5 plants for each aquarium: rosette, grass and lawn

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What plants, apart from stem and floating ones, can we easily grow in our aquarium? For example, rosettes that grow in dense clumps. Or those that easily cover surfaces and climb over decorations. Or those that looks like grass?

Cryptocoryne: Different species and varieties

They are very easy to grow, and the multitude of species and varieties, differing in size, shape and color of leaves, mean that everyone can choose something tailored to their own aquarium, and even compose beautiful compositions only from plants of this type. Some grow very small, while others have leaves as much as 50 cm. They come from the rivers of Asia.

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For the proper growth of compacts, the substrate is very important, which must be rich and abundant from the beginning, which is most easily achieved by placing clay-peat balls under the roots, and after some time fertilizer sticks. They grow very badly in well-washed gravel. In such conditions, they can lose almost all their leaves. Often this happens after planting in a freshly set up aquarium, the plants look as if they are dissolving, which has been called “compactness disease”, which passes when the substrate is slightly silted. Water, on the other hand, should not contain a large amount of metabolic compounds, “old”, so it is important to change it weekly. In short: Cryptocoryins like to have dirty roots but clean leaves.

They grow well in medium-hard and hard water with a pH around neutral. Short circuits like a fairly intense but diffused light, but some prefer shade, so they are ideal for planting the sides of an aquarium where a little less light enters. They like “warm feet”, which means that the temperature of the ground and water should be similar and amount to about 24-26 ° C, but they do not mind the heat up to 30 ° C, and they do not want to rise at lower temperatures. They reproduce by sprouting from the main rhizome, from which new plants grow. They can also be grown in paludary conditions in which they can bloom.

height, place in the aquariumdepending on the species: 5 – 50 cm
Temperature24 – 27 °C
Water pH6,8 – 7,8
Total water hardnessmedium-hard
Light conditionsgood
Soilfertile, with the addition of clay



Echinodorus ‘Reiner’s Kitty
Echinodorus ‘Reiner’s Kitty

In nature, they occur in Africa and Central America. There are many species and varieties. There are small species, growing up to 5 cm in height, and large ones, often over a meter. These are typically rosette plants. They have a rhizome from which the roots, leaves and flower shoots grow. They have different shapes of leaves, from heart-shaped and round, through oval to oblong and ribbon-shaped, as well as colors: green, pink, red, discoloration, speckled, and even crimson-purple and almost black.

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Echinodorus parviflorus
Echinodorus parviflorus

They should grow in coarser sand or gravel (grain diameter 3-7 mm), which allows washing the roots and easy desludging. They form a strong root system, which is why a thick substrate layer of approx. 7 cm is recommended and a fertilizer additive under the roots of the plant. They don’t want to grow in fine, acidic sand. It is necessary to change the water in about 1/3 of its volume weekly. They require quite intense lighting for a maximum of 10 hours a day. They are quite flexible with regard to water parameters. The temperature should not drop below 15 ° C, but they grow much better when it exceeds 20 ° C. The most suitable for echinodorus is neutral to slightly alkaline pH (6.8 – 7.6). They are generally grown in very soft water, but are also successfully kept at a hardness of around 16 ° n. They grow very well with the addition of CO2 to water. Under too good conditions they tend to rise above the water surface, but this is undesirable.

Some species are reproduced by dividing the rhizome, some by daughter plants on the flower stem, and some by seeds. The easiest way is to separate young seedlings from the shoot after flowering.

height, place in the aquariumdepending on the species: 5 cm to over 1 m
Temperature20 – 28 °C
Water pH level6,8 – 7,6
Total water hardnessvery soft to hard
Light conditionsgood
Soilfertile, abundant, with large granulation


Valissneria spiralis – The name comes from the spring-like flowering shoots
Valissneria spiralis – The name comes from the spring-like flowering shoots

These are the plants that make up the underwater meadows of Australia, Africa, tropical and subtropical areas of Southeast Asia. Their leaves are vivid green, sometimes discolored rusty, ribbon-shaped and reach various sizes: from 30 cm to almost two-meter long ribbons. When the leaves reach the surface of the water, they lay down on it, thus reducing the light in the lower parts of the aquarium. Some have straight leaves, others are screw-twisted. They reproduce very easily by putting out runners on which the daughter plants grow. Flower shoots resemble springs.

Vallisneria asiatica has spiral leaves
Vallisneria asiatica has spiral leaves

They grow without any problems in water of medium hardness and a temperature of 24 – 28 ° C, pH: 6.5 – 7.2, under medium to very bright lighting, in a fertile ground, preferably with the addition of clay.

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Height, place in the aquariumfrom 30 cm to more than 2 m; 3rd plan
Temperature24 – 28 °C
Water pH level6,5 – 7,2
Total water hardnessmedium-hard to hard
Lighting conditionsmedium to intense
Soilfertile, abundant with the addition of clay

Hydrocotyle tripartita ‘Japan’

Hydrocotyle tripartita ‘Japan’
Hydrocotyle tripartita ‘Japan’

Contrary to its name, it comes from Australia. In nature, it grows on the banks of rivers and streams. It is a creeping plant with light green, small, tripartite leaves. In good lighting conditions (it needs a lot of light) it grows very quickly, creating a dense carpet, maximum 10 cm high. It can also climb roots and other decorations. Perfect for the foreground in larger or secondary aquariums. He likes the temperature of 20-28 ° C and water with a reaction close to neutral. Hardness doesn’t really matter.

Height, place in the aquariumup to 10 cm; I or II plan
Temperature20 – 28 °C
Water pH levelaround ~ 7,0
Total water hardnessvery soft to hard
Lighting conditions intense
Soildoesn’t matter

Hemianthus micranthemoides

It occurs naturally in the wetlands of Cuba and southern North America. Forms long branched stems with oval leaflets. Thanks to trimming, we can easily get dense bushes.

It grows well in both soft and hard water, from acidic to neutral, and at alkaline pH, calcium is easily deposited in a thin layer on the leaves, slowing growth. It needs good filtration, a weekly water change in the aquarium and CO2 fertilization. It feels good in bright light and temperature of 20-26 ° C. Under such conditions, oxygen bubbles can often be observed on the leaves.

Height, place in the aquariumup to 1.5 m; 3rd plan
Temperature20 – 26 °C
Water pH level6,5 – 7,5
Total water hardnesssoft to hard
Lighting conditionsintense
Soilfertile and abundant


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Animal at home is a project derived from the Polish portal dedicated to domestic pets, which I run. This blog category features the best articles I have created with pet experts. Together, we help educate their current and future owners.

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Jakub Markiewicz
Jakub Markiewiczhttps://jotem.in
Hi, I am the author of the Jotem.in blog and series of thematic portals since 2013. I have nearly 15 years of experience in working in the media, marketing, public relations and IT. If you are interested in cooperation, you would like me to write about something or test a product - let me know.