Cryptocoryne affinis belongs to the genus Cryptocoryne, one of the most famous families of aquatic plants. They come in different colors, forms and sizes. They are hardy and easy to handle. Thus, even beginners can care for them. If you want to know how you can make Cryptocoryne affinis thrive in your home aquarium, read on!
Cryptocoryne Affinis Stats
|Minimum Tank Size||10 gallons|
|Height||4 – 12 inches|
|pH||6 to 8|
|Hardness||8 to 10 dGH|
Cryptocoryne affinis is commonly found in Western Malaysia. This plant favors rapidly flowing rivulets and rivers. Many of them are submersed in sand and gravel banks, while others can be found in areas with limestone.
Cryptocoryne affinis has varying appearances when it comes to height and leaf color. Some Cryptocoryne affinis leaves are bullous while others are smooth. These characteristics are primarily dependent on the plant’s conditions.
– Cryptocoryne Affinis Size
As we mentioned earlier, this species has varying heights. Some are as tall as 12 inches, while others are more diminutive, measuring only 4 inches.
One fascinating thing about this aquatic plant is that they are shaped like a lance. The lanceolate leaves have a dark green hue at the top that is offset by lighter-colored veins. On the other hand, the bottom side of the Cryptocoryne affinis has a pretty rosy hue.
– Pick Out the Substrate
In the wild, Cryptocoryne affinis is found fully submerged in the water. Thus, they are adapted to drawing all the nutrients they need from the substrate. As a result of this, you must be deliberate about where you plant your Cryptocoryne affinis. Go for an enriched substrate so that they get all the nutrients they need directly from the soil.
One great substrate option for this plant is fine gravel that has been enriched with laterite or nutrient supplements. Gravel allows the waste products to accumulate for a long time without much risk of infection spreading. Alternatively, you can use potting or garden soil as the substrate. However, it would be best to remember that, when using organic soil, you run a higher risk of algae problems in your tank.
– Provide Cryptocoryne With Stable Conditions
Without stable conditions, Crypt affinis will not grow. The wrong conditions can even cause them to die off. Thus our advice is to set up your tank correctly and allow it to cycle before introducing the plant. That way, its chances of survival are higher.
When introduced to a new tank environment, Cryptocoryne tends to melt (a condition where they appear dead). They can look great one minute and dead the next day. For this reason, beginners often feel their plants are actually dead and toss them out at this point.
A better reaction is to throw out the rotted leaves and keep the tank conditions stable. With time, they will recover from melting and begin to regrow.
– Water Conditions
While it is not crystal clear what triggers cryptocoryne meltings, it is clear that water parameters play a part. You want your tank water to be pristine, free of bacteria and other pollutants. Heavy metals and bacteria can cause your plant to decay and melt.
Get a water filter to remove all of your tank’s waste. That way, you maintain good water hygiene and give your plant a higher chance of survival. You should also schedule regular water changes. We recommend changing about 20 percent of your tank water every two weeks.
Are Carbon Dioxide Injections Great for Cryptocoryne Affinis?
Many people in the past have added CO2 to their tank system in an attempt to boost Cryptocoryne growth. However, it affected the plant adversely and they melted away. This led to the assumption that fortifying the tank with CO2 was harmful to Crypts.
However, the assumption is wrong. The plants melt because they added CO2 to the tank alongside lighting. The supplemental CO2 messes up with the pH in the water tank, affecting its stability.
If you must supplement your tank with carbon dioxide, then use small doses and reduce the lighting in the tank. Your plant will slowly adjust to the changes.
Cryptocoryne Affinis Propagation and Flowering
Once you can successfully raise your Cryptocoryne affinis, you will notice that they begin to reproduce. Usually, their mode of propagation is vegetative. You may find dense shoots at the base of the parent Cryptocoryne or far off from them (the so-called runners).
We must warn you, though: This plant will only propagate once it has reached its critical mass. That means when they are sizable enough, they will begin to propagate and at a fantastic rate all on their own.
– Cryptocoryne Affinis Propagation
Once the offshoots are well separated from the parent Crypt, you can remove them and replant them. For the runners, you can easily dig up the young plant and replant it. However, those that grow in a dense mass close to the parent plant can prove to be a little tricky.
Sometimes, you may need to use a small knife to separate the offshoot roots from the more established parent roots. Other times, you may need to lift the sections of the roots and gently separate them.
– Alternative Mode of Propagation
The Cryptocoryne affinis inflorescence can also be used as an alternative means of propagation. The best part is that this method is relatively easy.
Rules to Remember When Caring for Cryptocoryne Affinis
If you want your young Crypt to grow, then you should follow these rules.
1. Monitor the Water Conditions
The first rule is to remember to keep the water pristine through regular water changes. Keep the hardness at about 8-10 dGH and pH slightly acidic or neutral for best results. A pH of 6-8 would be excellent.
You should also ensure that the water in your tank is around 8 to 12 inches. That way, the leaves get even brighter.
2. Select the Right Substrate
The second thing to take into account is their substrate. It would be best to fill their tank with a suitable substrate to support their growth and development. We recommend covering the tank with a thick substrate layer so that the plant roots have enough substrate to hold their strong roots.
3. Keep the Temperature Constant
The third rule is to monitor the water temperatures to ensure they are stable. You can use a tank thermometer to make the process more efficient. At no point should the temperature deviate by more than 3 degrees.
Rule four requires that you keep the lighting in the tank within the recommended range. They will benefit from a combination of warm white fluorescent lamps. You can pick these up from the local store near you.
5. Ensure That the Tank Is Well Cycled
Placing your Cryptocoryne in a tank that is not fully cycled is dangerous and could result in your plant melting. So take your time to ensure that your tank conditions are within range and the tank is well cycled before planting.
Other Cryptocoryne Species
Here are some common Cryptocoryne species.
– Cryptocoryne Blassii
The Cryptocoryne blassii is a species of Cryptocoryne with lovely round leaves. The top of the leaf is a vibrant shade of olive green, while the bottom half is maroon. They propagate via vegetative means and form runners that spread vigorously through your tank.
– Cryptocoryne Crispatula
Cryptocoryne crispatula is a variant of Cryptocoryne Balansae. It has long, strappy leaves that are deep green and grow as long as 16 inches. The surface of the leaf is either shiny or dimpled; either way, this plant is stunning.
It favors waters with strong currents, so setting up a tank with strong water flow makes sense. One good news is that this plant can also thrive in moderately hard water.
– Cryptocoryne Pontederifolia
This aquarium plant has a striking light-green color with medium-sized leaves. These leaves have an oval shape – broad bottom and sharp point. Ensure that the water is adequately cycled before you plant this Crypt. That way, it has a chance to form firm roots and grow.
– Cryptocoryne Wendtii
Red Cryptocoryne or Cryptocoryne wendtii is one of the more popular species. It comes in varying colors and sizes. The tall red variant is perhaps the most common color form of this Cryptocoryne.
It is one of the easiest Cryptocoryne species to care for and is excellent for beginners. It is quite flexible in terms of water conditions.
Cryptocoryne Affinis are aquatic plants that thrive in stable water conditions. Here are some vital things about this plant:
- Their size and color depends on the environment in which they are raised.
- They draw 90 percent of their nutrients from the soil, so they need an enriched substrate.
- Crypt affinis may go through a process called melting when they are stressed. They will lose their leaves and look like they are dead.
There are other species of Cryptocoryne you can pick up in the local store; all are beautiful and serve their purpose well. Go through our article to find out all there is to know about this aquatic plant species.
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