If you’re hoping to add some color and life to your fish tank, there is no better way to do so than by introducing some live plants. There are so many to choose from, and while the best live plants for your fish tank will vary depending on your needs, aesthetic preferences, and fish types, the Staurogyne Repens is probably one of the best kinds of plants you can grow.
This unique plant is a great choice if you are looking for a plant to inhabit the lower portions of your tank. It will form a dense carpet over the substrate, providing valuable shelter for your bottom-feeding fish. In addition, it will oxygenate the water and help remove health-impairing toxins, like nitrates and nitrates.
This is one of the easiest plants to care for. With a hardy, slow-growing nature, this plant requires minimal maintenance. It is unlikely to be damaged by your fish inhabitants, and it’s a great choice for beginners who aren’t so great at caring for plants.
Don’t be intimidated by the thought of growing live plants in your freshwater fish tank! The Staurogyne Repens is one of the easiest live plants you can grow in your fish tank, and without a doubt, it’s the right choice for you.
- Where Does Staurogyne Repens Come From?
- What Does Staurogyne Repens Look Like?
- Where Can I Buy Staurogyne Repens?
- What Tank Conditions Does This Plant Require?
- How To Plant Staurogyne Repens
- How Do I Prune and Maintain My Staurogyne Repens?
- What Are The Best Tank Mates For My Staurogyne Repens?
- Is Staurogyne Repens A Good Choice For Me?
Where Does Staurogyne Repens Come From?
This unique freshwater plant is a member of the Acanthaceae family, which contains over 2500 different species from around the world. This species in particular is native to South America – specifically, the Cristalino River. This hardy plant can endure many mistakes at the hands of beginning aquarium hobbyists. Therefore, it is a great choice for people who want to add some vegetation to their tanks.
There are so many benefits to adding this particular plant to your fish tank. Like other plant species, Staurogyne repens can help improve the quality of the water in your aquarium, making it a cleaner, safer place for your fish to inhabit. It releases oxygen as part of the photosynthesis process, removing nitrate and dissolved toxins as it does so.
This plant produces a bright green shade of bushy growth, making it a great choice for a tank in which you are seeking extra aesthetic appeal.
What Does Staurogyne Repens Look Like?
This vibrant green plant is unique among some of the hardier aquarium plants. This is because it produces some of the brightest, bushiest growth compared to its counterparts. It produces stiff stems that help it hold itself up in the tank. The leaves are densely packed, making it an ideal choice for a carpeted look.
The plant can reach up to four inches in height, meaning you can easily plant it at the bottom of your tank without taking up too much valuable swimming space for your fish. The leaves of this plant are a classic oval shape, producing growth that is broader at the base and pointed at the end. This plant has thin, white roots that are, for the most part, buried in the substrate. The rest will grow upwards to collect nutrients from the water.
Where Can I Buy Staurogyne Repens?
You will need to be careful when purchasing your Staurogyne Repens, as it looks not unlike some species in the highly invasive Hygrophila genus. This genus contains several kinds of South American swamp weeds.
You can buy this plant from just about any aquarium store. Most aquarium stores sell a wide variety of plants, and while it used to be difficult to find Staurogyne Repens in stores, it is now widely available as it becomes a more popular choice among fish keepers.
When you purchase this plant, be sure you give it a careful examination to check for any signs of damage. Damaged plants will have a hard time growing, even after they are replanted in the appropriate setting. Stems should be green but if they are a little brown don’t worry – this isn’t anything to be concerned about. Otherwise, they should also be fully grown at a height of two to four inches.
Staurogyne repens is not terribly expensive to purchase. Most sellers can grow and propagate this plant on their own, so five or six dollars will get you all the Staurogyne repens you need. The exact quantity that you will need to purchase will depend on the size of your tank.
To start with, you should only purchase a few stems. It’s very easy to overcrowd the tank, so you will want to observe the growing pattern and density of your plant before you buy too much. You can always purchase or propagate more later on.
What Tank Conditions Does This Plant Require?
Staurogyne repens has a relatively limited geographic distribution. This is because it requires very specific water conditions. If you are able to recreate the conditions of this plant’s native environment in your tank, it will be very content and will flourish under those conditions.
Try to keep this plant in a tank that is at least ten gallons in volume. This will provide it with plenty of space to grow. You will also need to keep in mind the water quality, lighting, and substrate in your tank. Substrate, in particular, is important, as the plant will spend its life rooted in it. The best substrates to consider are those that are relatively light and fine-grained, such as sand and gravel.
Your plants will also need plenty of light to allow them to photosynthesize. In the wild, your plant would receive ample amounts of sunlight, which would make up most of its lighting requirements. However, in captivity, you will need to go a bit further than this. While most standard aquarium lights are bright enough to provide the light that your plant needs, you might also want to invest in a light that can be operated for at least ten hours each day. You should avoid natural lighting in a tank setting, as this can encourage the development of algae.
The temperatures of your water should be extremely warm. Keep the temperature between 68 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit, but remember that higher temperatures are best. The water hardness should be maintained at around 3 to 10 KH.
Staurogyne repens is not picky in terms of pH. It can tolerate slightly acidic or alkaline waters, but a neutral pH is best. Try to aim for a pH around 6 to 8 for best results.
How To Plant Staurogyne Repens
Once you get your tank set up and you have your plant at home and ready to go, start small. Try not to plant too many stems all at once. Instead, start with just a few and then work up to more later, particularly once you know how much space you have. Usually, you will only need about one stem for every two gallons of water in your tank.
This plant cannot be grown as a floating species, as it is designed to act more like a carpet. To get started, all you need to do is plant each stem just over half an inch deep in the sediment. This will allow you enough space for the roots to develop, while also being deep enough to hold the plant in place.
Your substrate should be fine-grained so that the roots can grow between the grains. If you plant the roots too close to rocks or buried decorations, the roots may begin to attach to those instead. While this isn’t a problem in itself, it may become an issue if you decide you want to move your decorations at another time.
Your plants’ roots should start to foster stem growth within just a few short weeks. They will reach their full height in about a month. You may notice that the roots have become entangled with other systems nearby, and they might even be growing out of the substrate.
Staurogyne Repens plants need ample lighting, so try not to plant these stems close to any tall decorations that could block out the light. Floating plants will need to be kept in a separate corner of the tank so that they don’t block light from reaching your carpet plants, either.
How Do I Prune and Maintain My Staurogyne Repens?
This plant is not difficult to maintain. You should keep the water relatively clear, as this will allow light to move down into the lower portion of the tank. Regular water changes are needed to keep the water sparkling clear, which will improve not only the health of your Staurogyne repens but also your fish inhabitants.
Staurogyne repens are slow-growing plants but they aren’t very high-maintenance. Stems grow at different rates, meaning you will want to cut back the faster-growing ones quickly so you don’t have a heavy carpet look. If you want to replant the cuttings to propagate them, you can, too.
This plant does well when grown with supplements. These supplements can help improve the health of your plant and make it stand upright and regain its color. Usually, these supplements contain a variety of nutrients. There are also nutrient-rich substrates you can add to your tank. These will help to expedite plant growth.
However, before adding any kind of supplement to your tank, you need to take the health of your fish species in mind. Sometimes, supplements are too heavy in one nutrient and this can make your fish sick if they are sensitive.
To propagate Staurogyne repens, know that the process is relatively straightforward. In the wild, seems will produce side shoots that ultimately detach, fall to the bottom of the riverbed, and create their own plant. Therefore, micropropagation is the best way to rapidly generate plenty of new plants in a tank.
All you need to do is let your stems reach three or four inches tall before cutting about half of the growth off. You can then replant it in the substrate of the same tank, or in a new tank to start a new community.
Give it a bit of time, and it will develop into its own plant. You don’t need to wait for the cutting to develop roots before you plant it, but remember that it will need leaves so that it can carry out the process of photosynthesis. Avoid cutting the plant too deep – you only need a small amount to be planted in a new tank.
What Are The Best Tank Mates For My Staurogyne Repens?
You can keep just about any kind of fish with your Staurogyne Repens, but remember that since this is a bottom-dwelling plant, your bottom-dwelling fish species will appreciate it the most.
Remember that you can’t keep Staurogyne Repens with any old kind of fish since its leaves are attractive to plant-eating species. There are some fish to avoid, such as goldfish, silver dollars, and rainbow fish. All of these herbivorous fish are known for eating tons of vegetation, so you’ll want to avoid them as well as any others that have a proclivity for eating vegetation.
Instead, you should choose tank mates that aren’t voracious chewers. You might want to consider species like Mollies, Corydoras Catfish, Bettas, Guppies, Danios, Dwarf Gouramis, Tetras, Cherry Barbs, Swordtails, and Rasboras. You can even keep this plant with larger, more aggressive fish species, like Cichlids.
You can even add shrimp or snails to planted tanks. You do need to be careful about the species of snails that you add, since some are known to eat a lot of plants. However, there are some exceptions, with the assassin snail being an excellent companion for this fast-growing plant.
Remember that you can even grow Staurogyne Repens with other kinds of plants. the best plants will be those that grow relatively tall in the background, such as Java fern. You could also grow a floating plant like hornwort, but remember, you don’t want it to block out the light.