Cryptocoryne wendtii is one of the most popular, and widely available aquatic plants in the aquarium hobby. It has several color variations, and it can be found in green, red and brown colors. The size of the leaves can vary greatly, and even the texture of the leaves can differ from plant to plant.
This plant was originally native to Sri Lanka, though it has become established as an invasive species in Florida in recent years. It is commonly found in streams and rivers throughout Sri Lanka, and it tends to grow in shaded areas.
Cryptocoryne wendtii is an extraordinarily hardy plant, and it will thrive under low lighting and in both soft and hard water conditions. It is an excellent plants for both experienced and beginner aquarists, as while it is easy to grow, it can also be aquascaped into stunning displays in experienced hands.
It must be planted directly into the substrate, and forms deep roots that make this plant difficult to uproot. This makes it an excellent plant if you’re looking for a plant that can survive the attention of notorious diggers like certain cichlids or loaches. It should be regularly fertilized, and at the very least Seachem Flourish Trace should be added after weekly water changes.
Cryptocryne wendtii will flourish under low light conditions. Due to its slow growing nature, other plants may crowd it out in aquariums with high levels of lighting. When choosing lighting, a T5 or T8 fluorescent bulb should be used to mimic full spectrum lighting. Some aquarists have reported success with LED lights in recent years, so these lights may also make a good choice for growing cryptocoryne wendtii.
When first introducing cryptocoryne wendtii to an aquarium, it is common to experience a significant leaf die off. Many of the leaves will quickly wither away, but don’t assume that the plant is dead if this happens. This is common occurrence, and is a result of a sudden change to the plants water conditions. The roots of the plant will normally remain healthy, and new leaves should been seen shortly (though this can sometimes take a while).
Propagation is simple for cryptocoryne wendtii, and involves removing a small portion of the root with some stem attached. This can then be planted in the substrate, and will slowly develop into a new plant.
One common practice is to pull mature plants apart, creating numerous new plants which can then be spread across the aquarium or sold to others.
Cryptocoryne wendtii tends to stay relatively small, and is best as a foreground or midground plant in aquariums. It grows thickly, and can be used to cover up unsightly portions of other plants, or simply as a focal point in an aquarium.