Cryptocoryne Care Guide, Types, Temperature, Growth Rate

Cryptocoryne is one of the most commonly used plants in aquascapes. Not only because it is easy to maintain, but cryptocoryne is also often used because it has very diverse types. One of the main attractions of this plant is its leaves which have various shapes and colors.

Cryptocoryne Overview

Family Araceae
Maintenance Easy (suitable for beginners)
Growth rate Slow – medium
Lighting Low – medium
Placement Middle – back

Cryptocoryne habitat

Cryptocoryne comes from the tropics so Indonesia is one of the places where you can find this plant. Besides Indonesia, this plant can be found in countries such as India, Sri Lanka. If you have read my previous article about Bucephalandra , it turns out that Cryptocoryne and Bucephalandra are from the same family , namely Araceae . The original habitat of cryptocoryne is not much different from the original habitat of bucephalandra, cryptocoryne likes places such as riverbanks where the current is not too strong.

How to grow cryptocoryne

Cryptocoryne is a plant that uses its roots as the main aid to obtain food or nutrients. So, this plant must be planted in basic fertilizer in order to survive and have a good growth. Make sure the base fertilizer depth is sufficient so that the cryptocoryne plants do not come out of the base fertilizer when the tank is filled with water. I myself have a cryptocoryne plant and use a base fertilizer depth of about the length of my index finger.

At the bottom I put the base fertilizer about half the length of my index finger. Then I filled the other half with poor sand to keep the basic fertilizer in place. In addition, the appearance of the aquascape becomes more pleasing to the eye because the poor sand that is seen is not basic fertilizer.

Maybe someone has a question, does cryptocoryne have to use basic fertilizers? If you want to see this plant survive and grow well, the answer is to use basic fertilizer. However, if you don’t mind seeing the plant grow very slowly, then just using poor sand or other substrate is also fine.

How to care for cryptocoryne

Now that you know how to grow cryptocoryne, what kind of treatment needs to be done? As I said at the beginning of this article, this plant is one of the plants that has easy care. In my opinion, once you plant this plant on basic fertilizer, there is nothing more that needs to be done. Why isn’t there anything that needs to be done? Because this plant grows quite slowly, so there is no need to cut. I myself have never cut my cryptocoryne because it doesn’t grow tall. So I let the leaves wither by themselves. If it’s lighting, you don’t need to worry because this plant doesn’t require a high level of lighting. This plant can live with low to medium lighting.

My aquascape doesn’t have high lighting, in fact I thought the cryptocoryne I had was going to die. But in fact the plant is still alive even though its growth is slow. Of course the intake of liquid fertilizer can help this plant grow faster. But you must remember to find a balance between the use of liquid fertilizer with the level of lighting you have to avoid the growth of algae. You don’t have to worry about water temperature, because the original habitat for cryptocoryne is the tropics.

How to multiply cryptocoryne

Cryptocoryne plants reproduce themselves by using “runners” or like roots that will grow new shoots later. How to propagate cryptocoryne is quite simple, you only need to separate the “runner” which already contains leaves from the parent plant. Although the method is easy, finding a runner that already contains shoots is not an easy job, especially since the plant is already well-known and is in a difficult position. You also need to be careful when separating small shoots from the parent plant so that the stems or leaves do not break.

Also Read = How Long Can Guppies Go Without Eating?

Why do cryptocoryne leaves melt ?

Melting is the term used when the leaves of certain plants wilt and then die as if melted. This is a problem that is often experienced by cryptocoryne. So what exactly causes melting ? The first cause could be that the plants you just bought and planted are still adjusting to their new environment. As it adjusts to its new environment, the cryptocoryne leaf will most likely melt. If that’s the cause, then you don’t need to worry because usually new leaves will also show themselves.

Apart from adapting, old cryptocoryne leaves can also melt because it’s time. Both of these causes, will usually be followed by the growth of other leaves. However, if the plant is severely deprived of light and nutrients all the leaves will slowly melt and no new leaf growth will occur. That’s why I recommend planting cryptocoryne in the base fertilizer, or adding a booster fertilizer if you only use poor sand.

Why are cryptocoryne leaves brown?

Brown leaves are one of the problems with cryptocoryne plants. Actually not only on this plant, because almost all aquatic plants can experience this. Usually the brown color on the leaves is caused by algae, if you rub the brown part and the color disappears, it means it’s algae. I have experienced this quite often, the way to get rid of it can indeed be wiped or using a cleaning crew such as snails or algae-eating fish.

However, the core problem must be resolved, namely the imbalance that occurs in the aquascape. It may be too much light and lack of nutrients, or too much nutrition and lack of light. It could also be caused by the aquarium being exposed to direct sunlight, in my case it seems to have been exposed to sunlight. So try to get to the heart of the problem to get rid of the problem permanently.

Cryptocoryne type

Cryptocoryne has very many types. Usually what is different is the leaves, color, and size of the plant. Because there are so many, I will write down several types of cryptocoryne that I think are often used in aquascapes.

Cryptocoryne parva

Cryptocoryne parva is the smallest species among other types. I have this type in my aquascape, and the size is still small, about 5 – 10 cm. This type of parva is also quite often used to make carpets on the front of an aquascape because of its small size and suitable as a carpet plant.

Just like cryptocoryne in general, this type of parva has a slow growth. In my aquascape that never uses liquid fertilizer, this plant is alive but its growth is very slow. Coupled with the lights that the lighting level is not high makes this plant has a slow growth as well. If you really want to use this plant, it is better to use liquid fertilizer to help its growth and moderate light.

Cryptocoryne wendtii

Wendtii types are also quite often used in aquascapes, but I can rarely find this plant in the local aquascape shop in my area. Maybe this plant really sells. There are about 3 colors for this type of wendtii, namely green, brown, and red. I think the difference is only in color and nothing else. However, when compared to other types of cryptocoryne, there are indeed differences. The difference is in the edges of the leaves which are usually wavy.

The size of the wendtii species is also larger than parva, which is about 10 – 30 cm. Because it can have a high size, this plant cannot be used as a carpet plant like the parva type. There is no other difference in terms of care, so just use low – medium lighting and add liquid fertilizer if necessary.

Cryptocoryne crispatula ‘Balansae’

This type is quite often used by people abroad. But I myself rarely see this type in a local shop that I frequent. Maybe when I came all the plants were empty. This type is usually planted on the back because the height of the leaves ranges from 20-30 cm. The leaves are slender and usually wavy. There is no difference in the way of treatment when compared to the other types that I have mentioned.

Cryptocoryne Walkeri ‘Lutea’

This type of walkeri “lutea” Cryptocoryne is also quite often I see in stores. In fact, this breed is quite similar to the earlier green wendtii and parva. The difference lies in the waves on the side of the leaf which are not as hard as the wendtii.

This type also has a height of about 10-15 cm, so it is suitable to be planted in the middle of the aquascape.


Whatever type of cryptocoryne you will use, basically all have treatments that are not much different from each other. Although this plant can live by only using other substrates besides basic fertilizers such as poor sand. I still recommend using basic fertilizers, or fertilizer plugs to provide adequate nutrition. Because basically this plant has a slow growth, if you add a lack of nutrients it will be even slower. The thing I’m afraid of is that you will get tired of seeing these plants that don’t change after a few months. However, this is a normal thing to happen.