Cryptocoryne Ferruginea var Sekadau
by Slamet Supriadi
Cryptocoryne ferruginea can be found growing in streams and tributaries in Sekadau, West Kalimantan province of Indonesia. Often growing under a large tree. This narrow leaf plant found growing on the bank and river bed is becoming more common in the aquarium hobby but still hasn’t found the popularity that many other species of cryptocoryne have with hobbyists.
This was at first thought to be a cryptocoryne ideii but later was determined to be a different species. With cryptocorynes, it may be difficult to identify them without a flower to positively identify.
When the habitat of this cryptocoryne is flooded and the plants are underwater the leaves are a solid green. During the dry season, when it arrives, the plants will not be flooded so that the leaves are a nice shade of purple. There can also be veining between the purple areas to add texture to the leaves with enough lighting provided. In the right conditions they are a beautiful cryptocoryne.
Likes Low Light Levels
Like most cryptocorynes, they don’t need high levels of light to grow and prosper. In the home aquarium, lower to medium levels of lighting should produce nice growth. If provided with proper nutrients and lighting the leaves can become quite brilliant. A lux reading of about 3000 to 6000 is enough light for this shade hardy plant. My best results came from using 12 hours on for lighting and 12 hours off at night to let the plants rest.
Tolerates Wide Range of PH Levels
I have found this plant in a wide variety of PH ranges, but this aquatic aroid is mostly found in softwater streams. It is reported to have been observed in water with a PH in the 7 range. The plants tolerance of a wide PH makes it suitable for most hobbyists to keep in aquariums or emersed in wabi kusa or terrariums.
Soil is Heavy in Organics
Soil composition it is found in is a mixture of clay and decomposed plant matter naturally. In the aquarium it can be kept in most plant substrates easily. Grown emersed it does well in a good quality potting mix that drains well but retains moisture well. High humidity is a must, like other cryptocorynes. Emersed plants in a tray partially submerged do well as do pots sitting in a layer of water sufficient to keep the soil wet.
Add This to Your Collection
If you find this plant available you should add it to your tank or collection. It is a beauty in the aquarium and is easy to maintain in a variety of conditions. It should really be more available but perhaps many people still don’t know about this wonderful plant.