Rotala macrandra - Immersed Potted Plant

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$12.00 NZD

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Rotala macrandra, commonly known as Giant Red Rotala, is a striking and vibrant aquatic plant that is highly sought after by aquarists for its stunning red coloruation and delicate leaves. This plant belongs to the Lythraceae family and is known for its high demands in terms of light and nutrients, making it a favourite among experienced aquarists and aquascapers who can meet its care requirements.

Physical Characteristics:

  1. Leaf Structure: The leaves of Rotala macrandra are narrow, elongated, and typically exhibit a brilliant red to pinkish-red coloration under optimal conditions. The leaves are arranged in opposite pairs along the stem, creating a dense and lush appearance.

  2. Growth Form: This plant has a vertical growth habit, with stems reaching up to 30-50 cm (12-20 inches) in height. It forms dense, bushy clusters that add a dramatic splash of colour to the aquarium.

  3. Stem Structure: The stems are slender and delicate, often requiring careful handling during planting and maintenance to avoid damage.

Aquarium Requirements:

  1. Lighting: Rotala macrandra requires intense lighting to maintain its vibrant red colouration and promote healthy growth. A high-intensity LED lighting system is recommended to provide the necessary light levels.

  2. Substrate: A nutrient-rich substrate is essential for Rotala macrandra. Aquasoil that provide ample nutrients to the roots will support its growth and colouration.

  3. CO2 and Fertilization: The addition of carbon dioxide (CO2) is crucial for the success of Rotala macrandra. Consistent CO2 injection and a regular regimen of liquid fertilisers that provide macro and micronutrients will ensure optimal growth and vibrant colours.

  4. Water Parameters: Maintain water conditions within a pH range of 6.0 to 7.5 and a water hardness level of soft to moderately hard. The ideal temperature range is between 22 to 28°C.

Propagation: Rotala macrandra can be propagated through stem cuttings. Cut healthy stems and replant them in the substrate. Each cutting should have at least a few nodes to ensure successful rooting and growth. The cuttings will develop roots and continue to grow, forming new clusters.

Maintenance: Regular trimming and pruning are necessary to control the height and shape of Rotala macrandra. Frequent pruning encourages bushier growth and prevents the lower parts of the stems from losing leaves due to lack of light. Trimming also helps maintain the plant’s vibrant red colouration by promoting new growth.

Aquascaping Use: Rotala macrandra is a standout plant in aquascaping, often used as a focal point or background plant to create contrast and depth. Its vibrant red colour makes it an excellent choice for adding a dramatic element to the aquarium. It pairs well with green and lighter-coloured plants, enhancing the overall visual appeal of the aquascape. appealing element to the aquarium.

Challenges: Rotala macrandra is known for its high demands in light, CO2, and nutrients, making it a challenging plant for beginners. Inadequate lighting or nutrient deficiencies can lead to poor colouration, stunted growth, and loss of leaves. Consistent monitoring and maintenance are required to keep this plant healthy and vibrant.

Rotala macrandra is a beautiful and highly desirable aquarium plant with vibrant red foliage that offers a stunning visual impact. Its demanding care requirements make it best suited for experienced aquarists who can provide the intense lighting, CO2, and nutrients it needs to thrive. With proper care, Rotala macrandra can become a breath-taking centrepiece in any planted aquarium, enhancing the overall aesthetic and creating a dynamic and colourful underwater landscape.