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SALVINIA NATANS GUIDE: The Essential Aquatic Floating Plant for Your Aquarium or Pond

Also known as water spangles, Salvinia Natans is a visually stunning aquatic floating plant that not only adds a touch of natural beauty to your aquarium or pond but also serves important purposes in an aquatic ecosystems.

Salvinia Natans Guide

Table of Contents

Salvinia Natans Guide

Species Spotlight - SALVINIA NATANS

If you're looking for an easy-to-care-for aquatic plant that adds a touch of natural beauty to your aquarium or pond, look no further than Salvinia Natans, also known as water spangles.


This floating plant is not only visually appealing but also serves important purposes in aquatic ecosystems. The plant can form dense mats on the surface of the water, creating a visually stunning effect in aquariums or ponds. It can create a perfect area for fry to hide and eat on little particles that get trapped among the root system, as well as serve a great purpose of helping to keep your water in great condition. In this Salvinia Natans guide, we'll explore the benefits of using this great plant (water spangles) in your aquatic environment and provide tips on how to care for it, and why we feel they are the greatest aquatic plant!

Why Salvinia Natans is Important?

Salvinia Natans is a native of South America but has spread to other parts of the world due to its popularity as an ornamental plant. It is particularly favored in aquariums and ponds because of its small size and delicate, almost ethereal appearance. However, this plant is much more than just a pretty face. Salvinia Natans provides many benefits to aquatic ecosystems, such as:


Like all aquatic plants, Salvinia Natans absorbs carbon dioxide from the water and releases oxygen through photosynthesis. This process helps to oxygenate the water, which is essential for fish and other aquatic life.


Salvinia Natans also acts as a natural filter, removing excess nutrients and pollutants from the water. This helps to keep the water clean and clear, which is essential for maintaining a healthy aquatic environment.


Salvinia Natans provides shade and shelter for fish and other aquatic life, helping to regulate their body temperature and protect them from predators. It serves for great coverage for any fry to hide amongst and to feel safe.

Algae Control

Finally, Salvinia Natans can help to control the growth of algae in your aquarium or pond. Algae blooms can quickly take over an aquatic environment, leading to oxygen depletion and the death of fish and other aquatic life. Salvinia Natans helps to prevent algae growth by competing for nutrients and shading the water, making it less hospitable to algae.

How to Care for Salvinia Natans

Caring for this beautiful aquatic plant is relatively easy (as you will learn when reading this Salvinia Natans guide), making it an ideal choice for both experienced and novice aquarium and pond keepers. Here are some tips on how to care for Salvinia Natans:


Salvinia Natans prefers bright, indirect light. If you're using artificial lighting, aim for around 10 hours of light per day.

Water Quality

This plant prefers clean, well-oxygenated water. Regular water changes and the use of a quality filtration system will help to maintain good water quality.


Salvinia Natans does not require additional nutrients but will benefit from the presence of fish and other aquatic life, which provide natural nutrients.


Salvinia Natans prefers water temperatures between 65 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit.


Salvinia Natans can grow quickly, so regular pruning may be necessary to keep it under control. Simply remove any excess growth with a pair of scissors.

In Conclusion

Salvinia Natans is an ideal aquatic plant for aquarium and pond keepers who want to add natural beauty to their aquatic environment while also providing important benefits to aquatic life. By oxygenating the water, filtering out excess nutrients and pollutants, providing shade and shelter, and controlling algae growth, Salvinia Natans helps to create a healthy and balanced aquatic ecosystem. It does not require any special equipment or techniques to grow, and can tolerate a wide range of water parameters.

With proper lighting, water quality, and occasional pruning to control its growth, Salvinia Natans can thrive in your aquatic environment and provide a beautiful natural element to your tank or pond. It will thrive in your aquarium or pond, providing you and your aquatic life with years of enjoyment. We hope you enjoyed learning more about this incredible plant in our Salvinia Natans guide, and if you have any specific species or plants you wish for us to share and write a detailed guide for, please get in touch right away!


What is Salvinia Natans and where does it come from?

Salvinia Natans, a.k.a. water spangles, is an aquatic floating plant that belongs to the Salviniaceae family. It is native to South America and can be found in freshwater habitats such as ponds, lakes, and slow-moving rivers.

Can Salvinia Natans survive in low light conditions?

Yes, this plant can survive in low to moderate light conditions, but it may not grow as quickly or as robustly as it would in brighter light.

How do I propagate Salvinia Natans?

Salvinia Natans can be easily propagated by separating the plant into smaller portions and allowing them to float on the surface of the water.

Is this plant safe for fish and other aquatic animals?

Yes, it is considered safe for fish and other aquatic animals. It can even provide shelter and a spawning site for some species of fish.

Can Salvinia Natans be used for natural filtration in aquariums or ponds?

Absolutely! It can be used for natural filtration in aquariums or ponds. The plant can absorb excess nutrients such as nitrates and phosphates, helping to maintain water quality.

How fast does Salvinia Natans grow and how do I control its growth?

Salvinia Natans can grow quite quickly, especially in optimal conditions. To control its growth, you can regularly remove excess plant material or reduce the amount of light and nutrients it receives.

Can Salvinia Natans be kept with other aquatic plants?

Yes, it can be kept with other aquatic plants as long as they have similar water and light requirements.

What should I do if I notice my Salvinia Natans turning brown or yellow?

If you notice your Salvinia Natans turning brown or yellow, it may be a sign of nutrient deficiency or low light conditions. You can try increasing the amount of nutrients or light the plant receives, or trimming away any damaged or dying portions.

Is Salvinia Natans invasive and how can I prevent its spread to natural water bodies in the UK?

It is considered invasive in some regions and can potentially spread to natural water bodies in the UK. To prevent its spread, it is important to properly dispose of any excess plant material and avoid releasing it into the wild. It is also recommended to only purchase Salvinia Natans from reputable sources and to never release any aquatic plants or animals into natural water bodies.

Can Salvinia Natans survive winter in outdoor ponds in the UK?

This plant is not frost hardy and may not survive winter in outdoor ponds in climates like the UK. To overwinter the plant, you can bring it indoors or cover the pond with a protective netting or other winterizing material.

Can Salvinia Natans help control mosquito populations in my pond or aquarium?

Yes, Salvinia Natans can provide a natural way to control mosquito populations by creating a physical barrier on the surface of the water that prevents mosquitoes from laying their eggs.

Is Salvinia Natans a good choice for aquascaping?

It can be a great addition to aquascapes, as it provides a unique and natural floating element that can create depth and interest in your aquarium.

Can Salvinia Natans be used for culinary or medicinal purposes?

While Salvinia Natans is not commonly used for culinary or medicinal purposes, it has been used in traditional medicine to treat various ailments such as skin infections, respiratory problems, and digestive issues. However, it is important to note that Salvinia Natans should not be consumed without proper research and consultation with a healthcare professional.

Can Salvinia Natans be grown in a terrarium or vivarium?

Yes, it can be grown in a terrarium or vivarium as long as it is provided with the proper conditions, such as high humidity and ample lighting. It can provide a unique and natural element to a planted enclosure and can help maintain water quality.

If you have any other further questions about anything aquatic related, please do not hesitate to contact us right away! Stay tuned – we will be starting to load incredibly helpful and useful videos on the AquaManLife.com YouTube channel, so keep a look for that coming!