Cryptocoryne aponogetonifolia is a beautiful aquarium plant that grows in the ground. It has a fairly large size, under favorable conditions can grow up to 100 cm high. In aquarium cultivation is usually smaller – about 35 – 40 centimeters high.
Cryptocoryne aponogetonifolia – one of the most beautiful representatives of the genus. Despite the fact that it is quite difficult to keep in the aquarium, it is quite widespread among amateurs because of its decorative qualities.
Latin: Cryptocoryne aponogetifolia; Synonym: Cryptocoryne usteruana
Habitat.: In the wild, it is found on the Philippine Islands. Prefers rivers with fast currents and depths up to two meters. Usually forms dense thickets on pebbly-sandy soil or weathered limestone soil. Prefers shady places, but can also grow in direct sunlight.
Cryptocoryne aponogetonifolia description
Cryptocoryne aponogetonifolia is a bush with a very short, straight, unbranched stem. The leaves are petiolate, long, pointed at the ends, strongly corrugated.
The lamina is narrow, ellipsoidal to ribbon-shaped. It has five longitudinal veins, the middle one being the thickest, protruding above the lamina. Reaches a length of up to fifty centimeters, width of two to four centimeters. The length of the leaf is twice as long as the petiole on which it sits. The color can be all shades of green. The veining is longitudinal. In natural conditions, the bush reaches a height of 100 centimeters.
It grows slowly, with one leaf in about a month. Nevertheless, these ribbons reach the surface quite quickly and flow underneath. The flowers are very beautiful unusual, brownish-purple colored rough small tubes with a spiral tip. The root system is powerful and well developed. The root system is strong and well developed.
Cryptocoryne aponogetonifolia Maintenance, care
Water change is not desirable and even harmful. Once a month, instead of evaporated fresh water is added. It should be taken into account that Cryptocoryne aponogetonolistnaya very sensitive to sharp changes in acidity. Especially badly it tolerates a decrease in pH below 6, especially if the water is too soft (dH below 7). Such fluctuations lead to decomposition of the green mass. This phenomenon is often called “cryptocoryne disease”. Therefore, the water added instead of the evaporated water should have the same hardness and acidity as the aquarium water.
Cryptocoryne aponogetonifolia requires a spacious, high vessel with a water level of at least fifty centimeters. It can only be kept in a tropical aquarium, as it cannot tolerate low temperatures.
The best soil is medium or small pebbles mixed with coarse river sand. It is desirable that the substrate was saturated with organic matter. Very often recommended to plant Cryptocoryne aponogetonolistnaya in a separate pot filling it with a substrate of sand and pebble mixture mixed with clay, dried silt, peat, as well as charcoal. You can put this mixture at the bottom of the hole in which the plant will be planted. If growth is not disturbed and not slowed down, then such a large amount of organic matter in the substrate will not lead to souring. It should be remembered that the rhizome is formed quite powerful, strong, so the layer of substrate or the height of the pot should be at least eight centimeters.
Cryptocoryne aponogetonolistena is very demanding to the heating of the ground. It should have the same temperature as the water. Therefore, when equipping the aquarium, which is planned to grow this hydrophyte should take measures to equalize the temperature of the substrate and liquid medium. Usually for this apply or bottom heaters, laid on the bottom of the vessel under the ground, or equip filtration systems running water through the ground. It is also desirable to install the vessel on thermal insulation material to prevent heat loss.
The optimum temperature for artificial conditions is 22-28°C. If the temperature drops below this, Cryptocoryne aponogetonifolia may shed all of its green mass. New leaves grow deformed at low temperatures. The hardness should be between 8 -16°dH. The reaction should be slightly alkaline pH 7-8. Literature indicates that Cryptocoryne aponogetonifolia does not tolerate the presence of table salt. This is probably due to an increased sensitivity to sodium.
Likes not very bright lighting with spectral composition close to natural light. Prefers diffused light. Does not tolerate prolonged direct sunlight, under which it grows algae. Therefore, with an excess of light it is desirable to let floating plants such as cassava, richchiya floating on the surface. Artificial lighting should provide fluorescent lamps series Flora Fillips. Among them you can choose lamps with a spectrum of radiation close to natural. The total power of fluorescent lamps is recommended about 0.4 – 0.5 W/l. The required daylight hours are about twelve hours.
Care should be taken when feeding. If you have no experience in caring for this plant, it is better to limit yourself to compiling a nutrient substrate as described above. Additional nutrients can only be added when the plant is developing well, has abundant shoots and its growth is not stunted.
If all these conditions are met and there are no contraindications from other inhabitants of the reservoir can be once a week to feed with small doses of mineral fertilizers containing trace elements. Do not exceed a dose of 0.5 – 0.8 grams per 100 liters.
Again, if Cryptocoryne aponogetonifolia grows unevenly, it is better to leave it without feeding. In this case, you should try to normalize the physical parameters of the habitat. Namely, to level the temperature around the root and vegetative part, play with illumination, to raise the temperature by a couple of degrees. You should also check the values of hardness and acidity.
Cryptocoryne aponogetonifolia Breeding
In artificial conditions it can be propagated vegetatively. If the conditions are good, it forms root shoots. They can be separated and planted separately after the young plant forms three, or better five leaves. Such reproduction is slow, but for the amateur the only possible.
Feels great in humid greenhouses and paludariums, but does not achieve such a majestic appearance as in the aquarium. The leaves shorten considerably and take on an oval shape. The temperature should be 26 -30°C. There should be high humidity. The lighting is bright and diffused.
As you can see, Cryptocoryne aponogetonifolia requires for its maintenance of special equipment, some knowledge and experience from the amateur, but the look that it gives to the underwater landscape can not be compared with anything. All the labor costs of growing this plant will pay off with torice, creating in your room underwater world picture, which will caress the eye and you and your guests.