Aquarium & Tropical Fish Site

Tonina sp.

 Age of Aquariums > Aquarium Plants

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tonina1.jpg (27kb)
Photo Credit: Gianmarco Bertaccini

Name: Tonina sp.
Origin: Amazon

Care Gravel Light
Hard Rich Bright


There are a number of Tonina species, I believe. The one pictured looks like Tonina sp. 'Belem' (a species from Belem, Brazil). It has been a great success in the soft, acid water I have under conditions of 0.9 Watts/liter, with CO2, NPK additions plus trace. In fact, I would say this grows like a weed with many branches. Plant a few centimeters apart because it does branch. The lime green colour and radial pattern of leaves is a great addition to an aquascape - with a red plant, it would be stunning.

Contributed by ...

I have been trying with limited success with this species. I use lots of fertilizer and light, but it might be the water. Mine's a little on the neutral side. Very beautiful plant, has that paradise theme park look. Very well worth your time.

Contributed by michael lai

Syngonanthus sp. 'Belem' is known in the hobby as Tonina sp. 'Belem', which is related to the Eriocaulon species. Syngonanthus sp. 'Belem' has been in the Australian aquarium hobby for a few years now and is known for being difficult to grow, but if requirements are met, it can be quite easy. It requires intense lighting (0,7 W/L or more), a constant supply of CO2 (possibly 3 bubbles per second), constant supply of micro-nutrients and soft water. For best results, KH should not exceed 4, and 2 or lower would be best. Syngonanthus sp. 'Belem' will appreciate an acidic substrate such as ADA Aquasoil and Florabase. Ample amount of iron in the water column or substrate would be needed to maintain good health. It should be in direct lighting and not in the shade. Shaded plants would result in melting stems and leaves.

Propagating of Syngonanthus sp. 'Belem' is relatively easy once you have mastered how to grow it. It can have its top of the stems cut off and replanted, or it can be trimmed like any stem plant. It is recommended to leave 10 cm from the base of the stem and have the tops replanted. When planting fresh into an aquarium at first, them stem should be as short as possible, this will result in a clean growth. If a tall stem is planted, it will become laden with roots and will look unattractive.

Due to its relatively unique appearance and growth habits, it can be difficult to integrate into an aquascape. It is widely used from the middle of the aquascape to the back. This species can be very attractive when used in tanks dedicated to the Tonina and Eriocaulon genera.

Contributed by Stephen

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