The Fish Guru

Jungle Val: A Beginner’s Guide to Growing and Caring for this Beautiful Aquatic Plant

Introduction to Jungle Val

Aquatic plants are becoming increasingly popular among aquarium hobbyists, and one plant that is a favorite among beginners is the Jungle Val, also known as the tape grass, eelgrass, water celery, or Vallisneria Americana. With its long, bright green ribbon-like leaves that can grow several inches in height, the Jungle Val has become one of the earliest plants to be loved and cultivated by aquarium enthusiasts.

In this article, we will delve into the description, popularity, appearance, and different species of the Jungle Val, providing you with everything you need to know about this beautiful freshwater aquatic plant.

Description of Jungle Val

The Jungle Val is a freshwater aquatic plant that belongs to the family of Hydrocharitaceae, which is distributed throughout the world. It is native to North America, where it is commonly found in slow-moving waters, swamps, and marshes, but it is widely cultivated as an aquarium plant as well.

The leaves of Jungle Val are ribbon-like, dark green, and grow out of a thick, short stem that grows out of the substrate. They can grow up to 6 or 7 feet in their natural habitat, and about 24 inches in an aquarium.

Its thin stem has small roots that anchor it to the substrate and a white or pink runner that runs underground. The Jungle Val is also known as the tape grass, eelgrass, and water celery because of its resemblance to these other aquatic plants.

Popularity and history of Jungle Val

Jungle Val is one of the favorite aquatic plants for beginner aquarists, and it has been cultivated in aquariums for many years. Its popularity is due to its ease of care, hardiness, and beauty.

Its leaves are long, slender, and sway with the current, giving an aquarium a natural and soothing look. Many aquarists use it as a background plant, with its leaves swaying gently in the current, creating a relaxing and peaceful environment for their aquatic pets.

Appearance of Jungle Val

The characteristics of the Jungle Val are long, bright green, ribbon-like leaves that grow out of a thick, short stem. The leaves can grow up to 24 inches in an aquarium and up to six or seven feet long in their natural habitat.

The leaves of Jungle Val are excellent in adding natural background hiding places for smaller fish.

Different species of Jungle Val

There are many species of Vallisneria, but the most popular is Vallisneria Americano, also known as Jungle Val or Vallisneria Americana. This species is highly common in aquariums and is widely available in pet stores.

Although there are many species of Vallisneria, the different types are quite challenging to distinguish. However, people have been able to distinguish subtleties that set each species apart for scientific reasons.

Tips to Grow Jungle Val

Here are some tips for growing the Jungle Val:

1. Water parameters: Jungle Val prefers a neutral pH of around 7.0 to 7.5 and soft to slightly hard water conditions.

2. Moderate lighting: The Jungle Val prefers moderately bright lighting, and it will grow at a slower rate in low light conditions.

This plant requires a minimum of 3 watts per gallon of light on aquariums. 3.

Nutrient-rich substrate and fertilizers: A nutrient-rich substrate will benefit the healthy growth of Jungle Val. This is because the roots of Vallisneria sp.

absorb the necessary nutrients from the substrate to thrive. When it comes to fertilization, Jungle Val will respond well to iron-rich plant fertilizers.

4. Propagation: To propagate Jungle Val, gently remove the runners that have developed new plantlets, and replant them back in your tank to be planted elsewhere.


Overall, Jungle Val is an excellent choice for aquarium hobbyists as it is easy to care for, hardy, and adds natural beauty to your aquarium. Its long, bright green, ribbon-like leaves are a great addition to any aquarium, providing a comfortable hideout for your aquatic pets while adding a natural touch to your tank.

With the tips provided above, you can easily cultivate them in your aquarium and enjoy your very own Jungle Val at home.

Care of Jungle Val

If you’re looking for an aquarium plant that is easy to care for and adds a touch of natural beauty to your tank, you might want to consider the Jungle Val. In this section, we will discuss the tank size and set-up required for Jungle Val, suitable water conditions, fertilizers, CO2, and lighting.

We will also talk about the importance of pruning and propagation and some safe tankmates that Jungle Val can share their aquarium.

Tank Size and Setup for Jungle Val

The Jungle Val is a background plant that grows tall and wide, which makes it ideal for larger aquariums. A minimum tank size of 29 gallons is recommended, which ensures the plant roots can be deeply rooted and securely entrenched in the substrate, which should be a sand or gravel substrate.

Planting Jungle Val by anchoring its roots in different depths ensures different areas in the tank have various heights of plant growth. The crown of the plant should be planted above the substrate material to avoid rot.

Jungle Val is an excellent choice for covering the back part of an aquarium. The more space the plant roots can acquire, the faster the plant may grow.

Water Conditions for Jungle Val

Jungle Vals are known as easy-to-grow plants because of their tolerance to a wide range of water conditions. The preferred temperature range is between 64F to 82F (17.8C to 28C), and it tolerates mildly hard, alkaline to moderately hard, and slightly acidic water conditions.

The Jungle Val grows better in brackish water conditions and slow growth in acidic and soft water. A pH range of 6.0 to 9.0 is optimal for Jungle Val.

A weekly 25% to 30% water change is required to keep water conditions appropriate for Jungle Val’s healthy growth. Fertilizer, CO2, and Lighting for Jungle Val

Jungle Val’s care requirements are minimal, and maintenance is fairly straightforward.

They get most of the necessary nutrients from their substrate, making iron-rich fertilizers helpful for iron-deficient water and substrate conditions. Co2 supplements are not required, and they grow well with low Co2 levels, but high-quality lighting is beneficial.

Bright lighting can stimulate strong growth of Jungle Val. It is ideal if the tank has a specialized plant bulb or high-quality LED, which provides an appropriate level of light exposure for Jungle Val.

Besides, a weekly 25% to 30% water change will support healthy growth by keeping the water quality appropriate.

Pruning of Jungle Val

Jungle Val does not require frequent trimming, in fact, it has a no trim/cut policy due to its ability to recover slowly. You should only trim or prune the leaves that are too long and must be removed to maintain the aesthetic appearance of your aquarium.

When pruning, avoid damaging the foliage. Damaged leaves may rot and foul the water, causing harm to tankmates.

Utilizing sharp scissors when trimming the leaves will ensure neat cuts, allowing the root system of the plant to remain intact. You can plant Jungle Val in the back of the aquarium as a screening plant because of its tall and wide growth pattern tendencies.

Propagation of runners should be an essential consideration to ensure new Jungle Val plants.

Propagation of Jungle Val

Propagating Jungle Val is relatively easy, and it can be accomplished using the plant’s runners. Individual Jungle Val plants develop new roots and plantlets that emerge from a white, thin runner that runs underground.

This runner is where new Jungle Val growths develop from, and it’s the easiest way to propagate new plants. Before separating runners, it is vital that the new leaves develop fully for the separated plants.

Once the runners separate, they should be planted in appropriate aquarium conditions immediately. It typically takes four weeks for Jungle Val’s separated runners to settle and regrow into new plants.

Expecting flowering on plants is impossible for skillful tank keepers since it is not possible to replicate their natural habitat’s conditions.

Tankmates for Jungle Val

Jungle Val possesses tough leaves and an anchoring root system that makes it difficult to dislodge. Therefore, your tankmates need to be cautious and not destructive

to Jungle Val.

Herbivorous fish such as rabbit snails and Shrimp are excellent tankmates for Jungle Val. In a cichlid tank, it works well, and you can try dwarf African cichlids or Apistogramma.

These fish types won’t damage the plant and may add brightness and color to your aquarium.

FAQ about Jungle Val

1) Is Jungle Val easy to grow? Yes, Jungle Val is easy to grow.

2) Does Jungle Val require CO2? No, Jungle Val does not require CO2.

3) Can Jungle Val be trimmed? Ideally, you should not trim Jungle Val, but when trimming is necessary, use sharp scissors and avoid damaging the foliage.

4) Can Jungle Val be root-fed, or is water-column absorption sufficient? Jungle Val can be root-fed, but nutrient absorption from the water column is sufficient via substrate and root tabs to supplement nutrition.


Jungle Val is an excellent plant to include in your aquarium. It has a natural and relaxed visual appearance while providing hiding areas for smaller fish.

The plant’s hardiness, including tolerance to a wide range of water and light conditions, enables it to thrive even with minimal input, making it an excellent beginner plant. Taking care of Jungle Val requires so little that its hard to go wrong by selecting this beautiful plant.

The ease of growing, the setup of this plant, its nutritional requirements, pruning, and propagation, and safe tankmates is what makes Jungle Val an appealing choice for all aquarium hobbyists. In summary, Jungle Val is an aquatic plant that can add natural beauty to your aquarium.

Its ribbon-like leaves grow several inches in height and sway gently with the current, creating a relaxing and peaceful environment for your aquatic pets. To ensure healthy growth, you should plant Jungle Val in a large aquarium with a sand or gravel substrate, rooted deeply and securely into the substrate.

The plant is easy to care for and tolerates a wide range of water conditions, but it prefers moderately bright lighting, nutrient-rich substrate, and iron-rich fertilizer. Jungle Val is easy to propagate, but you should refrain from trimming it frequently since damaged foliage rots and may foul the water.

Proper care, including appropriate tankmates, and nutrients, will ensure the health of your Jungle Val. Jungle Val propagation and other information presented in this article are essential for beginner aquatic plant enthusiasts looking to include Jungle Val as part of their aquarium plants collection.

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