Scientific Name:Rotala Rotundifolia
Common name: Dwarf Rotala
Height: under 30 cm
Lightning: 0,75 wats/litre
Temperature: 21 °C – 28 °C
pH tolerance: 5,5 – 7
Water hardness tolerance: 2 – 15 °dKH
Special requirements: Fe
Utilization of the plant: aquarium
Location of the plant: background
(Family Lythraceae) is a small very delicate plant that needs a lot of light.
Plants grown in the aquarium are a lot different to the emersed plant. The aquatic leaves are narrow and often reddish in colour if they receive enough light. The emersed leaves are small and round and normally light green.
The plants flowers are small and pink. Plants propagate from tip cuttings easily.
Rotala rotundifolia is a classic aquarium plant. While its origins are in southeast Asia, where it grows as a weed in rice paddies and wet soils, it now can be found through many parts of the United States. In the U.S., it was introduced with rice seeds shipped to the southeastern United States. This plant can be differentiated from the closely related R. indica by the differences in the two species’ inflorescences. R. rotundifolia bears groups of terminal inflorescence while R. indica has solitary flowers on the axis of the leaves. R. rotundifolia is now one of the most commonly available aquarium plants available through online venders as well as many local fish stores, although it is still frequently sold in error as R. indica .
R. rotundifolia is an easy red plant to grow in the aquarium. While it will grow in medium light, this plant really needs high light to show its true colors. When lit well, the plant will grow at an angle over the substrate instead of straight up. To encourage red coloration, R. rotundifolia should be kept well lit (2.5 watts per gallon or more) with no shading. Lean nitrate levels (~5 ppm), high phosphate levels (~1.5-2 ppm), and heavy iron/micronutrients dosing will help produce intense colors out of this plant. By varying these conditions, one is able to bring out various shades from pink to yellow.
To propagate, simply snip off a healthy stem and replant into the substrate. Pruning off the top portions of this plant and leaving the rooted portions in the substrate promotes very bushy growth as the plant should produce a multitude of side shoots. Pruning can also be done by discarding the rooted portions and planting the top portions into the substrate. If allowed to grow on the surface, the plant will also produce many side shoots from each node along the stem.
In aquascaping, this versatile plant can be used in the midground and background positions as a focal point or reddish accent. It is commonly used in both Nature Aquarium style and Dutch style layouts.
Rotala rotundifolia is a round leaf, stem plant that is the perfect for the beginner planted aquarium hobbyist, but it still appeals to the more advanced hobbyists since it is a challenging plant to aquascape with. It is undemanding in fertilizers, carbon dioxide and substrate composition; however Rotala rotundifolia enjoys receiving direct light.
It will grow adequately in low light compositions, where most of the leaves will remain a bright green. When there is inadequate light, the lower regions may lose their leaves. To truly showcase this plant’s properties, intense light will bring out the rich red and pink tones that can make an aquascape stand out.
Rotala rotundifolia will grow fast in high light conditions up to one inch (1cm) per week. Propagation is through removing the lateral side shoots or directly dividing the plant in half and replanting the top.