The Ultimate Guide to Bolbitis Difformis Care

The Ultimate Guide to Bolbitis Difformis Care

Bolbitis heteroclita 'Difformis', commonly known as Mini Bolbitis or Davallia sp., is a fascinating miniature aquatic fern that has become a favorite among aquarists and terrarium enthusiasts. Its delicate, finely divided leaves and compact growth make it a perfect addition to any aquascape or terrarium setup. In this guide, we'll cover everything you need to know about caring for Bolbitis Difformis, ensuring it thrives in your aquatic or terrestrial environment.

Introduction to Bolbitis Difformis

Bolbitis Difformis is a dwarf variety of the widely spread tropical Asian fern Bolbitis heteroclita. It originates from the Philippines and has recently gained popularity in the aquarium hobby due to its unique appearance and manageable size. This plant is ideal for adding a touch of natural elegance and a lush, carpet-like effect to your setup.

Optimal Growing Conditions


  • Bolbitis Difformis prefers low to medium indirect light. Too much direct sunlight can damage its delicate leaves, so it's best to provide filtered light or place it in a shaded area of your aquarium or terrarium.

Humidity and Moisture:

  • High humidity is crucial for Bolbitis Difformis, especially when grown emersed in terrariums. Regular misting and maintaining a humid environment will help keep the plant healthy and vibrant. In aquariums, ensure consistent moisture levels.

Water Parameters:

  • This plant thrives in water temperatures between 18-28°C (65-82°F) and prefers slightly acidic to neutral pH levels (5.5-7.5). Maintaining stable water parameters is essential for the health of Bolbitis Difformis.

Planting and Substrate


  • Bolbitis Difformis grows best when attached to hardscape elements like driftwood or rocks. If you choose to plant it in the substrate, ensure good drainage to prevent rhizome rot. This plant does not require nutrient-rich substrate, making it versatile in different setups.


  • When attaching Bolbitis Difformis to hardscape, use fishing line or thread to secure the plant until it naturally attaches. Avoid burying the rhizome in the substrate to prevent rot.

Care and Maintenance

Water Changes:

  • Regular water changes are beneficial for maintaining optimal water quality and supporting healthy plant growth. This helps to prevent the buildup of waste and nutrients that can lead to algae growth.

Pruning and Propagation:

  • Bolbitis Difformis is a slow-growing plant, so it requires minimal pruning. However, occasional trimming of dead or damaged leaves will help maintain its appearance. Propagation is straightforward through rhizome division or cutting off daughter plants, which can then be reattached to hardscape or planted in the substrate.


  • While Bolbitis Difformis does not require heavy fertilization, occasional dosing with liquid fertilizers can support healthy growth. Ensure that the fertilizers are safe for use with aquatic plants and do not contain harmful chemicals.

Benefits of Bolbitis Difformis

Aesthetic Appeal:

  • The finely pinnate leaves of Bolbitis Difformis add a soft, natural look to your setup. Its compact size and lush growth make it an excellent choice for filling gaps and creating a cohesive, green appearance.

Habitat Enrichment:

  • This plant provides excellent cover and hiding spots for small fish and invertebrates, enhancing the natural habitat and promoting a healthy aquarium ecosystem.


  • Bolbitis Difformis thrives both submerged in aquariums and emersed in terrariums and paludariums, providing flexibility in how you incorporate it into your design.


Bolbitis Difformis is a remarkable plant that brings elegance and natural beauty to any aquatic or terrestrial setup. Its delicate, finely divided leaves and ease of care make it a perfect choice for both beginners and experienced hobbyists. By providing the right conditions and regular maintenance, you can enjoy the serene beauty of Bolbitis Difformis in your aquarium or terrarium.

For more detailed information and to purchase Bolbitis Difformis, visit reputable aquatic plant suppliers and specialized terrarium shops. Enhance your aquatic and terrestrial landscapes with this captivating miniature fern and enjoy the lush, green beauty it brings to your environment.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.