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Bolbitis Difformis

Bolbitis Difformis

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Bolbitis difformis Care Guide

Common Name: Bolbitis difformis
Difficulty Level: Easy to Moderate
Family: Dryopteridaceae

General Description:

Bolbitis difformis, also known as "Mini Bolbitis," is a smaller and more delicate variant of the commonly known Bolbitis species. It is appreciated for its finely divided, lace-like leaves and its suitability for creating intricate and natural-looking aquascapes. This fern is perfect for both beginner and experienced aquarists.

Care Requirements:

1. Tank Size:

  • Minimum Tank Size: 10 gallons (40 liters)
  • Bolbitis difformis can thrive in smaller tanks, making it a versatile addition to various aquarium setups.

2. Lighting Requirements:

  • Lighting: Low to Moderate
  • This plant prefers low to moderate lighting conditions. High light can cause algae growth on its delicate leaves, so aim for 1 to 2 watts per gallon or use LED lights with similar intensity.

3. CO2 Requirements:

  • CO2: Not necessary but beneficial
  • Bolbitis difformis does not require CO2 supplementation, but providing CO2 can enhance its growth and overall health, resulting in more vibrant and faster-growing foliage.

4. Water Parameters:

  • Temperature: 68-78°F (20-26°C)
  • pH: 5.5-7.5
  • Hardness: 3-10 dKH

5. Substrate:

  • Substrate Type: Not critical
  • Bolbitis difformis typically attaches to hardscapes like rocks or driftwood. If planted, ensure the rhizome is not buried to prevent rot.

6. Fertilization:

  • Nutrients: Low to Moderate
  • This plant has low nutrient demands but can benefit from occasional liquid fertilization, especially in low-nutrient environments. Root tabs are not necessary since it absorbs most nutrients from the water column.

7. Watering and Maintenance:

  • Water Changes: Weekly water changes of 20-30% are recommended to maintain good water quality.
  • Pruning: Minimal pruning is required. Remove any damaged or algae-covered leaves to keep the plant healthy.

8. Propagation:

  • Propagation Method: Rhizome division
  • Bolbitis difformis propagates by dividing the rhizome. Cut a portion of the rhizome with a few leaves attached and reattach it to a new location in the aquarium.

9. Placement in Tank:

  • Placement: Foreground to Midground
  • Due to its small size and delicate structure, Bolbitis difformis is best placed in the foreground to midground of the aquarium. Attach it to rocks or driftwood for the best visual effect.


Bolbitis difformis is an easy to moderately difficult aquatic fern that adds a delicate and intricate aesthetic to any aquarium. It does not require CO2 supplementation but benefits from it and thrives in low to moderate light conditions. Regular water changes and occasional fertilization will keep this plant healthy and vibrant. Its versatility in placement and ease of propagation make it a fantastic addition to any aquascape.

By following this care guide, you can enjoy the beauty and uniqueness of Bolbitis difformis in your aquarium setup.

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