Amazon Frogbit (Limnobium laevigatum): Ultimate Care Guide


There are many different species of fish, and that’s one of the reasons why aquarium fishkeeping is interesting. However, there are many different types of aquarium plants, and this makes the aquarium hobby just as interesting as well. If you’re looking for a plant that is beautiful and easy to care for, then look no further than the Amazon Frogbit.

Amazon Frogbit (Limnobium laevigatum), also known as South American Spongplant, is native to Central and South American waters. Amazon Frogbit is very popular in aquascaping, due to its ability to survive in nearly any type of freshwater environment. When Amazon Frogbit is fully mature, they create small white flowers, making them a very attractive plant. Keep in mind that they can overgrow, which means they need to be thinned out regularly. However, if they are maintained occasionally, you will have a gorgeous plant.

Amazon Frogbit Care

Amazon Frogbit is extremely easy to grow and care for. Planting is easy, since they simply float on the surface of the water. While it has roots, it will not grow in substrate. The roots will hang below the floating plant.

They are easy to care for, and they can be grown with very little maintenance. One aspect of maintaining Amazon Frogbit is thinning out the plant. Since they grow fast and they can cover the entire surface of the water, they will need to be thinned out regularly. Some shade is good, but it can have a negative impact to the water underneath if the entire water surface is covered. Old leaves that turn yellow and brown should be removed as well.

Amazon Frogbit (Limnobium laevigatum)
Amazon Frogbit (Limnobium laevigatum)

How to Grow Amazon Frogbit in a Pond

It is extremely easy to grow Amazon Frogbit in a pond. Simply place the plant on the surface of the water, and make sure the roots are facing downwards into the water.

In most ponds, they will not require additional fertilization. In an established pond, there should be enough nutrients for the plant to thrive naturally. Even without additional fertilization, they usually grow very quickly. In fact, these plant will often overtake the pond by covering the entire water surface.

How to Grow Amazon Frogbit in an Aquarium

Growing Amazon Frogbit in an aquarium is quite simple. Since they simply float on the water surface, no special planting technique is required.

In an indoor environment, lighting may be the biggest concern for most aquarists. However, even in an indoor aquarium environment, lighting for these plant is usually not an issue. Since they float on the surface of the tank, they are able to receive the light at close proximity to the light source. Therefore, they are great for creating a shade underneath.

Lighting Requirement for Amazon Frogbit

Amazon Frogbit grow at the surface of the water, which means that it will likely be exposed to high intensity light throughout the day. Therefore, high capacity lights that are usually required to grow aquarium plants are not required. In fact, when the plant is exposed to very strong lights in close proximity, it can end up burning from too much light. In most cases, too much light becomes a risk factor for these plants, rather than the lack of it. If the plant is getting burned, consider adjusting the light intensity, proximity, or duration.

Amazon Frogbit Temperature

Amazon Frogbit thrive in temperatures between 64-86°F. Under these temperatures, the plant is able to grow very quickly. They will grow healthy leave structures with long roots as well.

Since they are hardy plants, they are able to survive outside of this optimum temperature range as well. However, the plant may not grow as fast or large under extreme conditions. In fact, they are known to grow significantly smaller leaves in colder climates.

Amazon Frogbit pH

Amazon Frogbit thrive in a pH range of 6.0-8.0. The pH level of an aquarium is very important, especially for growing healthy plants. While Amazon Frogbit aren’t particularly sensitive to pH levels, it is still important to monitor and maintain proper pH levels.

Amazon Frogbit Growth Rate

Amazon Frogbit grow very quickly, especially when they are under optimal conditions. In fact, they can grow a new leaf every two days. At this growth rate, a small cluster of these plant can cover the entire surface of a tank or pond very quickly. Therefore, they should be thinned out regularly to avoid suffocating the fish and other life underneath.

Due to its fast growth rate, these plants are an effective absorber of nitrates and other toxins in the water. If they are maintained regularly, they can be a great benefit to the aquatic environment.

Amazon Frogbit Growth Height

Since Amazon Frogbit are floating plant, they do not grow very tall in height. The leaves lay on top of the water surface, and there will be little vertical growth. The leaves will grow 3-4 inches in diameter. If there is a flower growing on the plant, it may grow 1-2 inches above the water surface.

In terms of vertical growth, Amazon Frogbit will grow long roots underneath. The roots can reach up to 20 inches in length.

Do Amazon Frogbit flower?

When fully mature, Amazon Frogbit will grow tiny white flowers. The flower consists of three white petals and a yellow inner stigma. These small flowers will usually bloom in the summer, and the soft petals create a subtle display of beauty. While they aren’t large flowers, it can be a refreshing sight.

Amazon Frogbit Roots

While Amazon Frogbit do not grow very tall above the water surface, they do grow a long root underneath the leaves. In fact, the roots can grow up to 20 inches.

The root system grow very fast, so it can overtake the entire tank if left unchecked. If you wish to keep open space for the fish to swim in, it may be necessary to trim some of its roots. Trimming the roots will not harm the plant if it is done carefully. Of course, excessive trimming can be harmful to the plant. In order to avoid harm to the plant, some of its root system should always be left on the plant during trimming.

Amazon Frogbit Propagation

It is very easy to propagate Amazon Frogbit. In fact, the plant will propagate on its own by creating daughter plants that will separate into its own plant. There is no intervention required in order to propagate this plant. Simply create a good environment for the plant to grow in. This includes good lighting and nutrient rich waters.

Do Amazon Frogbit produce seeds?

While Amazon Frogbit do produce seeds, it is not very common. This is not the fastest method of propagation either. Allowing the plant to grow and divide on its own through daughter plants is the fastest method of propagation.

If the plant does produce seeds, it will produce a seed pod that contain up to 30 seeds. The seeds will remain viable for up to 3 years.

Why is my Amazon Frogbit turning yellow?

Amazon Frogbit can turn yellow for various reasons. However, one of the most common cause of yellow coloration is we surfaces. While the plant floats on the water surface, the leaves facing above the water should remain dry. Usually this is not an issue since the water will dry up even if it gets on the leaves. However, if another dead leaf is covering it, the moisture may linger on the leaf. This will prevent the plant from photosynthesizing and cause the otherwise healthy leaf to turn yellow.

Why is my Amazon Frogbit dying?

While Amazon Frogbit is a hardy plant, it can die if the plant is not placed in an adequate environment. If all plants in the tank or pond is dying, it may be caused by issues in lighting, nutrients, temperature, or pH.

Are Amazon Frogbit good for Betta tanks?

Amazon Frogbit is a great plant for Betta tanks. Betta fish are known to dislike intense lighting, and these floating plants will help create a shaded environment. In addition, these fast growing plants will help absorb the waste and toxin in the water.

Since the plant can cover the entire water surface if left unchecked, be sure to thin out the plant regularly. Since they are labyrinth fish, an open area on the water surface for the Betta fish to breathe from should be provided.

Where can I find Amazon Frogbit for sale?

Amazon Frogbit is a very popular plant, so they are widely available in various local fish stores, pond shops, and nurseries. They are available from various online retailers as well, including Amazon.

While they aren’t difficult to source, keep in mind that Amazon Frogbit is considered an invasive species in some areas. Refer to Weed Risk Assessment by the USDA. Be sure to follow local regulations when purchasing this plant.

Amazon Frogbit vs Dwarf Water Lettuce

Amazon Frogbit and Dwarf Water Lettuce are very similar. They are both floating plants that do not need to be planted in substrate. They are both easy to care for and great for creating cover as well.

Compared to Dwarf Water Lettuce, Amazon Frogbit is smaller in size. They tend to grow faster as well.

Amazon Frogbit vs Duckweed

Amazon Frogbit and Duckweed are both floating aquarium plants that thrive in similar environments. However, duckweed are known to be hardier. They both grow very quickly, but duckweed are known to spread more quickly.

Since duckweed are significantly smaller than Amazon Frogbit, they are suitable as a food source for many fish. Since duckweed has a short root system, trimming the roots will not be required. However, the duckweed’s small leaves can be very difficult to manage or completely get rid of once they are established.

Fish Laboratory

With decades of collective fishkeeping experience, we are happy to share the fish care tips that we've picked up along the way. Our goal at Fish Laboratory is to keep publishing accurate content to help fishkeepers keep their fish and aquarium healthy.

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