Name: Cryptocoryne wendtii "brown"|
Origin: Sri Lanka (Asia)|
Before really getting into plants, I heard some pretty scary stories about crypt rot and complications with crypts, but I'm very glad I never got scared off. C. wendtii in particular is one of the few reddish-hue plants that grows incredibly well even in sub-optimal lighting. In good lighting, as I keep mine in, they send out prolific runners and have never given me an ounce of trouble.
Red wendtii is a plant that I recommend all the time to anyone who wishes to start a planted tank. It is very hardy, and is not susceptible to "crypt rot" like most other crypts. The reddish colors make wonderful centerpieces for the tank. Or even a very nice "off centerpiece" set to one side of the tank. I read an article once that described red wendtii as the "flower" of the planted tank, in the sense that it was a great way to draw attention to your tank, add some interest, and break up all the different shades of green in the tank. It does not need to be planted in soil, and does wonderfully attached to rocks or driftwood. It is a very hardy plant. I had a wonderful wendtii specimen on a large piece of driftwood in my tank. I had removed the driftwood to vacuum some mulm that had accumulated there, and while the driftwood was out, every leaf on my wendtii had been accidentally broken off. I left the ball of roots on the driftwood, and placed it back into the tank. Within 2 weeks I had brand new growth. It's been a month, and I have a brand new wendtii plant on that driftwood. It has more leaves, the color is just as rich as before, and I'm very impressed with its ability to recover so quickly, and so wonderfully.
I have found that my Cryp is one of the easiest plants I have ever grown. The beauty about this plant is its ability to adapt to various degrees of lighting. I grow it in brightly lit aquariums and in aquariums without lighting. The substrate in most cases is plain gravel or sometimes a peaty bed covered with gravel. It tends to be more prolific in the peat bed. Plants growing to a height of 25 cm with several shoots is common. I have sold more of these plants to pet shops than any other plants.
This is an easy brownish plant, which is one of the best mid- to foreground decorative species. Do not let other plants make shadow on it. I've been keeping this plants more than 5 years in my low-tech aquariums. Under good light and sufficient area, the leaves will show pink to dark brown coloration. For the first few months it is necessary for new roots to grow in the substrate, then your plant will show itself, make baby plants near the main body and make a beautiful group. For better view, I recommend to use near light green varieties of dwarf crypts. You can divide 4-5 new roots each year and get new groups in your aquarium.
I really love this plant. I once setup a new tank full of amazon swords, aponogetons, egeria and crypts. I made a mistake about using the plants to cycle the tank, which led to a massive die off. Surprisingly, all of my crypts were rooted firmly in the substrate after a week with new growth. It's been 2 months now and I replaced all the plants that died. They are all flourishing, especially the crypts, that grow a new leaf every week. Many people say crypts are slow growers, but in fact, they grow new leaves quickly but become bigger slowly.
I can only agree in the praise of this fantastic plant. The only drawback is that you must hold it back, if you do not want it to take over the whole tank. I have a 160 L, which I had problems in getting the plants to grow in and serious algae problems for a while. But, in come 4 C. wendtii and within a month I had a small lush forest of Cryp runners. Now I must take at least 10 plants out of the tank each month, otherwise the other plants are totally overrun by the Red Cryp invasion. I recommend this plant to everyone.
The brown wendtii is a beautiful and very hardy plant from my experience. Several years ago I had this plant growing in my fish tank when the heater malfunctioned and turned the aquarium into a hot tub, killing all my fish. When this happened, I stopped turning on the lights and basically just let all my plants in the tank die off over the course of several months. I dumped the moist substrate into a garbage bag, tied it up and stuck it in the back of my closet for a couple of years before taking back out to start up my fish tank once again. To my surprise there were two white roots that had survived in the substrate in the bag. I planted them both and they blossomed into two healthy crypts. It just really amazed me that this plant, or rather the roots, could have survived for so long and grow back so strong.
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