Echinodorus horizontalis is not a very picky amphibian plant. It develops well both in aquatic and above-water environments, therefore it can be grown not only in aquariums but also in paludariums or greenhouses.
Echinodorus Horizontalis Aquarium Plant Habitat and charateristics
It is a bushy herbaceous perennial up to 35 cm high. Aquarium plant specimens are lower, rarely grow above 20 cm, but even dwarf specimens retain their decorative appeal. The leaf plates are light green, large, elongated, with a pointed edge and a small notch at the base. The venation is longitudinal. Young shoots are brownish or brownish-red.
The petioles are long (up to 10 cm), graceful, collected in a basal rosette. The leaves are oriented at right angles to them and are located almost parallel to the ground. In low light conditions, they will stretch upward and lose color saturation. With surface cultivation, the leaves brighten, the veins become coarser, the pointed part stretches and bends slightly.
The flowers are white with a yellow core. Their size does not exceed 1.5 cm. They are collected in several small whorled inflorescences, located with a small interval on long flowering arrows. Under water, the buds rarely open, the flowers bloom alternately, persist for 1 hour, after which the petals begin to dissolve. Over time, leaf rosettes appear on the arrows, capable of rooting. The roots are powerful, spreading in depth and in breadth in the ground.
Several plant varieties have been bred that do not have pronounced external differences. Under natural conditions, Echinodorus grows in the northern part of South America along river banks, in swampy areas of the tropical forest.
Echinodorus Horizontalis plant care and maintenance
Due to the Echinodorus Horizontalis orientation of the leaf plates, shrubs require an aquarium with a large bottom surface. It is desirable that its displacement be at least 70 liters.
For good rooting, the thickness of the soil should be 5-7 cm. The qualitative composition and size of the substrate particles are not of particular importance. When planting under the roots, it is recommended to put balls of blue clay.
Nutrition is provided by natural silting and the introduction of mineral fertilizers. With a lack of iron, the leaves become smaller and turn yellow, in order to avoid this, at least once a month it is necessary to feed Echinodorus with iron vitriol. Nitrogen and other additives are introduced as needed. An excess of sodium is unacceptable.
The medium should be neutral or slightly alkaline (pH 7-8). If the acidity is increased, first there is rapid growth, then the plant withers and dies. It prefers soft water, but moderate hardness is acceptable. About ¼ of the water volume needs to be changed every 7-10 days.
The optimum temperature regime is + 21 … + 24 ° С. At the same time, the plant is actively growing, releasing 1-2 new leaves per month. In warmer water, its growth will stop in spring and autumn for several weeks. During these periods of relative rest, the temperature should be lowered to about 20 ° C. The maximum allowable temperature indicator is + 28 ° С.
Lighting is required intense, but diffused. The length of daylight hours should be 10-12 hours. Light sources (preferably fluorescent) should be placed on top. The power of incandescent lamps should not exceed 40 watts.
Echinodorus does not tolerate:
- lack of carbon dioxide;
- excessive siltation;
- “Old” water.
Its leaves are quite tough, so herbivorous fish do not cause them significant harm, and for some, their plane is a spawning substrate where eggs can be laid.
Thanks to a strong root system, plants are able to get along with cichlazomas, akars and other lovers of digging up the soil.
Echinodorus Horizontalis Propagation
Underwater flowering seeds rarely appear, their viability is questionable. On the peduncles protruding above the water, they are formed more often, but the germination rate is also low. It can be increased by manual cross-pollination.
Before planting, the seed is sent to the refrigerator for several days. After that, it is placed in a shallow container on a nutritious substrate, such as peat, moistened with aquarium water, and covered with foil. You need to place the mini-greenhouse on the windowsill. Recommended temperature – + 25 ° С. The seeds will hatch in a few weeks.
After sprouting, it is important to maintain moderate moisture content in the substrate. With a lack of liquid, they will dry out, and with waterlogging, there is a high risk of developing blue-green algae and molds that will clog the seedlings. When the plants take root, they are fed weekly with compound fertilizer.
The grown specimens are sent to an aquarium or transplanted into small flowerpots filled with a mixture of garden soil and clay, which is covered with a layer of pebbles. Full mature plants will be produced in about a year.
A simpler and more productive way of reproduction is vegetative. During the flowering period, a daughter individual appears at the edge of the shoot. You need to dig it in. Sometimes a young plant with 2-3 leaves is separated by cutting off the arrow near the neighboring whorl, from which another sprout will soon form.
You can root the rosette in the air by placing it on a moist nutrient substrate. The probability of rooting is no more than 35%, but there are no problems with entrenched specimens.