Cryptocorynes grow in coastal areas and on the islands of southeast Asia in both fast and slow flowing bodies of water, for example, in rivers prone to high tides, along river banks that dry out during poor rainfall seasons, as well as small rivers and lakes near virgin forests, filled with water during the rainy season.
There are species that grow most of the time in a swamp and only for a short period of the year under water, they usually bloom like terrestrial plants. Other species grow constantly or mostly underwater, but the veil rises above it.
The plant has a more or less horizontal rhizome with a rosette of petiole leaves. Within individual species, there are variants in the shape and color of the leaves, therefore, the species can be reliably determined only by the coverlet, which consists of a chamber in which the inflorescence (ear), tube and petal are located.
Cryptocoryne is planted in nutrient soil with a layer of at least 5 cm, the temperature of which should not differ much from the temperature of the water, since cold soil inhibits growth. Illumination 0.4-0.5 W / l. Water: 24-28 ° С, dH 4-10 °, pH 6.5-7.4, regular weekly change of 1 / 5-1 / 4 of the volume to fresh. Cryptocoryns do not like transplants (no more than once a year), they get used to the environment for a long time, some species take weeks to give the first new leaf after transplantation.
Cryptocoryne is susceptible to so-called "cryptocoryne disease" (especially in winter), when the leaf blades suddenly, sometimes overnight, become soft, glassy and decompose. In most cases, this happens when the conditions of detention change: a sharp change in the parameters of the water during its change, the intensity or spectrum of illumination, the change of the filter filler, the addition of chemicals to the water, etc. Sometimes this happens for no apparent reason. The disease can be transferred to other aquariums when plants are transplanted from the patient. The cause of the disease is still unknown. If the leaves have begun to decompose, then you need to try to save the rhizome by changing the water and removing dirt from the soil. In most cases, the plants get better. Cryptocorynes of Beckett, Wendt and related cryptocoryne are especially susceptible to this disease.
Cryptocoryne reproduces by layering, which can be separated after the formation of several leaves 4-5 cm long, by cutting the creeping shoot on which they have not formed. To speed up the reproduction of especially slow growing species (eg Beckett's Cryptocorynes, reverse helix, undulata) the following method can be tested. All leaves are removed from the rhizome of the plant and allowed to float on the surface of the water. After 1-3 weeks, often at the same time, daughter plants are formed on it. When they have several leaves 4-5 cm long, the rhizome is cut and the plants are planted in the ground. If only one plant has formed, then it is separated with a small piece of rhizome, and the rest of the rhizome is left to float until the next daughter plant is formed. N. Yakobson recommends obtaining flowering Cryptocorynes as follows. The plant is planted in a flower pot # about 7 cm with soil,the bottom layer of which consists of weathered granite with an admixture of quartz sand and with the addition of fertilizer or lime-free garden soil without humus. A small amount of peat is useful. Top layer of gravel. The pot is placed on the ground of the aquarium, filled with water to a height of 2-4 cm. The ground is heated with a bottom heater. Fluorescent lamps are attached to the aquarium lid; the duration of illumination is 12 hours a day. After six months or a year, most Cryptocorynes begin to bloom.duration of lighting 12 hours a day. After six months or a year, most Cryptocorynes begin to bloom.duration of lighting 12 hours a day. After six months or a year, most Cryptocorynes begin to bloom.
It grows on the shallows of the slow flowing rivers of Burma and Thailand. Leaves up to 30 cm long with a green petiole. The leaf blade is up to 15 cm long, up to 1 cm wide, linear in shape, sometimes slightly wavy along the edge, the apex is sharp, the base is wedge-shaped, green above, sometimes brownish, whitish-green below. The petal of the bedspread at the top is twisted, off-white with dots located in longitudinal stripes of a reddish or brownish color. The plant in the aquarium rarely grows above 15 cm, grows slowly. Place the group in the foreground and middle planes. Water: 22-28 ° C. It blooms under lighting for 10-11 hours a day.
Related article How to ensure normal and proper nutrition for aquarium plants?
Cryptocoryne usteriana (Cryptocoryne usteriana)
Grows in the Philippines. Sheet up to 100 cm in length. The leaf blade is up to 70 cm long, up to 4 cm wide, linear in shape, knobby, wedge-shaped base, sharp top, dark green above, lighter below. The petiole is red-brown. The petal of the bedspread is slightly twisted, gray-violet with a more or less strongly defined pharynx, rough. Solitaire or planted in a group in the background. Leaves quickly reach the surface of the water and then settle under it. Water: 22-28 ° С, dH up to 20 °, pH 6-8. Can grow in lime-containing soil. Gives 1 sheet per month. It reproduces rather slowly.