, or a fun maze of weaving through the leaves, making their quality of life seem as rich as in the mansions of Bel-Air.
What Does Jungle Val Look Like?
It’s nothing fancy, but Jungle Val looks like beautiful and soft long grass. The thin, flat, wispy leaves sprout from the base and shoot up through the water column above it. Its height makes for a majestic underwater feature that doesn’t disappoint.
It doesn’t bloom with flowers or anything, but its healthy, vibrant green color and soft, flowing movement will remind you of the untouched long grasses in a mountain meadow. The grassy leaves can grow the entire length of the water line, making this plant a striking sight to behold.
Size and Growth Rate
Jungle Val can grow to be over six feet tall in its wild, natural habitat. Don’t worry, your tank is safe from being taken completely over and looking like a grass monster! When placed in a restricted space like an aquarium, the leaves will grow vertically until they reach the surface of the water.
Sometimes, if space allows, it could potentially grow a bit taller and just lay over the water surface like a blanket. This plant grows fast, so be prepared for the height of the leaves to reach the water level in as little as four weeks!
How to Plant Jungle Val?
There really is nothing to it! Most of the time, you’ll buy this plant bare-rooted, also known as bare propagation. This option allows you to remove the packaging, rinse the roots off and plant it directly into the substrate. That’s it! If you receive your plant in a pot that’s okay.
Just follow the same steps and you’re well on your way to having a phenomenal tank plant. Make sure the plant is completely submerged, as it needs this in order to encourage growth.
You’ll want to be sure that the crown, or the area between the stem and the roots, is above the substrate and not completely buried, otherwise, the leaves could potentially “melt” (or shed) and die.
Don’t be too concerned if a few leaves melt off as it’s getting used to its new home, as this is normal. You can easily remove the melting, discolored leaves, which will help the plant focus its energy on existing healthy leaves and new growth.
Because they grow fast and tall, it’s best to plant your Jungle Val towards the back of the aquarium as part of the brilliant background. This will allow it the space it needs to grow to its full potential. This will also keep other fun features in your tank from being hidden.
Once it’s planted it doesn’t take very long to settle itself and you won’t need to worry about fancy fertilizers with this one. Its ability to thrive with minimal fuss is what makes this plant perfect for the first-time aquarium owner.
Caring For Your Jungle Val
This plant is very forgiving and doesn’t need much more than just to be placed into the tank, submerged in healthy water, and some substrate to hold it down until it roots. It is hardy and can withstand handling, and it does not require a lot of upkeep. Here’s a look at some helpful specifics to ensure you feel confident with your aquatic green thumb.
Jungle Val should have at least a 20-gallon tank, and that’s at the most minor end of the spectrum 30 gallons is even better. Because this plant grows up to the surface, it’s going to want some space to do so. If the tank is too small, the leaves could easily take over, leaving little travel and play area for your fish and their tank mates.
Fun Fact: If you have an outdoor pond, this plant is perfect for providing a healthy habitat as well as a peaceful and beautiful aesthetic! If you don’t have a tank that can handle the speedy growth and size potential of this plant, it’s probably best to look into a different option that will be better for you, such as an Anubias Nana Petite.
Jungle Val is native to the Americas, and can also be found in Asia and Australia. Given the variety of natural habitats, this plant is commonly found in it’s easy to mimic a natural environment to help your Jungle Val live its best life. This plant thrives in warmer temperatures, between 64 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit.
When it comes to water acidity, you’ll want to be more along the lines of the Alkaline pH levels 6.0 to 9.0. Soft water isn’t the front-runner for this plant and can slow down the growth rate, so harder water levels between 8 and 12 dGH would be ideal.
Most freshwater tanks sold nowadays come with a low flowing filter, which also helps in maintaining water health.
Because Jungle Val grows naturally in shallow waters (about 10 feet deep or less), it takes well to higher light exposure. If your tank doesn’t have natural light exposure for 8 to 10 hours per day, you’ll want to consider turning on your tank’s LEDs or providing a plant bulb or two to make sure your plant gets the light it needs.
Remember how the photosynthesis cycles help release oxygen into your tank water? If your plant doesn’t enough light, it could affect its capability to go through this process correctly. This will result in its failure to provide oxygen or provide itself food, leading to a slow and painful death.
Expert Tip: You can identify if your plant is not getting enough light by seeing the presence of brown discoloration or leaves that are wilting.
In the wild sand is usually what you’ll find these plants thriving in. But they can quickly and easily adapt to small gravel, pebbles, or rocks just fine. The root system of Jungle Val is mighty, so you won’t need to worry about them uprooting and floating around once they’re settled.
This is because the tiny rhizomes in the roots will start to spread out along the bottom of the tank, below the substrate, making itself a nice and strong base. Just like a Giant Sequoia, these roots get thicker and stronger over time.
Trimming and Pruning
It’s best not to trim your Jungle Val to keep the possibility of the pruned leaves from rotting. There are some people who have reported trimming their plants without a problem, but it really shouldn’t be necessary. As already mentioned, this plant will adapt to the size of your tank, so overgrowth really shouldn’t be a factor.
If you are certain you need to trim a leaf or two, please take extra care to sharpen your scissors well so the cut is clean and precise. You’ll also want to keep your scissors sterile to prevent any introduction to bacteria that can lead to rot.
Consider only trimming the tops of leaves you feel are overgrown, as the leaves will not regenerate. Even the smallest amount of rot within a leaf can have catastrophic consequences and put your fish’s health at risk, so be sure of your decision and take the time to be careful.
Do you know that one neighbor that everyone loves and never seems to be in a bad mood? That’s Jungle Val for aquariums! This plant is versatile, and resilient, and lends so many purposes it puts a troubadour to shame.
Your fish will love playing and swimming around and through the leaves, it offers all the health benefits to your tank as mentioned above, and if planted correctly will be really hard to uproot. Rowdy fish are welcome since the strong root system will hold this plant down. Aggressive fish or introverted calm fish can enjoy Jungle Val without issue.
From Guppies to Ghost Shrimp, nerite snails to crayfish, or even African Frogs to Cichlids, this plant will complement any freshwater community.
How do you grow Jungle Val?
Jungle Val can be cultivated both outdoors and indoors. If you want to grow Jungle Val in your aquarium, you must replicate its environment and surroundings where it naturally grows. This means that you must have water, soil base, or similar (any of your choice), and oxygen.
Expert Tip: This plant needs to be submerged and rooted deeply into a substrate such as sand. It has deep and longer roots so digging may be needed.
It is recommended to provide bright and high amounts of light such as LEDs and specialized plant bulbs. As Jungle Vals grow in sun-exposed areas with cool amounts of temperature and oxygen, you should be able to give a part of their grass tips an exposure to air and the wind around your aquarium.
Jungle Val that are grown indoors must be exposed to moderate lighting eight to ten hours a day. Hence, care is needed and is a basic element to answer the question of how do you grow jungle Val plants.
Where is Jungle Val native to?
Jungle Val is also known as Vallisneria Americana. It is native to the Americas mostly in the southern continent. On the other hand, the Jungle Val can be found in the continents of Australia and Asia. As the name suggests, Jungle Val is often grown and thrives the most in jungles and lush rainforests, especially in tropical countries.
This plant grows and reproduces best in the wilderness and in an environment with shallow and slow-moving water like streams, lakes, and ponds. This aquatic plant usually thrives in water with a depth of not more than 10 feet.
This plant can also be cultivated in any freshwater tank as it is highly decorative-looking. It may be confusing as to where is Jungle Val native, but the sure thing is it grows in a swampy area where they grow through the presence of water and moist soil.
They might have probably grown natively mostly in countries with relatively high sun exposure and amounts of rainfall.
How Does Jungle Val Grow?
Knowing how your plant reproduces or propagates, can help you decide how much you’ll want to plant, as well as what to expect over time as you plan your underwater haven.
When in the wild, the Jungle Val produces a female flower that floats to the surface as well as a male flower that releases from below. The female flower plays a fun game of “Catch”, and once successful pollinates with the male flower at the surface. In a controlled environment like an aquarium, this process rarely, if ever, happens.
If you have an outdoor pond with plenty of space, you may be able to witness this game in action. For aquariums, the plant releases what are called runners underneath the substrate. A runner is a small stem that grows horizontally until it naturally breaks off and grows into a separate plant.
Kind of like bamboo, once a runner is rooted, it’ll start to grow near the original plant, which you can leave where it is or uproot it and move it to another location. Like any good offspring, you’ll want to let it nurture and grow a bit before uprooting it and allowing its independent spirit to flourish.
In the world of Jungle Val, this means waiting until it has a few leaves before attempting to relocate, as the leaves are required for photosynthesis to take place.
Although there’s no shortage of options for living aquarium plants, the Jungle Val is considered to be one of the easiest, most versatile, low-maintenance, and robust choices any aquarium owner can make.
Whether you’re putting together your first tank or you’re looking to change things up in your decades-old dwelling, you can’t beat the beauty of the scientific benefits of having this plant in your repertoire.
Your water health will be supported, your fish will be happy, and anyone who looks at your creation will be impressed by the Jungle Val’s appearance. As long as your tank size allows, you really can’t go wrong with this one!