Posts Tagged cryptocoryne

Cryptocoryne moehlmannii – spathe

Cryptocoryne moehlmannii and Cryptocoryne pontederiifolia look very much alike when grown emersed or submerged. To properly differentiate and identify the correct species is to flower the plant(s). I have both in my emersed setup and both flowered. The whole lower part of C. moehlmannii is exactly like C. pontederiifolia. However you can clearly distinguished two by noticing red dots in the top portion of Cryptocoryne moehlmannii tube.

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Cryptocoryne usteriana x walkeri – spathe

I’m starting to believe that one of the limiting factors in my setup was insufficient humidity levels. My first setup was a standard greenhouse tray with dome. Then I moved up to 10G setup with ceran wrap as a cover. Then upgraded to currently setup 75G but continued to use ceran wrap. I went through couple humidity meters but none of them showed accurate levels. Meter kept showing the same level on dry winter day and extremely hot summer day. Something was obviously off.

Few weeks ago I finally got a glass cover. Since then I noticed drastic increase in overall growth and most importantly – numerous flowers. Could it be all of the following: established environment, water, temperature, circulation, humidity or simply one of them ? I’m not sure but I know that the only elementes that were adjusted are: humidity and water circulation.

I received Cryptocoryne usteriana x walkeri from good friend of mine – Ghazanfar, few months ago. I was told that this plant came from one and only – Jan Bastmeijer. I guess I can cross another specimen off the list. 

Cryptocoryne usteriana x walkeri Cryptocoryne usteriana walkeri

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Cryptocoryne wendtii ‘Florida Sunset’

Thanks to a local club member, I finally have the recently announced new Cryptocoryne wendtii cultivar ‘Florida Sunset.’ That plant made its appearance at the last AGA’08 convention in Atlanta. Hearing the $120 price tag at the auction I decided to wait few months until the plant was available in local pet shops. Not sure if economy had a direct impact or market is already over-saturated but the price tag nowadays is very affordable ~$10. I noticed a lot of hobbyists are in the possession of it and they are growing it sub/emersed so we should be able to spread this plant around fairly quickly. Stay tune for an update !

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Cryptocoryne – How hardy ?

(click on pic)

I briefly posted about a year ago about Cryptocoryne pontederiifolia. Few runners were taken out of the tank in November 2006 and placed in a tupperware-like container. No substrate, no pots, no water. I had done nothing except very occasional water misting. I opened the container in June 2007 and found rich root system and number of healthy leaves (pic 1).


Picture 1

Cryptocoryne pontederiifolia is definitely not the only hardy specimen. About two years I visited my friend’s fishroom and on the way out I was given a healthy potted Cryptocoryne aponogetifolia in a small plastic container. When I got back from the trip, I must have misplaced the container because I never got around to re-potting it and adding it to my emersed setup. Few months later I found the container without a plant. It melted and died !!! or did it ? I didn’t feel like cleaning it up so I left the container in the same spot, untouched. Few months later I looked into it again and found the plant alive, growing well with healthy root system and healthy leaves. I left it alone and decided to challenge it again. Plant continue to grow, melt (*not completely) and bounce back.

Yesterday I decided to take it apart, re-pot it and add it to the emersed setup. Moral of the story … let’s give those plants some credit or a lot of it !. They can grow in very limited conditions and some times they can even come back from the “death.”

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Cryptocoryne undulata – spathe

Another one crossed off the list. Cryptocoryne undulata flowered few days ago. No change to the setup.

About a week ago I finally got rid DIY foil cover and invested in glass lids. Humidity levels increased immediately ! I noticed that water circulation was inadequate so I introduced another small water pump. Slimy algae went away immediately. Nothing else to report …

Cryptocoryne undulata Cryptocoryne undulata Cryptocoryne undulata

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Cryptocoryne pontederiifolia – spathe

I came back from vacation and decided to check emersed setup. In all honesty, I look at the plants couple times a week since Cryptocoryne species are not the quickest growing plants. I scanned left to right / right to left / front to back … nothing. Bummer ! Just when I was walking away I thought I saw something “yellowish” between the leaves. I went back, looked closer and began smiling … finally another flower ! It “only” took 1.5y but hey, it is all about the patience after all.

If you are going to ask me what I did different, I really have nothing to say because I haven’t done anything to this setup since November 2008. I placed the plants inside, covered the top, mounted couple light fixtures and enjoyed it ever since. Maybe that is why I’m seeing flowers every ~6 months :).

Nevertheless, another spathe crossed off the list. Many more to go !

Cryptocoryne pontederiifolia Cryptocoryne pontederiifolia

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Emersed Growth – 4thQT 2008

Finally got around to do a little bit of trimming. Let me tell you this – 10G setup is way too small. This hobby, or I should say “sub-hobby”, is just as addictive as anything related to aqua growing/scaping. Although I’m not as successful as I would like to be when it comes to flowering, I’m growing most Cryptocoryne sp with very little effort. Plant -> Mist -> Fertilize -> Change Water -> Trim. That is all.

I pulled all the pots, re-potted with fresh substrate, re-planted with young runners, and placed it all in newly 75G setup that was sitting in the garage. I’m still running the pump to provide sufficient circulation and heater to increase water temperature and subsequently increase humidity levels.

Will report back in couple months. Until then, stay Green !

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C. wendtii ‘Green Gecko’ – spathe

And the “flowering game” began. I’m the proud owner of C. wendtii ‘Green Gecko’ ~2″ flower. I photographed most of the plants few days ago and did not notice the flower. Last night I looked closely and saw what I thought was melting leaf. I pulled the plant out, separated the leaves and viola – first flower. I hope to report soon with another update !

Cryptocoryne wendtii 'Green Gecko'

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Emersed growth – 2ndQT 2008

Update 2 months later … Plant growth has been excellent in last two months. Leaves look and feel extremely healthy and there are multiple runners in most of the pots. Since last update I moved entire setup into 10G aquarium with glass lid hoping to increase and control humidity levels. In addition, I placed a heater set at 76F and air-stone to introduce some water circulation. Looking at C. wendtii ‘Green Gecko’ and C. undulata I can tell that those changes are working. Despite all the improvements, I have yet to see a flower. Somehow disappointing but I have learned to be patient. Today I did another water change, removed the heater due to “springish/summerish” temperatures, removed air-stone and placed a small pump to further increase water circulation. I’m trying different fertilizer so I hope to see some flowers soon !


Emersed growth – 1stQT 2008

I think many of us, aqua hobbyists, get this “emersed growth” itch at some point in our life. I always had few zip-lock bags floating around the fishroom filled with Anubias sp. or various Ferns. This part of our hobby is a bit different because you don’t get to enjoy the progress like you would with rapid stem growth in hi-tech setups. Process is extremely simple. You place a bag on the shelf and you open it again next month to check on the progress. Those bags get weekly spray misting if lucky, otherwise they are just laying back, catching occasional sunlight and grow. Nothing beats a bag full of healthy and algae free Anubias nana “petite” when you are setting up a new aquascape. Enough about Anubias and plastic bags.

The point I’m trying to make here is that growing plants emersed is very interesting and for some even more enjoyable then submerged scaping. To make it even more appealing, growing plants emersed is fairly simple with visually pleasing reward – a flower. Hobbyist needs a clear container, good soil mixture, occasional fertilization, light, water, pots and …. Cryptocoryne sp – favorite pick for many in this field. I collected few species from my own tanks, local club members, and more advanced “Crypt-o-Mania” growers and placed them in your typical Humidity Dome. Am I completely satisfied with the setup and conditions this Dome provides, probably not. Although it is 7” tall, hobbyist will hit that limit very quickly assuming good conditions. I would recommend 40G breeder setup but then again, do we all have that much room ?

Just to show you how hardy Cryptocoryne sp could be, below is a picture of a plant that was taken out of the tank in November 2006 and placed in bare / clear container. No substrate, no pots, no water. I had done nothing except occasional water misting. I finally opened the lid and took the plant out in June 2007. Look at the quality of those leaves !!!

Cryptocoryne pontederiifolia

I plan on moving my Humidity Dome setup outdoor this spring/summer to see the impact of higher humidity and filtered through shade cloth direct sunlight. I will report back in Part 2 of this article. This current setup was extremely neglected due to different priorities. Water was changed approximately 2-3 times total, light wasn’t always on, leaves were left melting inside the setup, temperature and humidity levels were low. I finally got it all together and re-started it couple weeks ago. As you can see, quality is still there so its just a matter of time before I report back with some flowers, knock knock ! Below are few photographs from initial setup and current state.

Emersed Dome

Cryptocoryne undulata Cryptocoryne wendtii 'Green Gecko'

Cryptocoryne crispatula var. balansae Cryptocoryne albida

If you are interested in joining the party, I would recommend the following links:

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