Cryptocoryne pontederiifolia (Cryptocoryne pontederiifolia)
Cryptocoryne pontederiifolia (cryptocoryne pontederiifolia) is called an aquarium plant with beautiful elongated leaves resembling a heart shape.
A distinctive feature can be considered color: chocolate-purple streaks on the inside, and a pale green color on the outside. Matte leaves with an original textured pattern. The parameters of the leaf plate are on average 4x8 - 6x12 cm. It belongs to the Aroid family. Southeast Asia is considered the homeland.
It grows only in fresh stagnant water of swamps, lakes, and also sluggish rivers. It is widely known and loved among aquarists due to its unpretentiousness, a variety of subspecies and a colorful appearance.
Maintenance and care
Suitable for beginners in aquarium, in view of the fact that it easily adapts to a new environment (ideally PH 6.0 - 7.6). It is also not particularly sensitive to temperature changes (optimally 22-28 FROMbut survives at 18 FROM) The only important point that requires constant monitoring is the hardness of the water.
Observing the recommended parameters, it is easy to avoid the cryptocorin disease, from which the whole plant suffers - rot, thin out and completely fall off the leaves. The best indicator can be considered 6 and above. Due to the fact that it has a rather voluminous root system, and the height of the adult specimen varies from 24 to 30 cm, it is recommended to plant its soil, about 4-7 cm high, in the background or in the middle of the aquarium.
The choice of the soil layer should be approached responsibly, although there are no standard and clear requirements. In any case, it does not hurt to pay attention to the presence of elements such as peat crumbs, sand, pieces of clay, silt. In the period of active growth in spring and summer, it is recommended to make nitrogen-rich mineral fertilizers.
It prefers good lighting, but can develop comfortably with an average, so it will favorably accept the neighborhood of other subspecies of cryptocoryns and large representatives of the aquarium flora. When modeling the aquarium landscape, it should be noted that the level of lighting affects the shape and color of the leaves. As a lighting source, LT and LB lamps (power 0.3 - 0.4 W per 1 liter) and incandescent lamps (1 W) are suitable. With full, with a cycle of 12 hours, light - grow medium-sized, bright, rounded and dense. If there is less light, the leaf plates tend to lengthen, thin out and acquire a pale green color, sacrificing pink streaks. However, in any form, cryptocoryne is attractive and animates the underwater landscape.
It grows rather slowly, propagates vegetatively. It is advisable to transplant no more than 1 time per year, the processes of 2-4 leaves. Care must be taken to ensure that the bushes do not overgrow with algae, this is very harmful to the plant and inhibits its growth, and, often, even leads to death.
This representative of the flora grows well in paludariums and greenhouses with a very humid environment. The growth rate increases, the leaves become more saturated in color, thicken, cuttings are shortened, and the plate becomes larger. In terrestrial conditions, it begins to bloom profusely. Flowers of the original form, in the form of a tube with a single petal, from pale yellow to pink.
With aquarium keeping, flowering is also possible, but will occur rarely and only above the water layer. You can not be afraid to transplant the plant from a land nursery into the aquatic environment, because it easily tolerates such a change in conditions, and does not require any special preliminary measures.
Cryptocoryne leaves taste bitter, so it is suitable for aquariums with herbivorous fish.