Is Mondo Grass Aquarium Pleasant? – Our Full Information


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Have you ever seen mondo grass being offered as an ‘aquatic plant’ in your native pet retailer? You could even be one of many unfortunate ones who purchased it, pondering it’ll be a straightforward plant to develop in your aquarium.

The not-so-good information is that mondo grass isn’t actually an aquatic plant in any respect, and might solely be persuaded to develop in water below very particular situations. Whereas mondo grass is a wonderful home and backyard plant, there are a number of grass-like plant species which are significantly better for fish tanks!

In my analysis, I found it may not even be secure for pets. Let’s study extra about mondo grass and its options!

What Is Mondo Grass?

Ophiopogon japonicus (aka. dwarf lilyturf, mondo grass, fountain plant, monkey grass, dragon’s beard, snake’s beard) is a grass-like evergreen perennial that’s native to China, India, Japan, and Vietnam. Regardless of its title, mondo grass is just not actually a grass in any respect – it’s extra carefully associated to lilies!

Though it’s often offered for aquariums, mondo grass is best generally known as a backyard or home plant. It’s helpful for creating lawns, particularly in shady areas. Gardeners take pleasure in mondo grass for its white flowers and purple-black berries.

A phrase of warning – mondo grass is so prolific in heat climates that it’s thought-about an invasive weed within the Southern United States!

Is Mondo Grass Appropriate for an Aquarium?

Because it’s most well-known as a backyard plant, then why is mondo grass marketed as an aquarium plant?

That’s what many fish keepers are asking, particularly those that have purchased the plant and solely later achieved their analysis!

The reply is, it’s nearly attainable to maintain mondo grass underwater, however it is vitally troublesome!

Mondo grass is mainly a plant for dry land, though it appears to be naturally tailored to life underwater for brief intervals of time. Maybe it advanced this manner to deal with the annual monsoons within the Asian nations that it comes from.

How Do I Preserve Mondo Grass Alive Underwater?

Generally, mondo grass will survive for round one month underwater earlier than starting to die and decay. There are rumors that some types of this plant such because the dwarf selection ‘Kyoto dwarf’ can survive underwater for longer intervals than others.

Even so, it’s nonetheless a problem to maintain this plant wholesome when totally submerged, and a few aquatic plant fans have give you some strategies to maintain mondo grass alive for longer underwater. Some declare that, as soon as established, mondo grass may even dwell indefinitely underwater!

If you wish to give it a shot, these strategies ought to provide you with your finest probabilities:

Submerge Mondo Grass Slowly

As a result of life underwater isn’t this plant’s pure habitat, it’s a good suggestion to submerge it regularly. Some aquarists advise that it’s best to submerge the plant for a couple of days, adopted by a couple of days above water, and repeat this cycle till the plant is rising strongly.

Regularly give the plant an increasing number of time underwater till it appears comfortable to dwell there full time.

Present Superb Rising Situations for Mondo Grass in Your Aquarium

Some hobbyists who’ve managed to maintain mondo grass underwater for longer intervals declare that the plant likes comparatively cool aquarium water temperatures of 65-75°F.

Clear water with low gentle ranges and no fertilization is beneficial. Since this plant is best tailored to dwell above water, then good gasoline alternate within the aquarium will probably play a key position in its survival.

You may enhance gasoline alternate through the use of a filter with a high circulation rate, and an aquarium spray bar or filter baffle that will increase floor agitation and oxygenation on the water’s floor.

What to do if Your Mondo Grass Is Dying?

In case you handle to maintain mondo grass alive in your aquarium for a number of months, then give your self a pat on the again! That’s longer than most aquarium house owners have managed.

In case your plant does finally start to wither and soften, nonetheless, you’ve got two choices:

Possibility A is to try to revive your mondo grass by providing it situations nearer to these prompt above. Sadly, because the plant is so fussy underwater, this gained’t at all times be simple. The low lighting, low temperatures, and excessive water stream may not essentially be suitable together with your different crops and fish.

Possibility B is to take away the plant earlier than it rots and fouls the water. In case your mondo grass is clearly on its means out, it’s higher to take away it from the aquarium earlier than it begins rotting and dirtying the water with ammonia. Dying and useless plant materials are a significant explanation for poor water high quality and algae blooms in aquariums so it’s higher to take away it promptly!

Can I Develop Mondo Grass in a Terrarium?

In case you didn’t know, terrarium is the proper time period for tanks that simply host crops, whereas vivarium is the title for a tank that features dry land reptiles. Ripariums and paludariums are tanks with half land and half water and may embrace amphibians and reptiles.

The good information is that every one of these kind of tanks are way more appropriate for rising mondo grass than aquariums! The extra of the plant that’s above water, the extra probably it’ll survive – particularly if its crown is above the water line.

Mondo grass will develop nicely in sealed, humid terrariums in addition to open, drier setups. So long as it receives common watering, it ought to show to be a hardy plant.

Can I Develop Mondo Grass in a Container?

In addition to performing nicely in terrariums, mondo grass is a wonderful plant to develop in pots. Whether or not you retain it inside or exterior your own home, mondo grass is a reasonably and tidy little plant that not often exceeds 5 inches in peak.

It’s additionally a really robust plant species that has no drawback with momentary waterlogging, however apparently, it’s drought-tolerant, too! You may learn extra about rising mondo grass in pots and containers here.

Is Mondo Grass Protected for My Pets?

Mondo grass is often listed as being secure for pets, however after listening to that the roots comprise saponins, I made a decision to look into the query extra deeply.

A scientific study from 2019 in China confirms that the roots of mondo grass comprise excessive ranges of steroidal saponins. Since saponins are used within the therapy of sure illnesses, they could account for the mondo grass’s reputed medicinal advantages, together with its use in Conventional Chinese language Medication.

However some sorts of steroidal saponins are extremely poisonous to animals, together with cats, canine, reptiles, and fish. Cats and canine have been poisoned earlier than by consuming elements of the Dragon Tree (Dracaena marginata) that comprise an analogous sort of saponin, so I wouldn’t rule it out as a possible hazard.

In my analysis, nonetheless, I didn’t come throughout any direct stories of mondo grass poisoning animals.

Some Higher Options to Mondo Grass for Aquariums

In case you’re after some grass-like crops in your fish tank, fear not! There are numerous different candidates which are simply as lovely and far simpler to develop than mondo grass.

Sagittaria subulata (Dwarf Sag), Lilaeopsis novae-zelandiae (Micro Sword), Echinodorus tenellus (Dwarf Chain Swords), and Eleocharis acicularis/Eleocharis parvula (Dwarf Hairgrass) are all wonderful selections and way more beginner-friendly than mondo grass!

All 4 of those dwell crops are included in our devoted article on the best aquarium grasses.


Mondo grass is just not a real aquatic plant and could be very troublesome to develop in an aquarium. Though some aquarists have had some restricted success getting it to develop below particular situations, it’s usually significantly better saved as a houseplant or in your backyard.

The excellent news is that there are lots of different grass-like crops for aquariums that don’t want your fixed consideration to remain alive!

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