Florida Aquatic Nurseries was founded in 1957 by Dr. William McLane. With enthusiasm for growing aquatic plants, McLane developed his knowledge and expertise from that of a hobbyist to America’s leading producer of aquarium plants. After his passing in 1972, Dr. McLane’s sons, Brad and Bruce, took over the aquarium plant business.
This was not new to them since they were actively involved in the business while they were growing up, and shared their father’s passion for aquatic plants. In 2005, Brandon, Brad’s son, joined the company which moves us to the third generation, as the second generation steps back.
The aquarium industry has made tremendous strides over the years. With technological advancements, manufacturers of aquarium products have come up with highly sophisticated equipment, such as CO2 injectors and LED lamps, excellent commercial substrates and aquarium fertilizers, which have made aquarium plant keeping much easier. Many new and exciting aquatic plant varieties have been introduced to the trade through increased sport selection, hybridization and tissue culture production as well as introduction of new varieties.
F.A.N. has made history as one of the first aquarium plant growers to develop and patent new, colorful and highly desirable cultivars of various aquarium plant species. We have introduced Echinodorus varieties: Amazon “Compacta” [Add others] We have other new and exciting aquarium plants in the works each year. In addition to our own new releases, we search worldwide for the latest plant species and varieties to introduce to the U.S. Market. Examples include several European Echinodorus hybrids such as 'Red Flame' , 'Indian Red', Monosolenium and Pogostemon varieties. With all the new aquatic plants and aquarium related products on the market, the aquarium industry is going through one of the most exciting periods in its history.
In 1989, after watching water gardening explode in Europe, Florida Aquatic Nurseries decided to add a water garden plant division to the company. Over this period, F.A.N. has established itself as one of the leading producers of water garden plants in the United States. We now offer more than 250 varieties of water garden plants including tropical and hardy water lilies, marginal plants, surface plants, and oxygenating plants. Florida Aquatic Nurseries has been a leading tropical waterlily hybridizer in the industry.
F.A.N. has released more than a dozen new hardy and tropical waterlily cultivars, with many more set for release in coming years. One of our tropical waterlily introductions, William McLane, was chosen as the first ever recipient of the prestigious Banksian Medal award, given by the Royal Horticultural Society. This was presented by the International Waterlily Society as a result of the waterlily trials held at their annual symposium in Denver, Colorado in 1997. Many other tropical waterlily varieties Hybridized by Florida Aquatic Nurseries have become mainstays in the industry with Nymphaea 'Ultraviolet'winning Best New Waterlily for 2008 and Nymphaea 'Tanzanite' winning Best New Waterlily for 2009.
Through the years, the growing sites have increased to 15 acres. Outdoors, there are 500 concrete production tanks for aquarium plants and waterlilies and 50 marginal beds for pond plants. In addition, the seven greenhouses total over 100,000 square feet of growing space making us one of the largest aquatic plant growers in the U. S. State-of-the-art techniques and equipment are utilized throughout the nursery. Among the trained personnel there is a core of a dozen aquatic plant specialists who have been part of our team for 10 years or more. Office personnel – particularly those in customer service – have a reputation for being knowledgeable, dependable and very helpful.
As we enter the new millennium, look for Florida Aquatic Nurseries to continue to bring to market the latest in high quality aquatic plants for both aquariums and water gardens.