Does Jungle Val Need Root Tabs? (5 Things You Should Know!)

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Jungle Val is a freshwater plant that belongs to the tape grasses family. It is very hardy and is one of the most popular aquarium plants as a result.

Although Jungle Val does not need root tabs, root tabs are highly encouraged for this root feeder. They will help the Jungle Val grow more robustly and have a more established growth.

Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about Jungle Val and root tabs.

1. About Vallisneria or Jungle Val

  • Scientific Name: Vallisneria americana
  • Other Names: Jungle celery, eelgrass, tape grass
  • Minimum Tank Size: 29 gallons
  • Maximum Plant Size: 6 feet
  • Difficulty Level: Beginner
  • Water Conditions: 6.0 – 9.0 pH; Moderately hard to hard
  • Temperature: 64 – 82°F

Despite its name, this plant is native to many locations, including the Americas, Asia, and Australia. In most locations, it prefers slow-moving water, such as the water around streams, lakes, and ponds.

When used in an aquarium, Jungle Val prefers to be completely submerged and rooted in the substrate. It is a great choice for fish that like digging, but the aquarium needs to be larger due to this plant’s big size.

2. Why Root Tabs Are Encouraged For Jungle Val

Technically speaking, you do not need root tabs in order for Jungle Val to grow. However, Jungle Val is a root feeder, which means it will benefit from root tabs and iron-rich fertilizers. If you want your Jungle Val to be healthy and flourish, root tabs are recommended.

If you are using a gravel or sand substrate, root tabs are outright essential. This nutrient-lacking substrate does not contain nutrients on its own that the Jungle Val can use for growth. Instead, the Jungle Val will exclusively get its nutrients from the root tabs.

Even if you decide to not use root tabs, you still need to root the Jungle Val. 

Jungle Val cannot go more than a week or two floating. It needs to be rooted. Adding root tabs to the ground will further help the Jungle Val stay healthy.

3. How To Use Root Tabs With Jungle Val

Root tabs are recommended for Jungle Val. However, you need to know how to use root tabs correctly. Using too much or too little could damage the plant in different ways.

For starters, know that root tabs will only last two to three months. You will need to add more root tabs to the aquarium as a result. As a general rule, it is recommended to add new root tabs to the aquarium once a month.

At the same time, don’t use too many root tabs. Too many can burn the root system and kill the plant. Follow the instructions with the root tabs to make sure you are adding just the right amount of nutrients for your plant type and aquarium.

Furthermore, using too many root tabs could harm your fish. This further proves just how important it is to make sure that you are using a proper amount based on your plant type and the size of your aquarium.

4. What Substrate Is Best For Jungle Val?

Because Jungle Val is so hardy, you can pick practically any substrate for the plant. Many beginners select sand or gravel simply because these substrate forms are the easiest to access and clean. Jungle Val can flourish in gravel or sand, but root tabs are required.

If you want the best substrate for your Jungle Val, we recommend a nutrient-rich substrate. You can purchase special substrate for freshwater plants that have nutrients already in the ground. These substrate types do not require root tabs, but you can still use them if you want.

Many Jungle Val growers like substrates such as the CaribSea Eco-Complete Planted Aquarium substrate. 

CaribSea Eco-Complete 20-Pound Planted Aquarium, Black

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This substrate includes 30 different elements to ensure your plants get the nutrition they need. If you select substrate like this, you can use some root tabs, but they might not be necessary.

In case you decide to get a nutrient-rich substrate, be extra cautious about how many root tabs you are using. 

Start out with low doses and increase the amount only as needed. Because the nutrient-rich substrate will already have some nutrients, you won’t need to use as many root tabs as you would with sand or gravel.

Read Also: Can You Add Gravel After Water?

5. What Else Does Jungle Val Need?

In addition to root tabs, there are some other things that your plant will need. Luckily, Jungle Val is hardy and does not require much. Here is a look at the conditions your plant will need to flourish.

#1. Lighting

Jungle Val does not need a lot of extra lighting. As long as there is some lighting, this plant will grow very easily. Still, make sure the aquarium gets lighting so that the plants and fish can be happy.

Read: Should You Keep Fish Tank Light On All The Time?

#2. CO2

Just as Jungle Val does not need extra lighting, it does not need extra CO2 either. As long as there is some CO2, the plants will grow.

#3. Fertilizer

Fertilizer is not necessary if you have nutrient-rich substrate and root tabs. Fertilizer is really only necessary if you select gravel or sand.

#4. Tank Size

About the only thing that Jungle Val needs is larger tank size. Because these plants can grow up to six feet, they require a larger capacity aquarium. They won’t necessarily die in a small aquarium, but they will quickly overtake the tank.


Jungle Val does not require root tabs to grow, but it’s a great idea to use them anyways. 

Especially if you have gravel or sand substrate, root tabs will ensure that the Jungle Val takes roots and gets the nutrients it needs. Jungle Val with rich substrate does not need root tabs as much.

If you decide to use root tabs, make sure to use them properly. 

Having too much or too little can damage the plant. Follow the instructions to make sure you are using the right number of root tabs based on your plant and aquarium size. If you do this, your Jungle Val will be hardy and grow very easily without much extra effort.

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