Utricularia Graminifolia Aquarium Plant Care Guide (2024)

Utricularia graminifolia, a beautiful foreground plant, originated in Asia (Burma, China, India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam) and was discovered in 1804 by Martin Vahl, but it was introduced in freshwater aquariums only in 2005. In its natural environment, it grows both emersed and submersed in marshes and flooded areas.

Utricularia graminifolia is a perennial, carnivorous plant belonging to the Lentibulariaceae family, the Utricularia genus, the Bivalvaria subgenus. The name “graminifolia” originates from its resemblance to grass leaves, while the name of the genus “Utricularia” comes from the small vesicles present on the leaves of the plant. These vesicles are traps through which the plant catches small crustaceans from which it can extract, after dissolving them with enzymes, nitrogen and phosphorus to grow.

Utricularia Graminifolia : A Quick Summary

Utricularia Graminifolia is a small, carnivorous plant native to North America. It is easy to care for which makes it a popular choice for aquariums. It thrives in wetlands and  has narrow, grass-like leaves and small yellow flowers.

Utricularia Graminifolia Overview

Utricularia Graminifolia plants

Utricularia Graminifolia is a grass-like plant. It is made up of a multitude of leaves, connected to each other by a runner that runs through the substrate (a runner). The leaves are up to 1 cm long and about 1-2 mm wide. The color is light green-yellowish green.

If planted in an aquarium with good development conditions, Urticularia will stretch across layers, across the entire lit surface, making a green and beautiful lawn. Because of its grass-like leaves, the green leaves will form a lawn after some time. Therefore it is used as an ideal foreground plant instead of its demand.

This plant is grown on a big scale on aquarium plant farms. This plant is grown both emersed and submersed by aquarium plant farms. They are often shipped in small pots that contain a couple dozen leaves. The plant will quickly adapt to its new environment and will not pose any transfer problems. The usual problem that can be encountered is the lack of CO2 in some tanks, with that the plant will start to melt and develop slowly, but it will recover rather quickly and there is nothing to worry about that. It is recommended that it is transplanted in a tank that has a CO2 supply.

The Utricularia Graminifolia is fairly to plant. Usually most big plant growers sell them on ceramic disks or mineral wool. To plant it, you simply have to cut the wool in several small pieces and plant them a couple cm apart from each other. In a few months they plant will start to propagate and will cover most of the aquarium substrate. It is good to keep some of the ceramic disk or mineral wool on the roots of the plant when planting it because it will weight down the plant making it easier to hold on the aquarium floor.

Information ChartUtricularia Graminifolia
Scientific Name: Utricularia Graminifolia sp.
Family: bladderwort family
Care Level: Easy
Growth Rate: Moderate
Maximum Size: 8 -16 inches
Minimum Tank size: 10 to 15 gallons
Water Conditions: Moderate
Lighting: Medium
Propagation: By Runners
Placement: foreground

Utricularia Graminifolia Appearance

One of the most stunning foreground plants for your planted aquarium is Utricularia graminifolia. It is now the most popular carpet aquarium plant, used in many aquascape designs, notably nano tanks, due to its fluffy-looking and lawn-like appearance.

Utricularia Graminifolia Size

The typical Utricularia Graminifolia typically grows up to  3 inches on the lower end and 10+ inches for larger specimens 

Utricularia Graminifolia Care And Tank Set-Up

In aquarium, Utricularia graminifolia is considered a difficult plant to grow. Due to the fact that in nature it grows in soft water. Maintaining a kH around 4 to 5 degrees is a welcome addition (although the plant has adapted over time and in water with higher hardness). He prefers a nutrient substrate, slightly acidic and not too large to be anchored. Although we can find different values in terms of water temperature, we can say that a preferred average is between 18 and 25 °C. Although it grows in aquariums without the addition of CO2, such a supplement is very welcome, which ensures a faster and healthier growth, the plant reaching its true potential (also the addition of CO2 will also lead to a decrease in pH, preferring a water more acidic, around 6.5). An intense illumination is preferred (around 1 W / liter). Fertilization in water column with macro and micro elements is also required.

Utricularia Graminifolia Care And Tank Set-Up

This plant can be easily gown emersed on a soil bed made of gravel and sand. Under poor light conditions the plant will grow longer and dark green colored leaves compared to the shorter, light green ones that are found in the plant growing in appropriate light conditions.

By some, this plant is considered to be a weed, because, if it has good growing conditions (a good CO2 supply, fertilizers and good light) it can spread very fast and easily cover the entire bed of the aquarium.

Utricularia Graminifolia Tank Size And Specifications

To promote its overall growth, you need to maintain optimum water values in the tank, prefer proper tank size, and check other optimal growing conditions. The optimal values are defined below.

Optimum Tank Size For Utricularia Graminifolia Plant

The recommended tank size for Utricularia Graminifolia Plant is 10 to 15 gallons.

Tank Shape For Utricularia Graminifolia Plant

The tank shape required for this plant growth is a rectangle, where the tank should occupy a larger width.

Filter Type

Filters are not required for the successful growth of Utricularia Graminifolia plants in the aquarium. However, you can use filters to create a movement in the water.


In nutrient-poor environments, Utricularia Graminifolia struggles to survive. Yes, it can survive without nutrients, but nutrient-rich waters are far superior to nutrient-depleted waters to grow Utricularia. 

Adding aquarium-friendly fertilizer, adding CO2, and utilizing the proper substrate can all help this thing grow big and healthy.

Utricularia runners can adhere to rocks and driftwood, so you don’t need any substrate, but if you wish to, soil adsorbent, sand substrate, and even fine gravel substrate are now all wonderful possibilities.

Substrate for Utricularia Graminifolia

It is a fantastic addition to every aquarium since it’s not picky. It can be affixed to objects and rooted in the substrate.

How Many Utricularia Graminifolia Plants Can Grow In A 10-Gallon Tank?

A minimum of 50 to 60 plants can grow in a 10-gallon tank.

Water Parameters for Utricularia Graminifolia Plant

The most important thing is that Utricularia Graminifolia prefers soft water with a low KH. It may be difficult for Utricularia Graminifolia to grow correctly if you already have hard tap water using a powerful GH/KH booster.

Similarly, a tank with a lot of organic waste or too many nutrients can be bad for Utricularia Graminifolia.

Look out for the optimal water characteristics for Caridina shrimp- these frequently overlap with perfect circumstances for Utricularia Graminifolia, especially in our observation, with one important exception: Utricularia Graminifolia works better with Injection of co2 and good lighting.

Water Temperature

The ideal water temperature for Utricularia Graminifolia Plant is 18-25oC”

Water Flow Rate

Depending on the species, they may grow in various conditions, ranging from still ponds to fast-flowing rivers.  These plants are adaptive to any flow conditions. 

Ph Level

The perfect water pH level for the Utricularia Graminifolia plant is 5-6.5 [pH]

Water Hardness

The Utricularia Graminifolia prefers water hardness of 7 to 10 pH, which indicates that the water must be somewhat soft.

You may need to apply a water conditioner to get the right hardness level. Utricularia Graminifolia is sensitive to both hard and soft water; therefore, it will not thrive in either water condition.

Utricularia Graminifolia Plant Tank Landscape

Information on how to set up a tank for Utricularia Graminifolia is described in this article.

Worst Plants For Utricularia Graminifolia Tanks

Apart from the below-mentioned plants, all can be considered the worst plants for Utricularia Graminifolia.

  • Anubias Petite
  • Vesicularia Ferriei
  • Aponogeton bolvinianus 
  • A. madagascariensis
  • Vallisneria Americana 
  • Helanthium Vesuvius

Decorations For Utricularia Graminifolia Tanks

Due to their elegant appearance, the plants add natural beauty to the aquarium.

Lighting For Utricularia Graminifolia Plants

Medium to high-intensity light is used for the successful growth of the Utricularia Graminifolia. Try to provide 10-14 hours of lighting a day; it may be through the sun or the spotted light.

Utricularia Graminifolia Compatibility and Tank Mates

Utricularia Graminifolia is especially great for aquariums because it can remain entirely submerged. When submerged, they will grow trapping devices if urged to do so or if there is any food under the water.

Although the pods or trapping devices are small, when submerged, they can trap small crustaceans, ciliates, some types of plankton, and phytoplankton, as well as other small aquatic animals. This plant secretes unique enzymes that digest these small planktons and convert them to nitrogen and phosphorus to grow and reproduce.

Even more intriguing is why the plants’ crowns protrude from the water. It is because this plant belongs to a small group of carnivorous plants. It feeds on tiny flies and other creatures that fly into the capturing devices, which snap shut and have fangs.

Because of the bladder that Utricularia Graminifolia and other meat-eating plants generate, they are known as bladderworts. The bladder is the technical word for the trapping device or pod.

It’s quite nice to have bladderwort in an aquarium since you can watch these critters devouring food if you look closely. One of the most intriguing aquatic plants that can be placed in the aquarium is bladderwort.

Ideal Tank Mates For Utricularia Graminifolia

Fishes that can sustain well with Utricularia Graminifolia plants are called ideal tank mates. Ideal tank mates are mentioned below

  • Shrimps
Utricularia Graminifolia Compatibility and Tank Mates

Bad Tank Mates For Utricularia Graminifolia

You should avoid aggressive fishes. The bad tank mates for Utricularia Graminifolia are listed below

  • Baby Shrimps

Facts about Utricularia Graminifolia Plant

The important facts about the plants are described below

  • Utricularia Graminifolia is a carnivorous plant that belongs to the Utricularia genus
  • Utricularia takes several months to grow 
  • Utricularia Graminifolia depends on insects and marsh plants for their food.
  • Utricularia Graminifolia doesn’t require any CO2 to flourish
  • Utricularia Graminifolia requires 10 to 14 hours of sunlight
  • 10 to 15 gallons of tank size is sufficient for the plant growth
  • For good and healthy growth, you should maintain pH around 5 to 6.5
  • Hardness of water should be maintained around 7 to 10 pH
  • Maintaining a temperature around 16 to 28-degree celsius is sufficient
  • Adds beso to the aquarium 
  • Easy to grow, and maintain
  • This natural green grass will provide mental peace to the people who are watching it.

Are Utricularia Graminifolia Plants Right For You?

Utricularia Graminifolia is easy to grow, but maintaining optimal water conditions, water flow rate, pH, hardness, and lighting are required. Brief values are mentioned in the article.


How To Maintain And Propagate The Utricularia Graminifolia Plant?

Propagation is relatively easy. The plant should be clipped once or twice a month, once it has stabilized in the aquarium and has grown. The trim of the plant will help to get the lawn effect. If the plant is not clipped often and is allowed to grow too much, its roots get a yellowish color and rot. The plant should be divided into small bushes, and they can be planted 5 cm apart. An easier method of plant Utricularia is to use anchor devices (JBL Plantis clips).

Can We Use Utricularia Graminifolia With Shrimp Tanks?

As you already know, the plant belongs to carnivores and depends on small creatures for their survival. Hence adding the plant to the shrimp tank is not a problem, but it may consume the small shrimps. As the baby shrimp will die regularly, the water in the tank becomes stagnant, which will kill the big/adult shrimps. Hence the growth of the shrimp will be confined.

But you can place the fish fry in the tank. Usually, eggs that lay in community tanks have a very high chance of being eaten by other fish rather than the plant. The eggs are too big to be trapped by the vesicles of the plant. Even the smallest fish fry will be able to avoid the death trap successfully.

What Are The Different Types Of Methods To Grow The Plant?

The majority of aquarists consider it to be a typical aquatic carpeting plant. It doesn’t grow the way most plants do; rather, it flourishes uniquely.

Utricularia Graminifolia isn’t a carpeting plant by its very nature. Instead, it’s a floating one that latches onto anything that comes into contact.

Let’s have a look at some of the approaches that are widely used to grow Utricularia Graminifolia.

  • Dry Start Method
  • Tidal Marsh Method
  • Peat Moss Method

Where Can I Get The Seeds Of The Utricularia Graminifolia Plant?

It is difficult to get the seeds of the Utricularia Graminifolia plant. You can get them either in online stores like Amazon or aquarium stores. It grows similar to that natural grass. You can see the bunches of the grass growing since they come with the runners.

To grow the plant in your aquarium, simply buy the grass or get a hand bunch from a friend who is growing the plant in the aquarium.

Utricularia Graminifolia

If you get the grass from the online stores, remove the glue attached to the grass, and divide the grass into small parts.

You can spread the split grass evenly over the tank surface. Before placing the grass, ensure the aquarium is filled with a substrate like sand, gravel, or peat moss.


In conclusion, there are many reasons individuals struggle with Utricularia Graminifolia. It may be because their water is too hard, is packed with nutrients, or variable water parameters also contribute to the problem. You can avoid this using remineralized RODI water, an acidic substrate like sand or aqua soil. Regular changes in the quantity of water will help avoid waste accumulation.

This plant is also ideal for underwater growth and can survive perfectly completely immersed in water, making it ideal for aquariums. If the plant finds good conditions within the aquarium, it may start developing small vesicles on the leaves to catch small creatures living in the water. Not all the plants will develop this feature.

It can be blended with other green plants to create a beautiful green tone aquascapes that can be topped with shades of red or blue.

If you have any questions? Join us in the conversation by leaving the comments or your personal experiences below.  

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