Cryptocorynes – Popular Aquarium Plants

Anyone who owns a freshwater aquarium would usually like to equip it with plants. Aquatic plants perform many important tasks in the aquarium. They use pollutants (for example nitrogen compounds) for their growth that could otherwise pollute the water. During the day, they also use light energy to enrich the aquarium with oxygen that the fish can breathe. They also offer your fish protection and retreats. They are very useful for your aquarium, so you should plan for them when setting up the tank. There are different types of aquarium plants, one of which is the water goblet, also called Cryptocoryne.

Properties of the water goblet

Water goblets (Cryptocoryne) are mostly medium-high to low-growing and quite robust plants. Depending on the cultivation, the properties of these aquatic plants can also vary. What they all have in common is that they come from Asia. They are herbaceous water and marsh plants. They can usually also live emersed (out of the water). Only in this way do they develop flowers. The plants reproduce underwater using cuttings. They have simple, stalked leaves. These are arranged in rosettes and down to earth. The colors vary considerably depending on the species: There are green, reddish, and brownish species and color varieties. Water goblets usually tolerate temperatures of approx. 22-28 ° C well. A heater should not be missing in your aquarium if you want to use these pretty plants.

Care of cryptocorynes

Water goblets are ideal for the middle ground planting of your aquarium. The height of these plants is usually almost ideal for this. Here the cryptocorynes also get enough light if larger plants are used for the background. You should make sure that your aquarium lighting is of good quality. Cryptocorynes are not very demanding but grow quite slowly. In order for them to grow at all, the light spectrum has to be right. With the usual lighting for planted aquariums, regardless of whether they are fluorescent tubes or LEDs, they are usually easy to look after. However, you should make sure, especially with fluorescent tubes, to replace them about ¾ annually. Incidentally, this applies to almost every aquarium, as otherwise unwanted algae growth is promoted by a changed light spectrum. If the plant becomes too bushy, you can use plant scissors to cut off individual leaves near the ground on the stem. You should also remove dead leaves as soon as possible.

Different types of water goblets

The water goblets are divided into different types and accordingly have different requirements:

Cryptocoryne wendtii ‘broad leaf’

The cryptocoryne species “Wendts water goblet” is considered to be very varied. Plant breeders have taken advantage of this and selected a broad-leaved plant. This results in the addition of “broadleaf” to the name. The wendtii broadleaf has strong green, partly brownish leaves and is around 10-20 cm tall. The wendtii is therefore also suitable for nano aquariums. The water temperature should be around 20-28 ° C. It comes from Sri Lanka, the growth rate is medium, the demand overall rather low.

Cryptocoryne wendtii ‘compact’

Very easy to care for cultivated form of the above-mentioned kind “Wendts water goblet” from Sri Lanka. Compact growth, submerged (submerged in water) with intense lighting, chocolate brown leaf color. Slow but persistent growth up to 10-15 cm in height. The wendtii compact thrives in extremely soft water as well as with a total hardness of up to 20 °. The temperature requirements are also low at 20-28 ° C.

Cryptocoryne pontederifolia

It is a robust species that originally came from Sumatra. It has long-stemmed leaves, a fresh green color, and can grow to a height of 30 cm. This means that it may also be suitable for background planting in smaller aquariums. The ideal temperature for this plant is 22-28 ° C.

Cryptocoryne lutea ‘hobbit’

This species sometimes has slightly yellowish-brownish leaves that can even turn purple-brownish with intense lighting. It remains tiny and, with its height of less than 5 cm, is also well suited for foreground planting or very small aquariums. These plants grow very slowly and are comfortable at 20-28 ° C.

Cryptocoryne usteriana

This water goblet is one of the few species that cannot grow emersed. Therefore it is seldom found in stores. It is a beautiful, large plant, the narrow leaves of which are light green on the top and distinctly red on the underside. It is suitable for background planting. The small plants available on the market reach a considerable final size of 70 cm. Even though they are growing so slowly. The water temperature for this plant should be around 22-26 ° C.

Cryptocoryne x purpurea

This is a hybrid variant of Cryptocoryne griffithii and Cryptocoryne cordata. It comes from Southeast Asia and occurs there in nature. Variants from Borneo are often commercially available. Its leaves have an exceptionally beautiful marbling. It grows extremely slowly and does well in temperatures of 22 to 28 ° C. With a maximum height of 10 cm, it can also be used for foreground planting.

Cryptocoryne cordata

The underside of the leaves of this species is reddish, while it shows a fine line drawing on the greenish-brown upper side. It reaches a height of up to 20 cm and is, therefore, an ideal plant for the back middle ground. In nature, they are found in southern Thailand, western Malaysia, Sumatra, and Borneo. Their preferred temperature is 22 to 28 ° C. Water that is too hard is not good for you, because it cannot tolerate a total hardness of more than 12 °.

Cryptocoryne spec. ‘Flamingo’

Something very special is expected under this name. And that is also hidden behind it: This small species (up to 10 cm in height) shows true splendor of color. It delights with light to dark pink leaves. Good lighting is essential for the red color to develop. The very slow-growing plants do not have any special demands on water hardness and prefer a temperature between 22-28 ° C.

The water goblet – an all-rounder

You see, there is a remarkable selection and a wide range of variants of the water goblet. The cryptocorynes have something to offer for every requirement. It is not for nothing that it is one of the most cultivated plants in aquariums. We hope you enjoy setting up and maintaining your aquarium, which may soon contain a water goblet.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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