Aponogeton boivinianus

Origin: Madagascar

The attractive crinkled leaf and large size of this plant make it an ideal specimen plant for the midground of a larger aquarium. In a heavily planted aquarium where there is competition for light and nutrients, A boivinianus may produce smaller and fewer leaves. The leaves are bright green and sometimes slightly transparent in places.

Maximum height: 16 in (40 cm), sometimes taller

Growth rate: Initially fast, but slows as the plant ages

Area: Midground, Specimen, or unusual

Light: Bright

Temperature: 68-79°F (20-26°C) Propagation: By pollination or from seed Difficulty: 2, 3

Above: Here, the unusual indented nature of the leaves is clearly visible.

Aponogetons are grown from bulbs that store large amounts of nutrients. Sometimes, just the bulbs are offered for sale; they should sprout within a week or two.

The aponogetons are a group of more than 40 species from Africa, Asia, and. Australia. The plants are found both in fully aquatic and terrestrial forms, as marsh or bog plants. In nature, many aponogetons occur in specialized habitats, adapted to the local environment. This specialization limits the number of plants suited to the broad-based conditions of the aquarium. However, about 15 varieties are suitable for the aquarium and around half of these are readily available. Many aponogetons are found in shallow bog or marginal areas that dry up annually. The plants found in these areas have a growth period that coincides with natural rainy seasons and a rest period during dry seasons. In the aquarium, these plants may grow well for a number of months and follow this with a period of little or no growth. Normally, growth is resumed if conditions are adequate. Conditions for good growth vary with individual plants, but a fine, nutrient-rich and warm substrate will benefit all aponogetons. Some varieties will do well in harder water, while others must be kept in soft water. Most aponogetons will produce stalks with flowers and produce fruit in the aquarium.

Scientific name:

Aponogeton crispus

Common name: Crinkled or ruffled aponogeton Origin: Sri Lanka

This popular, attractive and adaptable plant is readily available in the aquarium trade. Once settled into an aquarium and given all the right growing conditions, it will grow quickly, producing numerous olive green-brown ruffled leaves. These are normally up to 1.6 in (4 cm) wide and 8-14 in (20-35 cm) long. In weak light, the leaves are produced on longer stems that may spread across the water surface in search of more illumination. A crispus may flower in the aquarium.

Maximum height: 14 in (35 cm), sometimes taller

Growth rate: A period of strong growth, followed by very slow growth

Area: Midground, Foreground, Specimen, or unusual

Light: Bright

Propagation: By pollination or from seed

Difficulty: 1, 2

Scientific name:

Aponogeton madagascariensis

Synonym: A fenestrate

Common name: Madagascan lace plant, Laceleaf Origin: Madagascar

The laceleaf has become a popular aquarium plant, mainly due to its novel "skeletonlike" appearance. This is due to a lack of leaf tissue; only the interconnecting veins are visible. It is not an easy plant to care for and requires clean and clear water conditions. Any algae or debris will clog the leaves and undermine the health of the plant. Be sure to keep it in soft water with a pH of 7 or lower. Narrow and wider leaf varieties are also available.

Brown Frilly Aquatic Plant

Many aponogetons have delicate-looking leaves. A source of nutrients in the substrate will help to keep them in good condition.

Aponogeton Boivinianus

Many aponogetons have delicate-looking leaves. A source of nutrients in the substrate will help to keep them in good condition.

Maximum height: Up to 25 in

(65 cm), usually less

Growth rate: Medium

Area: Midground, Foreground, Specimen, or unusual

Light: Will do well in most conditions, but should be shaded in well-lit aquariums

Propagation: From seed

Difficulty: 3, 4

Unusual Aquarium Plants
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