Water Sprite or Oriental Water Fern

Water sprite, Oriental water fernWater Sprite or Oriental Water FernCeratopteris thalictroidesPhoto © Animal-World Courtesy Hector L
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Your picture for Ceratopteris thalictroides is definitely not correct. It looks like a picture of one of the members of the genus Hydrophila, which is stem plant... (more)  HeyPK

   The Water Sprite is a beautiful fern that will grow great in well-fertilized aquariums and produce beautiful green leaves!

The Water Sprite can be a beautiful and fulfilling addition to an aquarium if it is given proper care. It grows to a maximum height of 20 inches (50 cm) at a rapid rate. Water Sprite goes best as a mid ground or background plant.

The bottom substrate for this aquarium plant should be nutrient-rich. It should not be planted too deeply in the substrate and make sure that the top of the roots are visible above the gravel. Propagation of the Water Sprite is done by adventitious plantlets that grow off the leaf margins.

The water conditions should be regularly checked to help the Water Sprite thrive. It needs a pH between 5 and 7.5, with more acidic water being better. Moderate to bright lights will also help keep it growing and looking healthy. Make sure to perform regular water changes and fertilize regularly after each change.

For more Information on keeping a planted aquarium see:
About Planted Aquariums, Adding Aquatic Plants For a Healthy Aquarium


   The Water Sprite can be found world-wide in the tropic areas.

Water conditions / lighting:

   Temperature: 72-86° F (22-30° C)
   pH: 5 - 7.5
   dCH: 5 - 15


   Light level: Moderate to Bright - 50 watts per 25 gallons


   Water Sprites propagate by adventitious plantlets that grow on the leaf margins.


   The Water Sprite is readily available.

Author: Jasmine Brough
Lastest Animal Stories on Water Sprite

HeyPK - 2010-05-31
Your picture for Ceratopteris thalictroides is definitely not correct. It looks like a picture of one of the members of the genus Hydrophila, which is stem plant and an angiosperm, not a fern at all.

  • Editor's Note - 2010-06-07
    Thanks HeyPK, you are right this is definately not Ceratopteris thalictroides. We are taking the picture off until we get a good one. Send one if you've got one! Thanks again.
Shick Settima - 2012-02-22
This plant is the perfect plant if you are looking for easy, fast growth. I have it planted in all types of conditions and it thrives. Even in a goldfish bowl with little light it stays green and healthy.

Every couple months I will shake the main plants in my 20g tank and the little plantlets will release themselves to the top of the water where I can harvest them and plant them around to create a bush effect.

  • Ron - 2012-03-24
    If you have a start of water sprite you could spare, please let me know what it would cost. Thanks, I am just getting back into killies and guppies, I was sick for a few years.
Michael Adams - 2012-02-14
By the way, just looked the broad leafed variety is ceratopteris cornuta... now to find some for sale..

Michael Adams - 2012-02-14
1. Water sprite (if you get the real deal) IS an aquatic plant, and given adequate light and nutrition, and a lack of fish that will eat it, will do fantastic - to the point you will be giving it away or throwing it out... (years ago when my family owned a tropical fish store we would give starts to anyone who wanted them, and it would be no time before they were hauling back buckets full...)

2. Yea, the pic looks almost more like "water wisteria" which i never had very good luck with, but who knows...

3. there are two varieties of water sprite there is a very 'thin' leafed version(makes me think of what they call asparagus fern), and one with thicker leaves (makes me think of elkhorn fern, which is what we used to have, and I wish i could find nowadays)...