Ludwigia natans a beautiful vibrant plant belonging to the family Onagraceae is best for adding contrast and dimension in the aquarium. A beloved of aquasapers this plant grabs attention because of its blazing red coloring. It is commonly called creeping primrose willow, red repens, and super red ludwigia. When you plant 10-12 stems together it will change the dimensions of the aquarium. It grows very quickly and is effortless to maintain.
Origin and habitat
This brilliant red plant grows expeditiously in plentiful sunlight is Indigenous to the United States and Mexico and can be seen growing in lush waters of Central and North America. You will find this beautiful plant in all seasons. If handled with great care and love this plant could be an excellent addition to your aquarium.
The plant has small round and sharp leaves that usually develop as pairs in opposite directions on the full stem length. The color of leaves stretches from green to intense deep red. It is an amphibious plant meaning it can thrive in an aquarium both under the water and above the water although above water it will take some time to grow. Underwater its growth becomes fast-paced and can grow up to 20 inches in height and 2to 3 inches in width which depend on the growth of leaves.
How to care for plant
Ludwigia natans is not very difficult to care for, you just have to take into account some small things while having it in the aquarium. The fiery red color of the plant is due to high phosphate, nitrate, and iron levels so make sure you provide them sufficiently in the aquarium. Iron is critical in developing colors because it acts as a co-factor in enzymes which plays the part in pigment formation meaning high iron concentration redder the plant will be. High light is also suggested to bring out the intense red color of the plant. If you keep the plant near light you will notice the nearby leaves will become redder. Wavelength and proximity of light are what you have to keep in mind while setting up lights. It is reported that 8 hours of light per day is great for the plant colors. If there are not enough light leaves will start falling and the plant will slowly die. This plant is sensitive so make sure all parameters are up to the requirement if some fluctuation happens due to any problem it will lead to rotting and death of the plant. It can grow from 6 inches to 20 inches given the healthy environment. UNS controsoil is suggested because it helps the plant in developing a robust root system and it also aids in optimal growth. It is not necessary to go for CO2 injection but they do boost the plant growth and its coloration.
If you are planning to have this plant in your aquarium supply it with all the essentials, for example, it is recommended to have 2-4 watts of light per gallon. A 10-gallon tank will be sufficient for this plant with slightly acidic water. The temperature of the tank should be maintained between 75 and 79 Fahrenheit. If you are going for CO2 injections then 20 to 40 ppm is more than enough because a little more than that and your fish will start to collapse. The pH range of the tank should be between 6.0-7.0. The majority of hobbyists provide Fe(iron) supplements for better coloration. When you provide all these facilities you will see how this plant thrives and increase the beauty of your aquarium.
How to plant?
This beauty is delicate so you have to take extra care in handling it. It looks best when grown in the middle or back of the aquarium. You will find it as a bunch in shops and try planting it in the same way as a bunch and prune it regularly to get that bushy jungle effect.
The propagation of Ludwigia Natans is effortless because only a few healthy stems can grow new plantlets. Here are some simple steps;
- Cut small parts from the main stem and plant them in the substrate. Leave a 1-inch distance between these stems.
- Make sure you have a substrate with abundant nutrients (UNS controsoil) to kickstart the growth
Fish gets attracted to bright colors and this plant is red so they will adore the plant. Smart and zealous fish might try to eat the plant and destroy it in the process so avoid having such kind of fish. Although some colorful and exotic shrimp will be a great addition to this plant.
There are not many problems with this plant. The only thing is this plant is very fragile and slight fluctuation in the environment can cause its death. So, make sure you keep the tank environment stable. Make sure you do proper research before purchasing and planting it in your aquarium. Handle it carefully while removing the packaging.
Reasons to have this plant in your tank
It is a beautiful plant that can increase the aesthetics of your aquarium. The red color is always attractive and in plants this color is eye-catching. It wouldn’t let your aquarium be bland.
Compare to other red plants this one is easy to handle. Its colors will change rapidly given the conditions. When you purchase it its color will be green but after some time it will change to intense deep red. The more love and care you will give this plant its colors will become more and more intense and beautiful.