Rotala macrandra has its origin in South east Asia and is one of the most beatifull aquarium plants available, unfortunately it is also on of the hardest to keep. It needs a lot of light, a water that’s not to hot and can not be kept with plant eating fishes.
Rotala macrandra has red leaves that grow in pairs on each side of the slender stem. Rotala macranda is very delicate. It grows into a dense bush which can be an impressive eye catcher in your aquarium. Make sure to keep your Rotala macrandra wet when you buy it since they die if they become dry.
The color of Rotala macrandra is dependent on how much light the plant receives. It becomes more red if provided with more light and the species needs a lot of light to thrive even though it might survive in less light. It will however never develop as it should if not given enough light. The plant is best kept in water cooler then 25 degrees Celsius. The red color of Rotala macrandra is also dependent on that you provide it with enough iron.
Rotala macrandra shoulc never be kept with more robust, digging or plant eating fishes since they might finish of a large rotala macranda in less then a day. Some fishes consider Rotala macrandra particularly tasty and will eat it if they get a chance.
Rotala macrandra is best planted in large groups and can grow to be over 20 inches/ 50 cm high. Make sure that you don’t let your rotala cover the surface and dim the light to the bottom since this will cause the Rotala macrandra to lose all leaves beneath the surface.
Rotala macrandra can be propagate by using cuttings which are planted in a spot with a lot of light. The cuttings should preferable be 4-6 inches long. A Rotala macrandra that thrives in your aquarium will require regular trimmings and create a lot of cuttings for you to plant or give away. If your plant looses it leaves near the bottom its best to re plant the tops of the plant to rejuvenate it. The lower part without leaves will also rejuvenate and start growing again if you can give it time.
Rotala macrandra are sensitive to a lot of different aquariums treatments and may be damaged by the use of medicines in the aquarium where it is kept. Rotala macrandra is particular sensitive to copper based medicines. It is best to move the plants during the treatments.
All in all Rotala macrandra is a very beautiful plant that unfortunately is a bit demanding. On the bright side its often quite cheap and you could give it a try and se if it would thrive in your aquariums.
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