July 11, 2017

Are Water Trumpets a Good Aquarium Plant?


Water Trumpet’s are a well known aquarium plant belonging to the Araceae family. The latin name is “Cryptocoryne” and the genus contains roughly fifty to sixty species. They can be found growing anywhere between India and New Guinea with collecting expeditions identifying new species to this day.

The most notable feature of a Water Trumpet refers to the shape of its infloresence, a type of spike enclosed by a spathe. This is what has lead to its definitive shape and also its name. A secondary unusual feature of the plant is that it is often found growing in brackish water and can quite happily survive in water containing levels of salt which would kill other plants. They are normally located in water which can be found in streams and rivers in lowland forest and forest pools or river banks. They are only ever completely submerged in high water.

How well this plant does in an aquarium depends largely on the species, it may flower in water and reproduces sexually, where an expert grower is needed to assist the process. However, certain species such as Cryptocoryne Beckettii are a variety of Water Trumpet which does so well in aquariums and the wild it potentially may become an invasive species. Being able to tolerate a temperature range of twenty to thirty three degrees celsius, as well as doing well in low to middle levels of light makes for a very hardy plant. Under low light conditions it will grow slightly slower.

If planting in an aquarium it is not uncommon to experience a condition in the plant widely referred to as “crypt melt”. This is where the plant loses all of its leaves and there are two possible explanations for this. The first is that rapid environmental changes are very stressful to the plants and around thirty days are needed for it to recover. It is generally regarded as beneficial to introduce Water Trumpet to an aquarium that has been established for three months or more. The second possible cause is caused by oriental aquariums, where a plant is fully submersed. Although the plant can grow like this it only normally occurs in high water.

Water Trumpet can be a very rewarding plant to grow and is very hardy, meaning that a relatively wide range of conditions are suitable. To ensure that it grows well in your aquarium it is important to check that the purchase is of the a species that will grow well in aquarium environments and that once it starts growing it does not become invasive. Regular water changes are important as the Cryptocoryne family as they are sensitive to stress-induced disease from high nitrate levels.


Sean Norman

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