Keeping vegetation in aquariums is not an easy task, but the result is well worth the effort. Unpretentious plants with large, bright attractive leaves in the interior of the aquarium look beautiful, so many breeders tend to get them.
Some aquarists even collect echinodorus and show off their beautiful herbalists.
Echinodorus (lat. Echinodorus) – popular perennial aquarium plants.
Due to their amazing adaptive abilities, they are unpretentious to the parameters of water, such as hardness, acid-base composition and light. Their sizes vary from 1 cm to 1 m, depending on the specific type and conditions of detention.
With the help of such uncomplicated plants it is quite easy to provide an amazing, pleasant looking environment of your aquarium.
Most of the echinodorus grows in swamps and on the banks of standing or flowing bodies of water. There are only a few species of these aquatic plants that live in strong currents. Reservoirs may even be temporary in nature, suitable for full-fledged plant life only during high water, but the rhizomes of Echinodorus allow them to remain viable in the ground even during short periods of drought.
At this time, the plants begin to intensively absorb and absorb sunlight, forming inflorescences. Such an adaptation mechanism is most common in subtropical and tropical species.
There is a connection with temperature fluctuations and high water. With periods of drought, the water temperature rises and flowering begins.
While with high water the water temperature drops and the life cycle of plants slows down.
The level of lighting for them requires a minimum – it is possible to dwell both in sunny areas and in the shade.
Sheet plates are different:
The color range has always fluctuated from light to dark green, but at the moment many hybrids have been bred with the most varied colors of leaves. One of the main signs of the species difference of echinodorus is the presence or absence of a transparent pattern on the leaves.
Echinodorus inflorescences, too, are literally full of diversity. Depending on the species, they grow on the underwater or above-water part of the plant and are:
Be sure to have a peduncle and come in various shapes.
All Echinodorus hermaphrodites – the number of stamens in a flower is approximately proportional to the number of spiral-shaped carpels. As a rule, seed set.
On their tips you can see the residual fragment of the pistil.
Medium and large representatives can have large, powerful rhizomes, thanks to which they are capable of vegetative reproduction. Then tuberous thickenings appear on the roots.
Echinodorus “Amazonian” (lat. Echinodorus amazonicus), popularly referred to as “amazon” – one of the most common aquarium plants due to its unpretentiousness.
From the name it becomes clear that his homeland is the Amazon basin.
Also known by such names as Echinodorus brevipedicellutus and Amazon Sword, which is why it is often confused with Echinodorus bleheri – because of the consonance of these names and the similarity of appearance.
With a height of 30-50 cm, the leaf-lanceolate, pointed leaf plates, their length is up to 40 cm, and their width is 1.5–3 cm, they are located with a rosette. Grows moderately throughout the year. In the conditions of the aquarium there is only vegetative reproduction.
Forms flower stalks, forming daughter plants on them. In the future, they can be divided and transplanted.
Unlike other species, “Amazon” is not fastidious to the acid-base composition of the aquatic environment. For a favorable plant life, it is recommended to replace 1/5 of the total volume of the aquarium only once a week.
Echinodorus “gentle” (Latin Echinodorus Tenellus), it is also “grassy”, it is also “dwarf Amazon” – the smallest representative of Echinodorus.
Distributed in swamps. It is formed by creeping shoots without rhizomes, 5-6 cm in size above water, plus about the same under water, narrow-lanceolate leaf plates and a petiole of the surface type.
With the proper lighting level, it is propagated with several whiskers. Each produces 2-3 daughter plants, which can soon be transplanted. Fine-grained soil rich in silt or sand is best for it.
In a more dense rhizomes will not be able to develop normally, as a result of which the shoots and leaves germinate unevenly. Most favorable gentle Echinodorus develops in weakly acidic water of medium or low hardness, with a temperature of 18-20 ° C.
In the presence of a high aquarium (above 0.5 m) it is recommended to ensure sufficient light supply of these delicate plants. With a sufficient level of echinodorus will be low and dense.
With a lack of lighting, it will reach up, and its leaves will become a yellow-green shade.
Artificial illumination with LB-20 fluorescent lamps is quite possible. Depending on the specific power, the duration of their impact on the aquarium is from 10 to 14 hours.
Also, do not forget about the presence of other greenery, partially or even completely cast a shadow on small plants.
In aquariums contain 2 types of Echinodorus, differing in length of leaves and shoots, as well as color:
- the first form is low with light green leaf plates;
- the second is tall, has a green, dark green color with a brownish tinge and leaves up to 5 cm.
This echinodorus can also be grown in terrariums, paludariums and wet greenhouses, because this plant is resistant to mechanical damage. In the greenhouse, he is able to bloom and form inflorescences with seeds.
Pollination in such cases is carried out artificially with a soft small brush. Seeds ripen in 2 months, and they are grown further in sand filled with water.
Echinodorus “Vesuvius” (Echinodorus Vesuvius) – its height is 10–20 cm, and its width is 10–15 cm. It is a volumetric plant with spiral-shaped leaves resembling a wisp of smoke. It is the result of breeding, at the moment it is not widely spread among aquarists, however, it is unpretentious, and it can be planted in any aquariums:
- In small – it is recommended to plant around the perimeter, to form a beautiful background.
- In larger ones, it would be most appropriate to plant it in the middle.
For this echodorus, it is necessary to illuminate 0.4-0.5 W, low-acid water of medium hardness and its replacement by 25% every week.
Failure to comply with the necessary conditions or an excess of seeds during planting may straighten the leaves. In a favorable habitat “Vesuvius” is able to bloom, forming inflorescences of white.
This species of Echinodus is propagated with fragments of its rhizome for a short period of time. When planting, the rhizome is trimmed on the sides a couple of centimeters and the soil under it is fertilized.
This contributes to its intensive germination.
Ekhinodorus “red leopard” (Echinodorus Roter Leopard) – breeding hybrid of small size with
wide leaves of dark red color, up to 25, bloom with a rosette, have short petioles. Mature members of this genus on the surface of the leaf plates appear dotted impregnations of dark red color, which is why the name of the plant occurs.
Lighting required medium or high level. It can grow in the shade, but then the leaves will lose their color saturation.
Recommended soil saturation with mineral additives.
Ekhinodorus “Red Leopard”.
Ekhinodorus “red mamba” (Echinodorus Roter Mamba) – he is the “star of the jungle.” Another hybrid, quite new at the moment and relatively expensive. It has long petioles and oblong leaves of red color with several light streaks stretching along the whole plate.
The color range ranges from rich red to brown and olive greenish, depending on the age of the plant.
Requires intense lighting and light day lasting 10-12 hours. Cultivated in the soil 5-10 cm, preferably additional fertilizer.
It is unpretentious to water parameters, a weak acid medium of medium hardness is recommended, and a weekly substitution of 20% of its volume.
Ekhinodorus “Red mamba”.
Echinodorus “Red October” (Echinodorus Roter October) – a very large representative of echinodorus, height and width up to 45 cm, a hybrid of Harbich rot and Echinodorus Indian Red, bred in Germany.
It is well cultivated, actively propagated with the help of basal shoots and peduncles. Requires good lighting, to the parameters of hardness and acidity of water is not too sensitive, but you should follow the temperature – 25-30 ° C.
Echinodorus “Red October”.
Echinodorus “red flame” (Echinodorus Red Flame) – another hybrid of German production, has lush foliage with abundant red-brown spot. It is whimsical only to the soil (should be silted, enriched with organic matter) and lighting, which should be bright, with a light day of at least 10 hours.
The rest is simple to maintain, like most of its kind. With the observance of the daylight mode and regular weekly replacement of 20% of the water in the aquarium, it can grow in height up to 30 cm and in width up to 20 cm.
To support the full development of the plant, additional supply of carbon dioxide through a tube and fertilizing with iron-containing fertilizers is allowed.
The “red flame” is very sensitive to copper, so it is not recommended to use copper-containing medications in the aquarium in order not to harm the plant.
Able to multiply with rhizome and floral arrows. When the daughter plants are separated from the rhizome, their subsequent growth slows down, so for the transplantation and cultivation of the “red flame” it is worth getting the daughter plants with peduncles.
Ekhinodorus “Red Flame”.
Echinodorus “red beauty” – obtained by crossing Ech. Osiris and Ech. Uruguayensis, best known in the CIS countries as the echinodorus “Bart” (Ech.
Barthii). The leaves grow in length up to 18-20 cm. The diameter of the outlet is usually not more than 40 cm.
Found widespread among aquarists due to the richness of red color and the pleasant shape of its sinewy leaves. With age, they become golden, then turn green and eventually fade to the darkest shades, but the red color on most leaves lasts a long time.
Due to its compactness, it is well suited for the role of a foreground plant for small aquariums.
The leaves of the “red beauty” are softer than those of other Echinodorus, and they grow more slowly – no more than 2-3 new leaves appear per week, and their lifespan is less. And on the plant itself, as a rule, no more than 50 leaf plates grow, 20-30 of which will be red.
Sensitive to a sharp change in water parameters, up to the possibility of chlorosis in the plant. Recommended good lighting and peat additives in the ground.
It reproduces slowly: only in a vegetative way, with the help of root processes.
Echinodorus “Red Beauty”.
Ekhinodorus “white flame” (Echinodorus Bright Flame) – aka “bright flame”. An exotic hybrid, does not require any special conditions for full growth, however, a noticeable germination of a plant can be delayed up to a year.
20-50 cm high, up to 40 cm wide, with an outlet width up to 30 cm in diameter. It has several oblong leaves of an unusual cream color, which is why some people first think about the plant’s iron deficiency, but this appearance is natural.
Ekhinodorus “White Flame”.
Ekhinodorus “red pirate” (Echinodorus Roter Pirat) – up to 45 cm high, with long petioles and wide lanceolate leaves. Young representatives of this species have red-brown leaves with bright spots, which become completely green with age.
Ekhinodorus “red zora” (Echinodorus Roter Zora) – a little-known representative with long leaves, red on the upper side and light green spots on the bottom.
Echinodorus “Ruby” (Echinodorus Rubin) or “Ruby Red” is a large hybrid produced by crossing species such as Echinodorus Barthii and Echinodorus Noremanii. Its height is up to 60 cm, with an outlet width of up to 30 cm.
It has ellipsoid leaves with streaks and short petioles.
The growing conditions are a bit more fastidious than most echinodoruses: for “ruby” it is desirable to have bright light and 8-10 cm of soil rich in silt in the form of fine gravel. Mineral, iron-containing additives and CO2 are recommended.
Like the “red flame”, it is sensitive to copper-containing drugs, therefore it is recommended to avoid their use in the same aquarium with “ruby”.
It reproduces with the help of basal shoots and flower arrows. It is advisable to plant it in large and medium capacity aquariums in the background, so as not to obscure the smaller representatives of the flora in the aquarium.
“Ruby” also has a narrow-leaved subspecies of smaller sizes: the echinodorus “ruby narrow-leaved” (Echinodorus Rubin narrow leaves), which has a much more saturated red leaf tint, up to fiery orange colors with adequate lighting. Conditions of detention are the same as for the main species.
It is better to plant it in the central part of the aquarium.
Echinodorus “ocelot” (Echinodorus Ozelot) – originated from the cross of Ech. Barthii and Ech. schlueteri Leopard, 30-50 cm tall, 20-40 cm wide.
Differs in rather rapid growth of its ellipsoid leaves with a short petiole. “Ocelot” has red-brown blotches that are so characteristic of him, but unlike other spotted Echinodoruses, they do not disappear from a lack of light.
At the moment there are only 3 types of “ocelots”: red, green and golden, which differ from each other only in the color of the leaves.
It is better to have a plant in volumetric aquariums from 100 l and 50 cm in height. For full-fledged development, additional CO2 feed and good lighting are recommended.
When planting in a container under the rhizome as a mineral dressing, you can put a mixture of clay, charcoal and crushed peat.