Popular aquarium species of Echinodorus

Keeping vegetation in aquariums is not an easy task, but the results are worth the effort. Unpretentious plants with large, bright, attractive leaves look beautiful in the interior of the aquarium, so many breeders are eager to get them. Some aquarists even collect Echinodorus and showcase their wonderful herbalists.


General information

Echinodorus (lat. Echinodorus) are popular perennial aquarium plants. Due to their amazing adaptive abilities, they are unpretentious to water parameters, such as hardness, acid-base composition and illumination. Their sizes are different – from 1 cm to 1 m, depending on the specific type and conditions of detention. With these simple plants, it is easy enough to provide an amazing, eye-pleasing environment for your aquarium.

Most of the Echinodorus grow in swamps and on the banks of standing or flowing water bodies. There are only a few species of these aquatic plants that live in strong currents. Water bodies may even be of a temporary nature, suitable for full life of plants only in high water, however, the rhizomes of Echinodorus allow them to remain viable in the ground even in short periods of drought. At this time, plants begin to intensively absorb and assimilate sunlight, forming inflorescences. This adaptation mechanism is most inherent in subtropical and tropical species.

There is a connection with temperature fluctuations and high water. With periods of drought, the water temperature rises and flowering begins. Whereas with high water temperatures the water temperature drops and the life cycle of plants slows down.

The level of illumination for them requires a minimum – it is possible to live both in sunny areas and in the shade.

Appearance and structure

Sheet plates are different:

  • heart-shaped;
  • oval;
  • elliptical;
  • linear;
  • lanceolate.

The color range has always ranged from light to dark green in the past, but at the moment there are many hybrids with a wide variety of leaf colors. One of the main signs of the species difference of Echinodorus is the presence or absence of a transparent pattern on the leaves.

Echinodorus inflorescences are also literally full of variety. Depending on the species, they grow on the underwater or above-water part of the plant and are:

  • simple;
  • drooping;
  • branched;
  • upright;
  • creeping.

They must have a peduncle and come in various shapes.


All Echinodorus are hermaphrodites – the number of stamens in the flower is approximately proportional to the number of spiral carpels. As a rule, there are many seeds. At their tips, you can see the remnant of a pistil.

Medium and large representatives can have large, powerful rhizomes, thanks to which they are capable of vegetative propagation. Then tuberous thickenings appear on the roots.

Echinodorus species

Echinodorus “Amazonian” (lat. Echinodorus amazonicus), popularly referred to as “Amazon” – one of the most common aquarium plants due to its unpretentiousness. From the name it becomes clear that his homeland is the Amazon basin.

Also known by names such as Echinodorus brevipedicellutus and Amazon Sword, which is why it is often confused with Echinodorus bleheri due to the consonance of these names and the similarity in appearance.

At a height of 30-50 cm, the leaf plates are narrow-lanceolate, pointed, their length is up to 40 cm, and their width is 1.5-3 cm, they are arranged with a rosette. Grows moderately throughout the year. In an aquarium, only vegetative reproduction is present. Forms peduncles, forming daughter plants on them. In the future, they can be divided and transplanted.

Unlike other species, the “Amazon” is not picky about the acid-base composition of the aquatic environment. For a favorable plant life, it is recommended to replace 1/5 of the total volume of the aquarium only once a week.

Echinodorus “tender” (lat. Echinodorus Tenellus), aka “grassy”, aka “dwarf Amazon” – the smallest representative of Echinodorus. Distributed in swamps. It is formed by creeping shoots without rhizomes measuring 5-6 cm above water, plus about the same amount under water, narrow-lanceolate leaf blades and a petiole of the above-water type.

At the proper level of lighting, it reproduces with the help of several whiskers. 2-3 daughter plants are formed from each, which can soon be transplanted. For it, fine-grained soil rich in silt or sand is best suited. In denser rhizomes, they will not be able to develop normally, as a result of which shoots and leaves germinate unevenly. Gentle Echinodorus develops most favorably in slightly acidic water of medium or low hardness, with a temperature of 18-20 ° C.

If you have a tall aquarium (over 0.5 m), it is recommended to ensure that there is sufficient light supply for these delicate plants. With a sufficient level, Echinodorus will be low and dense. With a lack of lighting, it will stretch upward, and its leaves will acquire a yellow-green tint.

Artificial lighting with fluorescent lamps LB-20 is quite possible. Depending on the specific power, the duration of their exposure to the aquarium is from 10 to 14 hours. Also, do not forget about the presence of other greenery, which partially or even completely casts a shadow on small plants.

In aquariums, they contain 2 types of Echinodorus, differing in the length of leaves and shoots, as well as in color:

  • the first form is low, with light green leaf plates;
  • the second is tall, has a green, dark green color with a brownish tint and leaves up to 5 cm.

This echinodorus can also be grown in terrariums, paludariums and humid greenhouses, because this plant is resistant to mechanical damage. In the greenhouse, he is able to bloom and form inflorescences with seeds. Pollination in such cases is carried out artificially, using a soft small brush. The seeds ripen in 2 months, and they are grown further in the sand filled with water.

Ehinodorus “Vesuvius” (Echinodorus Vesuvius) – the height of 10-20 cm, and width – 10-15 cm This volumetric plant leaves with spiral resembling wisps of smoke.. It is the result of selection, at the moment it is not very common among aquarists, but it is unpretentious, and you can plant it in any aquarium:

  • In small ones – planting around the perimeter is recommended to form a beautiful background.
  • In larger ones, it will be most advisable to plant it in the middle.

For this echinodorus, you need 0.4-0.5 W lighting, slightly acidic water of medium hardness and its replacement by 25% every week.

If the necessary conditions are not met or if there is an excess of seeds during planting, straightening of the leaves is possible. In a favorable habitat, “Vesuvius” is able to bloom, forming white inflorescences.

This type of Echinodorus reproduces with the help of fragments of its rhizome within a short period of time. When planting, the rhizome is cut on the sides by a couple of centimeters and the soil under it is fertilized. This contributes to its intensive germination.

Echinodorus “red leopard” (Echinodorus Roter Leopard) is a selection hybrid of small size with

wide leaves of dark red color, up to 25, bloom with rosette, have short petioles. In mature representatives of this genus, dotted blotches of a dark red color appear on the surface of the leaf plates, which is why the name of the plant comes from.

Lighting is required at a medium to high level. It can grow in the shade, but then the leaves will lose their color saturation. Soil saturation with mineral additives is recommended.

Echinodorus “red mamba” (Echinodorus Roter Mamba) – aka “jungle star”. Another hybrid, quite new at the moment and relatively expensive. It has long petioles and oblong red leaves with several light veins running along the entire plate. The color range ranges from deep red to brown to olive green, depending on the age of the plant.

Requires intense lighting and daylight hours lasting 10-12 hours. Grown in soil 5-10 cm, additional fertilization is desirable. It is unpretentious to the parameters of water, a weakly acidic medium of medium hardness and a weekly change of 20% of its volume are recommended.

Echinodorus “Red Octobe” (Echinodorus Roter October) – a very large representative ehinodorusov, height and width of 45 cm, a hybrid Harbich rot and Echinodorus Indian Red, bred in Germany.

It is well cultivated, actively reproduces with the help of basal processes and peduncles. It requires good lighting, it is not too sensitive to the parameters of water hardness and acidity, but it is worth monitoring the temperature – 25-30 ° C.

Ehinodorus “red flame” (Echinodorus Red Flame) – German another hybrid production is lush leaves with abundant reddish-brown spotting. Whimsical only to the soil (should be silted, enriched with organic matter) and lighting, which should be bright, with daylight hours of at least 10 hours.

The rest is simple to maintain, like most of its kind. Subject to daylight hours and regular weekly replacement, 20% of the aquarium water can grow up to 30 cm in height and up to 20 cm in width.

To support the full development of the plant, additional supply of carbon dioxide through a tube and feeding with iron-containing fertilizers is allowed.

Red Flame is very sensitive to copper, so it is not recommended to use medicinal preparations containing copper in the aquarium to avoid damaging the plant.

Able to reproduce with the help of rhizomes and flower arrows. When daughter plants are separated from the rhizome, their subsequent growth slows down, so for transplanting and breeding the “red flame” it is worth getting daughter plants from pedicels.

Echinodorus “red beauty” – obtained by crossing Ech. Osiris and Ech. Uruguayensis, best known in the CIS countries as Echinodorus “barta” (Ech. Barthii). The leaves grow up to 18-20 cm in length. The diameter of the rosette is usually no more than 40 cm. It is widespread among aquarists due to its rich red color and the pleasant shape of its sinewy leaves. With age, they turn golden, then turn green and eventually fade to their darkest shades, however, the red color on most leaves lasts for a long time. Due to its compact size, it is well suited as a foreground plant in small aquariums.

The leaves of the “red beauty” are softer than those of other Echinodorus, and they grow more slowly – no more than 2-3 new leaves appear per week, and their life expectancy is shorter. And on the plant itself, as a rule, more than 50 leaf blades do not grow, 20-30 of which will be red.

Sensitive to abrupt changes in water parameters, up to the possibility of chlorosis in the plant. Good lighting and peat additions to the soil are recommended. It propagates slowly: only in a vegetative way, with the help of root processes.

Ehinodorusov “white flame” (Echinodorus Bright Flame) – also known as “bright flame.” An exotic hybrid does not require any special conditions for full-fledged growth, however, a noticeable germination of the plant can take up to a year. 20-50 cm in height, up to 40 cm in width, with a rosette up to 30 cm in diameter. It has several oblong leaves of an unusual creamy color, which is why at first some think about the plant’s iron deficiency, but this appearance is its natural.

Echinodorus “red pirate” (Echinodorus Roter Pirat) – up to 45 cm high, with long petioles and wide lanceolate leaves. Young representatives of this species have red-brown leaves with light spots, which turn completely green with age.

Echinodorus “Red Zora» (Echinodorus Roter Zora is) – a little-known representative of the long leaves, red on the upper side and light green spots on the underside.

Echinodorus “Rubin” (Echinodorus Rubin) or “ruby red” – the large hybrid resulting from the crossing of species such as Echinodorus Echinodorus barthii and Noremanii. Its height is up to 60 cm, with a rosette width up to 30 cm. It has elliptical leaves with veins and short petioles.

They are a little more picky about growing conditions than most Echinodorus: for “ruby” it is desirable to have bright lighting and 8-10 cm of silt-enriched soil in the form of fine gravel. Mineral, iron supplements and CO2 make-up are recommended.

Like the “red flame”, it is sensitive to medicinal drugs, so it is recommended to avoid using them in the same aquarium with the “ruby”.

It reproduces with the help of basal shoots and flowering arrows. It is advisable to plant it in large and medium-sized aquariums, in the background, so as not to shade the smaller flora in the aquarium.

“Ruby” also has a narrow-leaved subspecies of smaller size: Echinodorus “Rubin narrow-leaved” (Echinodorus Rubin narrow leaves), which has a much richer red shade of leaves, up to fiery orange flowers under appropriate lighting. The conditions of detention are the same as for the main species. It is better to plant it in the central part of the aquarium.

Echinodorus “ocelot” (Echinodorus Ozelot) – arose as a result of crossing Ech. Barthii and Ech. schlueteri Leopard, 30-50 cm high, 20-40 cm wide. Differs in rather rapid growth of its ellipsoid leaves with a short petiole. “Ocelot” has red-brown blotches, which are so characteristic of it, but unlike other spotted Echinodorus, do not disappear from lack of light.

At the moment there are only 3 varieties of “ocelots”: red, green and golden, which differ from each other only in the color of the leaves.

It is better to place the plant in volumetric aquariums from 100 liters and 50 cm in height. Additional CO2 feed and good lighting are recommended for full development. When planting in a container, a mixture of clay, charcoal and crushed peat can be placed under the rhizome as a mineral supplement.


Leave a Comment