Bucephalandra Aquarium Plant: Varieties, Care, Propagation

Bucephalandra has recently begun to be used as aquarium plant. It has good decorative qualities. In rare cases, it is used as a background culture.


Bucephalandra aquarium plant Habitat and origin

In nature, there are more than 30 varieties of this plant. Many species are suitable for the aquarium. Bucephalandra belongs to the genus of marsh plants of the Aroid family. The island of Borneo is considered their homeland. In the natural environment, they are found along the banks of rivers and streams. They are well adapted to running water, even withstand strong currents.

In the natural environment, even if the water level drops and the plant is exposed to air, this does not lead to its death. Bucephalandra Godzilla, Kedagang and many other species are disease resistant and can coexist with algae-loving fish and shellfish.

The height of plants, depending on the species, varies from 5 to 20 cm. The root system is fibrous. The bushy crown is formed from 3-5 fleshy stems, covered with a large number of elongated wide leaves, in which only the median vein is well pronounced. Flowering and pollination of a plant can occur even when it is submerged in water.

The appearance of the plant depends on environmental conditions. If bucephalandra is submerged in water, its leaves will grow thinner and more vibrant. Growth may slow down in low light. The plant will become broadleaf. In many ways, the color depends on the light.

With a lack of sunlight, the leaves turn light green. In intense light, the leaves grow bright green, taut and thick.

Small specks appear on their surface. In some species, with sufficient light, the leaves become burgundy. Under favorable conditions, a wax coating forms on the surface of bucephalandra leaves, which increases the decorative effect of the plant.

Bucephalandra aquarium plant Varieties and species

bucephalandra aquarium plant varieties and species

The most widespread are about 10 varieties:

  1. Belinda.
  2. Biblis.
  3. Blue glow.
  4. Brownie red.
  5. Bukit Kelam.
  6. Brownie Phantom.
  7. Narcis.
  8. Skeleton king.
  9. Silver powder.
  10. Katarina is super mini.

Particularly appreciated are miniature species that can be placed on driftwood or stone in an aquarium.


Belinda’s narrow, long leaves make it a good choice for foreground aquariums. This type of bucephalandra is distinguished by its ability to change color depending on the characteristics of the water. The addition of CO2 produces bright green leaves.

Belinda thrives in low to medium light levels. It does not require special care and tolerates water temperatures of + 18… + 29 ° C.

Plant height reaches 5-12 cm, and width is 1-2 cm. This variety reproduces only by cutting the rhizome. In an aquarium, when favorable conditions are created, it forms dense thickets.


This type of bucephalandra is distinguished by a pronounced ability to change the color of leaves under the influence of external conditions. With insufficient lighting and lack of nutrients, the plant turns light green with a pink tint, contrasting with other flora present in the aquarium.

The height of the Biblis reaches 7-10 cm. The thick stem is densely covered with massive leaves, the length of which reaches 2-5 cm. It grows well at a temperature of + 22 … + 28 ° C. Requires moderate to strong lighting. A sharp drop in the temperature of the water in the aquarium can trigger leaf shedding.


Brownie phantom is extremely rare, since it is slow in growth and does not reproduce well in an aquarium. The plant reaches 5-12 cm in height. A golden bloom appears on the leaves.

Special care for this variety is not required, but fertilizers are recommended to accelerate development. The optimum temperature for growing it is +20 .. + 30 ° C. When favorable conditions are created, bucephalandra can bloom and give viable seeds. Its reproduction is possible by lateral shoots and stems.


Brownie red gets its name from the corresponding color of young leaves. Old lower shoots become brown or green. This variety is extremely rare, because differs in slow growth and does not reproduce well in aquarium conditions. Brownie red survives on low-nutrient soil in low to medium light conditions.

The recommended range for this type of temperature is + 22 … + 28 ° C. Mature plants grow to a height of 8 cm.

The length of the leaf is 1-3 cm. Brownie red is good for decorating the middle plan of the aquarium. Reproduction of this species is carried out by cutting the rhizome.


Bucephalandra Bukit kelam dark green is characterized by a large number of dark green oval leaves with wavy edges. When favorable conditions are created, the plant can reach 8-10 cm. The stem is pink, the root system is underdeveloped, represented by narrow short layering.

This variety works well for the foreground of an aquarium. Bukit kelam grows slowly, tolerates both low and intense lighting. The recommended temperature is + 20… + 26 ° C. It may bloom under water, but the seeds are not viable. Reproduction is carried out by cutting the rhizome.


Katarina super mini belongs to the rare dwarf bucephalandra species. Plant height reaches 1-3 cm. The stem is creeping, light green, covered with small dark green leaves. The color of the plant can vary depending on the characteristics of the water. Withstands both low and intense lighting. The recommended temperature is + 22 … + 28 ° C. The plant develops slowly.


This type of bucephaland is fast growing. It can reach 14-20 cm in height, therefore it is used to decorate the middle ground. The centipede is prized for its wide, elongated leaves, which can range in color from dark green to red. The length of the leaf is 3-8 cm. The plant has a pronounced waxy coating, which gives it a characteristic shine. It tolerates moderate to intense lighting well. It can be propagated by side shoots.


There are 3 varieties of Narcissus Bucephaland. They all produce pink pointed flowers. The first variety is highly decorative. Elongated leaves curl, darken as they age and turn blue. The height of the bush reaches 12 cm. The root system is represented by several thin roots. The plant needs intense lighting.

The second variety of Bucephalandra Narcissus also has oval leaves, but they do not curl. As they age, they acquire a bluish tint and become covered with a waxy coating. This plant reaches 10 cm in height. Propagated by dividing the rhizome and stem processes.

The third variety is considered to be dwarf, because plant height reaches no more than 3-5 cm. Elongated leaves have wavy edges. As they age, they acquire a blue tint. Best of all, this type of bucephaland grows under intense lighting.


The silvery powder is a fast growing species. It can be attached to stones. The stem is creeping, reaching a height of more than 20 cm, if not pruned. Leaves are oval, dark green in color with characteristic silvery blotches.

Older leaves have blue veins. The recommended water temperature for this plant is +22 … + 25 ° C. It propagates by dividing the rhizome, parts of the stem and side shoots.


Bucephalandra Shine blue is fast growing and unpretentious. Height reaches 20 cm. The trunk is short, wide fleshy leaves are attached to it, the length of which is 8-12 cm. As they age, a shiny blue bloom appears on the dark green leaves. Grows well even in low to medium light conditions.


There are 2 varieties of Skeleton Bucephalandra: green and dark. Both species are capable of reaching a height of more than 20 cm. They emit large, rounded leaves on which both the central and lateral veins are visible. Shiny leaves, covered with a waxy composition, form a rosette bush.

Skeleton green is distinguished by the light color of the leaves, while in other varieties they are dark blue or light blue. Skleton king is an extremely demanding plant for keeping conditions. He needs low to medium intensity lighting. In addition, this species needs regular feeding for normal growth.

Bucephalandra care for aquarium plant

The stability of the aquatic environment is important for Bucephalandra. With abrupt changes, the plant can shed its leaves. It should be planted in a rocky-sandy substrate, but it is important that the roots are not completely buried. Otherwise, the plant may die.

In addition, it is recommended to tie the bucephalandra in a snag. It will quickly grow into the wood and receive nutrients from it. It is possible to attach the plant to the stone. In this case, the roots will receive most of the nutrients from the water. The plant is sensitive to the content of nitrates in the liquid. An increase in the amount of these substances leads to the dissolution of the leaves. The maximum permissible nitrate level in water is 0.2 mg / l.

Most varieties of this plant need illumination of 60-80 lm / l. It is not recommended to plant them in the shade of other algae. The admissible temperature for most types of bucephaland is + 22… + 25 ° C. The recommended acidity level for these plants is 6.5-7 pH, and the temporary water hardness is 2-7 ° J.

It is necessary to regularly filter the water in the aquarium to eliminate organic waste. Approximately 1 time a week, it is advisable to change 1/3 of the volume of water. Good aeration is also important because in natural conditions, bucephalandra grows in oxygen-rich running water

To accelerate the growth of this aquarium plant, it is necessary to feed it with carbon dioxide and special fertilizers containing micro- and macroelements every 3 months.

Bucephalandra plant propagation

The breeding method depends on the type of bucephalandra. Some species produce viable seeds. They are harvested after flowering. They are sown in a well-moistened rocky substrate and cover the container with polyethylene. Seedlings sprout actively at a temperature of + 25 … + 27 ° C. Planting in the aquarium can be carried out after 3-4 leaves have formed.

However, this breeding method is not always possible. If the plant is large and has several stems branching off from one rhizome, reproduction is carried out by dividing it. The rhizome should be cleaned of soil and stones, and then carefully cut into 2 or 3 pieces.

In addition, plant propagation is possible by shoots. In this case, the formed process is cut off with a sharp blade from the main stem at an angle of 45 °. After that, it is planted in the ground. In the aquatic environment, a root system will quickly form in a young plant.

Leave a Comment