72-82F (22-28C). Not really a rosette plant, Anubias all have a creeping rhizome that grows very slowly, throwing out new leaves as it grows. The plant is built like a tank, some having reported keeping them in a closet for six months in a plastic bag yet still surviving. It is also one of the most expensive aquarium plants. If grown emersed, they may produce larger leaves, and will grow faster, and flowers will produce seeds. Anubias will frequently flower underwater, but not seed. You can grow the roots in gravel, or even train the rhizome to grow on bogwood like Java fern does. (TAG 6:2) Most commonly kept species is A. barteri var. nana, the smallest Anubias, which has egg-shaped leaves and makes a great foreground plant in medium-to-large aquariums. A. barteri var. barteri looks similar to the nana variety, but with bigger leaves. A. congensis, A. lanceolata and others grow very tall and make good background plants. They can sometimes be seen in better stores.
Tuber. Needs rest period (triggered after blooming? drops its leaves), except for hybrid crispus. Easy beginner plant. Foreground plant singly, or background in groups. Most species flower by sending up a stalk with single or double-spike and seed easily. (Grows very slowly from seeds, and you must protect the young seedlings from fish.) (TAG 4:3) Oft seen Species: bouvianus
crispus: up to 20" (50cm) tall, red to green leaves; easy starter plant, often sold as bulbs at Wal-Mart. Single-spike flower stem, slightly-undulating leaf margins. elongatus, ulvaceus: 10-20" (25-50cm) wavy light green leaves, twin-spiked flower. undulatus: 16" (40cm) slightly-undulating leaves, smooth in low light. Flowers rarely.
Aponogeton madagascariensis (Madagascar Lace Plant)
Very desired plant because of its 6-18" leaves which are actually a lace-like skeleton. Pink self-fertile flowers on double-spiked stalk. Likes rich substrate. Observe dormancy period! Dies in water over 80F. Difficult plant to grow.
Barclaya longifolia (orchid lily)
10-20" (25-50cm) delicate brownish or olive-green leaves, moderately-undulated margins. Likes warmed substrate and warm aquariums (75-82F). Foreground single plant. Often rots on transplant. Flowers and seeds easily by sending a stalk to the surface, or will remain submerged and closed (seeds still viable). Very difficult to grow. (TAG 4:1).
Crinum (``onion bulb'')
As the name implies, it grows from a bulb and looks like a scallion. Bright-green leaves are huge 20-40" (50-100cm), and recommended only for large aquariums. Does better in bright light.
Cryptocoryne (most species)
Shocks on transplant, takes up to months to adjust to new tank, so don't move them once you've planted them. Crypt rot caused by sudden water chemistry/quality changes. Spreads by rhizome; new plants develop at nodes. -> Not a good beginner plant. Often sold potted in rockwool, which reduces the above shocks. Usually prefers acidic water. Some species will not tolerate high light. Requires iron fertilization and likes rich substrate. (TAG 4:1, 4:2, 5:1, 5:2, 5:3, 5:4) Oft-seen species: affinis: emerald-green 4-12" (10-30cm) leaves, red undersides. Foreground plant in large aquariums or center plants in small tanks. Grows OK in alkaline water.
balansae: likes higher light?
becketii: likes higher light?
lutea: easier crypt to grow.
wendtii: easier crypt to grow. bronze, red, green varieties. wrinkled leaves. Up to 8" tall. Adaptable to high light and will grow with CO2.
Echinodorus (Amazon swords)
Most are good as single highlight plant, or background groups in large aquariums. Like high levels of fertilizer. Can grow emersed. Reproduce by adventitious plants on end of stalks runners, or root division, depending on species. (TAG 4:5, 5:5, 7:1, 7:5) Common species: bleheri, paniculatus, amazonicus: Your generic amazon swords, usually available in small, medium or large. Light green leaves can be over 20" (50cm). Produces plantlets directly on the flower stalk.
cordifolius (radican sword): heart-shaped leaves. Likes being emersed; will flower in open-top aquarium. Sends floating leaves if illumination is low.
major/maior (ruffle sword)
osiris (melon sword): blood-red slightly-undulate leaves.
parviflorus (tropico sword): smaller variety.
tenellus, quadricostatus (pygmy chain sword): leaves up to 6", 72-86F. Fast reproduction by runners; can create a lawn on large enough tank. Small plants; nice foreground display.
Lemna (duckweed, green plague)
Tiny (1/4") plant with a pair of leaves and a root. Reproduces very quickly. A very noxious weed, hard to eradicate, and most fish don't like to eat it. Try a floating fern such as Salvinia instead of this one.
Lilaeopsis novae-zelandiae (``micro sword'')
64-77F. This plant sold under this name is probably L. braziliensis, a South American Liaeopsis. It slowly spreads out in thick "turf" of grass, about three 1-3" long light green grass-like leaves per plant. Nice spawning medium, foreground plant.
Water lily-like plant. Usually sold as rhizome end-cutting, which rots away in a month. Likes colder temperatures.
Nymphaea (Water Lily, tiger lotus)
Bulb. Delicate leaves, colors varying from red to green with possible mottled spots, depending on the variety. Pinch off floating leaves if you want only submerged ones. Reproduction is by blooms, or side-tubers from the main bulb. Need 3-5 floating leaves for it to bloom.
Nymphoides aquatica\t(banana plant)
Olive-colored Heart-shaped leaves that look superficially like water lily, and banana-like tubers on roots. Plant by sticking the tubers 1/3 in the gravel. Prefers lower temperatures. Throws out floating leaves if light and fertilization is good.
Pistia stratiotes (water lettuce)
Very demanding plant that prefers full sun (where it will grow the size of actual lettuce) over aquarium conditions (where it might be the size of a quarter). Reproduces by runners. Buy at water garden supply stores.
Sagittaria (sag, arrowhead)
Straight-bladed green grass. Many different varieties, some small foreground plants, some rather big. Hardy. Propagates by runner. S. subulata grows 4-24" leaves and throws up small white flowers in shallow water. 63-82F.
Grass. Reproduction by runners. Some find it grows wildly, then mostly dies off, in a cycle. Wide temperatures 59-86F. V. spiralis (Italian val) has ribbon-like leaves up to 20" (50cm) and throws up a spiral stalk when flowering. V. tortifolia grows ``corkscrew'' leaves, hence its name Corkscrew val. Other common species: V. gigantica (Jungle Val).
Similar to duckweed (Lemna), but even smaller.