We are reader supported. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Also, as an Amazon affiliate, we earn from qualifying purchases.
In a planted take, there is no plant more useful than a floating plant. These free-floating greens don’t need to be planted and take all of their nutrients from the water, sucking up nitrates that would otherwise be used by annoying algae.
There are dozens of floating plants that suit a freshwater aquarium, but one of the most popular is frogbit. Resembling miniature lily pads, frogbit is one of the easiest floating plants to keep, but as with any floating plant, the most important question is how fast does frogbit grow?
Limnobium Laevigatum, also known as Amazon frogbit, or more simply, frogbit, is one of the fastest-growing aquatic plants on the market. It will produce a new leaf every 2 days, and in optimal conditions will triple in number within 2 to 3 weeks.
How Fast Does Frogbit spread?
Floating plants are known for their tendency to spread and grow incredibly fast, and frogbit is no exception. Within a few weeks, frogbit will triple, and sometimes even quadruple, in number.
Frogbit spreads so quickly because each leaf can produce another leaf every two days. The new leaf will then separate from the mother leaf, leaving the mother leaf to produce yet another leaf in another few days.
This rapid rate of reproduction means that frogbit is a brilliant choice if you’re looking for a plant to fill your tank quickly. On the other hand, if you aren’t careful, frogbit can take over the surface of a tank and become a nuisance. Pay close attention when adding fast-growing plants like frogbit.
How Much Sunlight Does Frogbit need?
Frogbit prefers 3 to 4 hours of direct sunlight a day, but if your frogbit is in an aquarium that doesn’t receive natural sunlight, a full spectrum aquarium light will also work.
Not all aquarium fish can tolerate long hours of natural sunlight, so in order to keep your frogbit healthy, make sure you have a full-spectrum aquarium light. Limited spectrum lights will not encourage growth and your frogbit won’t flourish.
In combination with full-spectrum light of some kind, frogbit benefits greatly from fertilizers. You can add fertilizers on a schedule, or just include them during a weekly water change.
Frogbit in Aquarium vs Pond
Unlike other floating aquarium plants, frogbit can also do well in an outdoor pond, but there are a few things to consider before moving your frogbit outdoors permanently.
First, frogbit won’t survive being frozen. If you live in an area where the surface of your pond will completely freeze, it’s a good idea to bring some of your frogbit indoors in a bucket so you will have a viable culture to use come springtime.
Another consideration for outdoor frogbit is koi and goldfish, two of the most popular outdoor pond fish, will eat frogbit. Koi and goldfish have a tendency to eat anything they can fit in their mouths, floating plants included. Try to start out with a large enough amount of frogbit that your fish will lose interest while there is still a substantial amount left over.
How Fast Does Frogbit Grow in an Aquarium?
Frogbit may grow slower in an aquarium than it would in a pond. Variables like light, fertilizers, and space are all contributing factors to the growth rate of most floating plants.
Since the frogbit is a floater and doesn’t sink roots into the ground, it isn’t necessary to have CO2 added to the tank for the frogbit to grow.
Frogbit requires full-spectrum light to grow, but besides light and fertilizer, the other big factor that can keep frogbit from growing quickly is space. If the surface of your tank is already full of another floating plant like duckweed, it will be harder for your frogbit to thrive.
How Fast Does Frogbit Grow in a Pond?
In a pond with optimal sunlight, frogbit will grow extremely fast, quadrupling in number within 2 weeks.
As long as your frogbit isn’t at risk of freezing or being eaten, a pond really is an ideal place to grow it out.
Why is My Frogbit Not Growing?
Sometimes, despite perfect lighting and weekly fertilizers, frogbit will still refuse to grow correctly. There are a few other less common problems that could affect the growth rate of your frogbit.
Lack of calcium, too high of a current, and snail damage can all stunt the growth of otherwise healthy frogbit.
Calcium is an essential component in the chemical makeup of a healthy aquarium, and without it, some plants can become yellow or brown and cease to thrive. There are additives that can restore your calcium level, or you can add objects like cuttlefish bone to get some extra calcium in your water.
It’s also an issue if your filter or air stone causes too intense of a current. Your frogbit will be thrown around the surface of the water, which makes it difficult for it to reproduce and absorb necessary nutrients.
Finally, snails can be problematic for some plants. Snails can be a welcome part of an aquarium or pest animals, but either way, it’s hard to tell which snails will have an appetite for frogbit. If you’re seeing holes or half-eaten frogbit, your snails may be to blame!