salvinia minima vs frogbit

Salvinia Minima Vs Frogbit: Which one to pick?

Choosing between Salvinia Minima and frogbit is one of the most debatable topics. People easily mix up between these two floating plants. But in reality, these two are really different.

So, which one should you pick for your planted tank- Salvinia Minima vs frogbit?

Well, Salvinia minima can be used in tanks of any size. Because they have small leaves and roots. Whereas, frogbit should be used in tanks bigger than 9 gallons. Salvinia Minima is a great option for low-maintenance plant lovers while frogbit isn’t. Last but not the least, frogbit gives a wild-life look to a planted tank.

There’s more to know about both of the plants. We’ve discussed the pros and cons of the two in our article. 

Therefore, to come to a conclusion easily, do check out our article-

Frogbit vs Salvinia Minima- The Basic Differences

Before we jump into a quick difference let’s take a look at the ways we can identify both of these beautiful aquatic plants-

Identifying Water Spangles (Salvinia Minima) 

Salvinia Minima
Source: Pholder.com

Salvinia is small-looking yet a very beautiful floating plant. This little floating plant has some unique characteristics which lead to some pros and cons.

Identifying Amazon Frogbit

Just like Salvinia Minima, frogbit also has some unique characteristics. By the way, did you know that amazon frogbit is illegal in some places? Well, it’s an invasive plant so you might understand why it’s banned in certain places. 

However, let’s focus on the advantages and disadvantages will you get by using them, shall we?

Frogbit
Source: Aquatickart.in

A sneak peek is very important before getting into the details. Because you can actually get confused while going through an in-depth discussion. 

That’s why we thought that it would be better if you get to know the basic differences first. So, here we go-

ItemsSalvinia MinimaFrogbit
LeavesSmaller and oval-shapedBigger and kidney-shaped
Common nameWater spanglesAmazon frogbit
Water condition (PH level)5-86-7.5
RootsShort but mostly rootlessLong roots
Maximum size(length)0.4-2cm50cm
LightingMostly medium but high is fine as well
Medium to High
Planted tank sizeCan be used in any tank
Appropriate for tanks above 10 gallons
Temperature65-89 degrees Fahrenheit
64-85 degrees Fahrenheit

When you buy a planted tank and try to choose between two floating plants, you need more than just the basic differences. 

That’s why we’ve decided to give you a piece of proper knowledge about both frogbit and Salvinia. For that reason, the pros and the cons of the two plants are given as well.

Water Spangles Vs Frogbit: Head To Head Battle

Let’s now take a deeper dive and find out what actually makes frogbit andwater spangles apart-

Use Of Tank 

There are no restrictions when it comes to adding Salvinia as a floating plant in a planted tank.

Salvinia is actually a water fern. And water ferns have root-like structures that are modified leaves. That’s why this plant has such short roots. 

After the roots let’s discuss the leaves. So, the leaves of this plant are also very small. They kind of look like tiny oval-shaped thin biscuits! 

Combining both the roots and leaves, Salvinia Minima size is around 0.4-2cm. Still, it can grow to a length of 10cm before breaking into a new plant.

As this floating plant is very small in size so it can be easily used even in a tank smaller than 10 gallons. 

Therefore, if you’ve got, for say, a 7.5 gallon planted tank, you can still use water spangles to decorate it. 

If you’ve got a tank smaller than 10 gallons then I’m sorry to say you have to let frogbit go. Because frogbit is one of the biggest floating plants out there. 

It’ll be impossible for you to grow these plants in a 7.5-gallon tank. So, you‘ve got no choice but to pick Salvinia. 

Easy Care

Floating plants are easy to look after. And Salvinia is no exception. If we start talking about how to take care of Salvinia then pH level, lighting, and temperature automatically come into the picture. So, let’s get through them one by one-

Firstly, the pH level of the water has to be around 5-8. Now, if you want to add fishes inside your planted tank then you might want to keep the level around 6.8-7.6. Why?

Well, fishes don’t do well in a highly acidic or highly base water condition. Both conditions lead them to an untimely death. And the level we mentioned is perfect for fish. 

So, you should keep this in mind if you buy both fishes and water spangles. Furthermore, use a pH meter to keep the level in check. Some of the best ones are-

Recommended Product Price
VIVOSUN pH and TDS Meter ComboBuy from Amazon
PentaBeauty PH MeterBuy from Amazon

Next, let’s move on to Salvinia Minima lighting. This plant needs medium to high lighting for growing nicely.  

We’ve tried our best to give you the proper idea about the amount of lighting and type of light you need for growing Salvinia-

Required amount (lumen per meter)Lights
800-10764 LUXFull spectrum/Blue/red LED/T5HO

To make it easier for you, we’ve given an example which is- If you’ve got a 20 gallon planted tank then you can just use a 24 inches blue or red LED light. It should work nicely. But to get better growth we suggest using a full spectrum LED.

Now to the question- how long do you have to keep the LED lights on for Salvinia Minima? 

8 hours should be fine but you can keep it under light for 10 hours as well. Also, you need to keep a timer with you. Because we don’t want you to damage the plant by providing too much light.

Here are some good grow light timer options you can look into-

Recommended Product Price
BN-LINK 7 Day Heavy Duty Digital Programmable TimerBuy from Amazon
BN-LINK 24 Hour Plug-in Mechanical Timer Grounded AquariumBuy from Amazon

For those of you who didn’t know, lighting and temperature are like best friends. If one increases then the other one increases as well. 

Now, what’s the ideal temperature for Salvinia Minima?

The ideal temperature for this plant is around 65-89 degrees Fahrenheit. If you provide the right amount of light, you’ll be able to provide the right temperature as well. 

Now, will you be able to handle the water spangles after buying them? 

If yes, then we encourage you to buy them!

Similar to Salvinia, frogbit also doesn’t require that much care. Still, you need to keep in mind some very important points if you want to buy this plant. 

So, these factors are pH level, lighting, and temperature. Now let’s see how much of these factors frogbit requires to grow properly.

Let’s take a look at the pH value for frogbits-

For starters, you have to keep the PH level 6-7.5. If you look closely, the level is also quite similar to the level your fishes will need. So, frogbit gets a point here. 

Then let’s come to frogbit lighting requirements

To grow properly frogbit needs medium to high lighting. Frogbit doesn’t do that well in low light. So you can’t just expect the sunlight to do its magic for the survival of your frogbit. The amount of light frogbit requires is around 300-1600 LUX (lumen square meter). We recommend using a full spectrum LED light for this.

Furthermore, you have to keep the lights on for at least 10-12 hours, a little more than the time needed for salvinia.

You might ask about the ideal frogbit temperature?

Lastly, for the frogbit temperature, it should be around 64-85 degrees Fahrenheit. You need to follow the same rule of thumb here as well. Which is if you provide the right amount of light, you’ll get the temperature level right. 

Price

You might be surprised that this elegant-looking plant is very cheap. You can get a lot for only $1-$2 which is very beneficial for a low-maintenance plant lover.

If you’re one of the plant lovers that have a low-tech planted tank then Salvinia can be a good option for you!

Growth Rate

Salvinia spreads a lot faster than you can imagine. Salvinia Minima propagation takes place through fragmentation. Any part of the rhizome which is also known as the modified plant stem can break. And then form another new plant.

You may want to know- how long does it take for Salvinia to grow?

This plant can easily cover a pond within 1-2 weeks. And your planted tank can be covered by salvinia in 5 days to 1 week. 

But is there a way to overcome this fast-growing problem?

Well, you can’t really tell this plant to stop growing. But you can avoid your tank getting completely filled with Salvinia. For that, you have to put only one or two water spangles in the planted tank. And remove the water spangles you think are excess.

Removing the extra salvinia plants is actually important. Because Salvinia Minima sucks up the nitrate from your tank really fast.

So, are you still willing to buy Salvinia Minima? Or have you changed your mind? 

Well, even if you haven’t, we still suggest taking a look at the amazon frog bit so that you can make an informed decision later.

Outlook Of The Tank

If you’re into wildlife plants then frogbit is the one for you. Because not only does frogbit help to balance the O2 and CO2 level of your tank but also makes it look unique.

The factors that are responsible for creating this type of wild look are the roots and the leaves of frogbit. Therefore, let’s gain some knowledge about these two factors.

So, how often do you have to trim frogbit?

Firstly, frogbit has quite long and fuzzy roots. The roots can be used by shy fishes as a hiding spot. However, you need to trim the roots every 2-3 weeks.

Frogbit covered tank
Source: Aquariumadviser.com

Well, even if frogbit helps your shy fishes to hide from other fishes, this plant might stress the fishes out as well. A big reason is them not getting their food. 

Yup, again we are back to the size of this plant. Furthermore, if the plant spread all over your tank, it’ll soak up a lot of light. And that’ll cause the fishes and other plants to get weak. 

The leaves are bigger than Salvinia. The leaves are unmarked and smooth. If you’re going for a bright green look for your tank, you might want to add frogbit in your tank!

However, you have to keep the leaves above water and make sure they are dry. If you don’t do that then you’ll see your frogbit yellowing. And that’s definitely not a good sign as the yellowing leads to rotting.

Removal From The Tank

Now that you’ve got to know that frogbit is bigger in size so do you think it’s easier to remove it from your tank?

Well, yup it is. Now, how do you get rid of Frogbits? Trying to remove it with bare hands can be troublesome as the leaves will act like suckers and stick to your hand. So, we suggest using gloves. It’ll take less time to remove the plants if you follow this tip of ours. 

Light Absorbance

Well, even if frogbit helps your shy fishes to hide from other fishes, this plant might stress the fishes out as well. A big reason for that is the fishes not getting their necessary food. 

Yup, the big size of this plant is the culprit here. Furthermore, if the plant spread all over your tank, it’ll soak up a lot of light. And that’ll cause the fishes and other plants to get weak day by day. However, the lighting of a fish tank is important.

We know what you are thinking right now. And no, we won’t let you give up the plan of creating a perfect wild-life looking planted tank. Thus, here’s what you should do-

You can use clear air tubing stung to keep them in one position. Recommendations for clear air tubing stung-

Recommended Product Price
Penn Plax Airline Tubing for AquariumsBuy from Amazon
Pawfly7-25 Feet Airline TubingBuy from Amazon

However, the plants always stay on top of other plants and fishes. So, only keeping all the frogbits in one position might work. That’s why you have to change the position from time to time. And make sure the fishes and other plants are doing well.

Can Get Stuck In The Tank Filter

Now, the growth rate of a frogbit is moderate to fast. Frogbit doesn’t spread as fast as Salvinia Minima. But it still takes 1.5-2 weeks to spread all over your tank under medium lighting.

And these plants are much bigger than Salvinia so there’s a 98% possibility that these plants will get stuck in your tank filter. Having plants stuck in your filter can cause various problems. The first problem you’ll face is algae growing in your tank.

Also, these plants are supposed to be placed on the top part of your tank. Therefore, they’ll get more light. And if they cover your tank then the other plants and fishes in your tank won’t get the light they need to survive.

Kind of depressing, isn’t it? 

But you can avoid this problem easily! How?

Well, it’s pretty simple. If you keep your frogbit plants in one place then this stressful situation won’t occur at all. And we’ve already mentioned some great clear air tubing stung. So just relax and use that technique for avoiding this issue!

Water Spangles Vs Frogbit: Results

To be honest, both plants are great in their own ways. It just depends on you! 

For example, If you like small and rootless floating plants then go for salvinia minima. On the other hand, if you think you want to give your planted tank an aesthetic but wild look, then amazon frogbit is for you.

Another example can be based on what type of fish you’ve got in your planted tank. Why is this necessary? 

Well, most of the time, shrimp love to munch down frogbits. It’d be a waste to buy a frogbit if you’ve got a shrimp tank.

Last but not least, floating plants use fish wastes as nutrition. However, if you don’t have many fishes in your tank then you need to use fertilizers. 

Some of the top fertilizers for your floating plants-

Recommended Product Price
API PONDCARE AQUATIC PLANT FOOD TABLETS Potted Plant FertilizerBuy from Amazon
Winchester Gardens 36 Count Highland Rim Aquatic Fertilizer BagBuy from Amazon

Regardless of the maintenance, floating plants are a great addition to your tank. Therefore, you should get yourself some. Just be sure to keep it in the ideal water condition, temperature, and lighting that we’ve mentioned. 

Now, just pick the one you think would suit you and your planted tank better!

FAQs

Question: Is it possible to trim the roots of frogbit?

Answer: Yes, of course! All you need is a tweezer and scissors. At first, pick up the plant carefully with a tweezer then use the scissors to cut the bottom of the roots. We promise you that it’s not painful for your plant.

Question: Why is my frogbit dying?

Answer: After choosing any kind of floating plants, you can come across this situation. And it only happens when you don’t give it proper nutrition, lighting and avoid the proper water condition. So, it’s mandatory to follow the rules to maintain the plant.

Question: How to grow Salvinia Minima?

Answer: It’s pretty easy to grow Salvinia Minima. The level Salvinia Minima care is easy. So, just keep the temperature, lighting, and water condition ideal. And you’ll see your salvinia minima bloom.

Conclusion

Well, that’s all we had in store for you. We hope you went through the whole article and came to a conclusion. 

So, which one do you prefer: salvinia minima vs frogbit?

Let us know by commenting! Good luck plant lovers!

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