If you are looking at plant options for your aquarium, you might be considering guppy grass VS hornwort and wondering which would be a better choice and what might prompt you to choose one over the other.
They are both popular aquarium plants and it’s important to take the time to understand the differences and figure out which would be right in your aquarium before you select one. Taking the time to do proper research is critical whenever you add something to your tank, because this massively increases your chances of success.
Both guppy grass and hornwort have a lot of advantages and they are quite similar plants, but it’s still important to understand how they differ from each other.
You should also understand which is better for which kind of environment and which plant is more likely to thrive. Being clear on which plant would be better for your tank ensures that the tank inhabitants are happy and healthy.
Both of these plants are floaters, and do not need to be buried in the substrate at the bottom of the tank. You may be able to grow both of them in your aquarium if you have the right kind of setup, but most people choose one or the other.
Most tank inhabitants will enjoy their thick foliage, and whichever you pick, it should make your aquarium look great.
What Is Guppy Grass?
Guppy grass grows quickly and has several common names, including Najas grass and common water nymph. It creates a mass of attractive green foliage that will provide cover for all kinds of fish, and it’s very easy to grow, so it’s ideal if you are just getting your tank set up and you aren’t yet an expert in the hobby.
Guppy grass can get large if it isn’t trimmed, but this is great for providing hiding spots that your fish can dive in and out of, so it will add enrichment to the tank.
The plant is very popular in the aquarium trade for these reasons, and many people include it in their tanks; it will grow in a tiny tank, or in a huge one. It likes a pH value between 6.0 and 8.0, and it tolerates a wide range of water hardness, from 2 – 20 GH.
That means you don’t need to be constantly watching your tank parameters for changes that might upset the grass.
It likes around 8 – 12 hours of light per day, and it will be bright green when it gets enough light, and a reddish color if the light levels are too low. If the lighting in the tank is too strong, the guppy grass may burn, so watch out for this.
You should also remember to add fertilizer occasionally so the plant gets enough nutrients.
What Is Hornwort?
Hornwort is another aquarium plant that produces needle-like capsules that form sheets of attractive greenery underwater, and your fish and other aquatic life will love the dense cover that it provides.
It is also highly attractive, with stems that look fluffy and airy, and it grows very fast, so it will fill your tank with greenery and shelter for the fish. It will help to keep the nutrient levels balanced in the tank, too, using up nutrients that might otherwise contribute to algal growth and murkiness.
Hornwort is easy to care for, but you should be aware that it can hinder the growth of other plants in your aquarium; it produces chemicals that can inhibit their cell reproduction, and give itself an advantage in the tank.
However, many people do successfully grow this plant alongside others, and its effect isn’t so powerful that it will completely stop other plants in the aquarium from growing and surviving.
This plant has multiple stems that branch off from each other, creating a fan of beautiful greenery underwater, and making it look like you have many plants there.
In the wild, hornwort plants can reach around 10 feet long, but they will still grow in restricted spaces, so they will thrive in an aquarium. The leaves of hornwort are pleasantly soft, and fish generally love this plant.
The Advantages Of Guppy Grass!
Guppy grass offers a lot of advantages when you are first setting up your aquarium, and you may see your fish and other tank inhabitants (such as shrimp) hiding in the greenery, and even breeding there, where they feel protected and concealed.
Fry and other newly hatched aquatic life will find plenty to eat in the guppy grass, because it creates a biofilm that they can feed on while hiding from larger tank inhabitants that might otherwise eat them.
Plant-eating species will graze on the guppy grass, but because it grows quickly, this isn’t a problem, and it can be a valuable source of food for them.
It will reduce the algal growth in your aquarium by providing competition for nutrients and therefore it should help to keep the water clear and clean, perfect for a display tank.
It will draw harmful toxins such as nitrites, nitrates, and ammonia out of the water, absorbing them before they can make your fish ill.
Furthermore, guppy grass will help to oxygenate the water, which is important for the health of your fish, and it gives any aquarium a beautiful, natural appearance, waving prettily in the lights.
Because it is so easy to grow, you don’t need to put a lot of time or attention into caring for it; it should thrive even if the conditions are not perfect. You can also grow it rooted in the substrate or free floating, which is a big benefit.
The Advantages Of Hornwort!
Hornwort has a lot of benefits too; it will pull out the chemicals found in tap water and fish waste, absorbing them to keep the water healthy and well-suited to your other tank inhabitants, and getting rid of things like carbon dioxide, phosphates, ammonia, and nitrates. It outputs oxygen, keeping the water rich and making it easier for your fish to breathe, so it’s a great addition to your existing filter.
It’s a fast grower so it will quickly spread throughout the tank, even if you only put a small plant in place.
Like guppy grass, hornwort is great for fish to hide their eggs in, and also provides a feeding ground for the fry, as well as a place for them to shelter from any larger tank inhabitants that might try to eat them.
It is particularly beneficial if the fish are sensitive and need additional care, and its dense leaves will provide plenty of shelter.
Hornwort also looks beautiful in a tank; it is a particularly attractive plant, with its long, emerald foliage, which waves prettily in the water.
If you are creating a tank that you want to be as aesthetically attractive as possible, hornwort might be a great option, and you should definitely consider it. However, bear in mind that it will inhibit the growth of other nearby plants to some extent.
Guppy Grass Vs Hornwort – What Is The Best Option?
It isn’t easy to choose between guppy grass and hornwort, which is why some people opt for both – although the hornwort may slightly affect the growth of the guppy grass, this can still be a good option if you want to provide your fish with the maximum degree of cover and plenty of breeding grounds.
The two plants are both fast growers and aesthetically pleasing, but guppy grass can be rooted or floating, while hornwort needs to float free, which might push you toward choosing guppy grass.
Additionally, guppy grass will not inhibit the growth of any other plants in the tank, which can make it a preferable choice if you want to try some delicate species that you would rather not risk near hornwort.
Both plants are easy to grow, but guppy grass is particularly straightforward, and will thrive in almost any conditions, regardless of the light levels, pH values, temperature, and more.
Overall, therefore, many people opt for guppy grass, but hornwort does have a more beautiful appearance, which might steer you in that direction.
You will need to think about what else you want to grow in the tank, how well the conditions you have will suit the plants, and whether you want the plant to be rooted or free floating. This should help you to decide which plant would be best for you.
When it comes to guppy grass vs hornwort, there may not be much in it – guppy grass has an edge in some ways, because it can be rooted and it’s so easy to care for, but most people find hornwort more attractive and pleasing. Both plants will be suitable for most varieties of fish and will grow well in a wide range of conditions, filling your tank with speedy and pretty growth, so if you can’t choose between them, consider growing both. You can always remove one or the other variety if you decide that it isn’t working out.