The Cryptocoryne Undulata is an overlooked but elegant aquarium plant that anyone can add to their fish tank setups. The reddish-brown hue of this plant is sure to catch the attention of casual onlookers or passersby.

In addition, the long leaves of this plant turn it into a great makeshift shelter for small or shy fish. In this article, you’ll learn all about the Cryptocoryne Undulata and how you can grow this plant successfully in your own aquarium.

Stats and Facts

The Cryptocoryne Undulata is just one of the many plant species under the Cryptocoryne family. Before you learn all about the care requirements of this particular plant, you should take time to get to know the most commonly asked for facts and statistics associated with it. Below is a short table that contains valuable facts and figures about the Cryptocoryne Undulata:

Order Alismatales
Family Araceae
Genera Cryptocoryne
Size Five to seven inches in height
Ideal Placement Midground or foreground
Color Reddish-brown with green undertones
Care Level Needed Minimal care only
Minimum Experience Level Needed Recommended for beginner fishkeepers and first-time aquascapists

Getting To Know the Cryptocoryne Undulata

The flowy, red-leaved Cryptocoryne Undulata is a member of the Cryptocoryne wendtii group of aquarium plants. This particular group of plants is mainly angiosperms, meaning that they bear flowers and fruits to yield seeds. Cryptocoryne Undulata seeds, as with the seeds of its relative species, can then be collected and used for manual propagation.

Many of the Cryptocoryne plants originated from the tropical waters of Southeast Asia. The peaceful rivers and streams of Sri Lanka, Sumatra, and Malaysia typically have substrates abundant with Cryptocoryne Undulata and its cousin species. In the wild, the Cryptocoryne Undulata is more brown than red due to environmental factors such as light exposure and the presence of nitrites, nitrates, and other trace substances.

The scientific name Cryptocoryne Undulata refers to the shape and texture of the plant’s leaves, which are smooth, broad, and wavy. Today, the Cryptocoryne Undulata is harvested mainly for the aquarium industry and is easy to find in most local fish stores. It is also sometimes referred to as Crypts by aquarium enthusiasts, though this has led to confusion between different relative species of the Cryptocoryne group.

Cryptocoryne Undulata Care

The Cryptocoryne Undulata is relatively easy to care for. In this section, we’ll explore the kind of environment you need to create in order to maximize the growth of your new Crypts. You’ll also get to read some useful care tips that our experts themselves have used to grow and maintain their own batches of Cryptocoryne Undulata.

– Ideal Tank and Water Parameters

If you want to design your own Cryptocoryne fish tank, you need to know the ideal aquarium and water parameters that will help your plants thrive. Here is a short table that summarizes all of the most important parameters you need to take note of when designing your fish tank around the Cryptocoryne Undulata.

Temperature 68 to 83 degrees Fahrenheit
Light Level Low to Medium Brightness
pH Level 6.0 – 7.5
Water Hardness 5 to 8 dGH
Substrate No special substrate quality needed, but the plant will grow healthier when placed in an enriched substrate
Fertilizer/Chemical Additives CO2 Fertilizers and substrate additives are required but may be used to bolster growth
Tank Size 10 to 20 gallons minimum

– Practical Care Tips

1. Provide Enough Space for Growth

Note that while the minimum tank size for the Cryptocoryne Undulata is one with a capacity of at least 10 to 20 gallons, you still need to provide more space if you plan to include many individual Crypts in your aquarium. This is because the Cryptocoryne Undulata cannot be grown too close to each other. Each individual plant will have long leaves upon maturity, and these leaves are prone to rotting, stunting, and even physical damage if the plants are grown with hardly any space between them.

2. Use Gentle Water Flow Only

Another important thing to know is that the Cryptocoryne Undulata should be grown in aquariums with a gentle water flow. Having filters that produce harsh water movements can damage adult plants or discourage young shoots from growing at a normal rate.

3. Control Light Intensity and Duration of Exposure

If you want to improve the red pigmentation in your growing Cryptocoryne Undulata, you can try using lights with a medium level of brightness. Limit your plant’s exposure to these moderately bright lights to three to four hours a day. Too much exposure or too intense lighting can be harmful, instead of helpful, to your growing plant.

The slight increase in light intensity and duration of exposure should result in a more intense red coloration in the leaves of your Cryptocoryne Undulata.

How To Plant Cryptocoryne Undulata

Now that you know the basics of setting up the ideal Cryptocoryne Undulata tank, you must be wondering about how to plant it. In this section, you’ll learn about the step-by-step process you can follow to plant and propagate your Crypts.

– Planting Cryptocoryne Undulata Properly

Planting Crypts is a task that any fish keeper can learn with a bit of patience and dedication. Here are step-by-step instructions on how to grow your Crypts with ease.

Step 1: Prepare and Treat Your First Batch of Crypts

The first thing you need to do before planting your new Cryptocoryne Undulata is to remove it from its original container or pot and then examine its leaves, stems, and roots up close. Prepare the plant for rehoming by carefully separating the independent stems from each other. Then, be sure to remove any dead leaves or substrate gunk on roots and stems.

Use a plant mister to keep the Cryptocoryne Undulata portions moist, and spray them down with organic pesticide. Doing this is optional but highly recommended. This will ensure that your new plants are clean and are not hosting any unwanted organisms that could cause sicknesses to spread in your aquarium.

Step 2: Plant the Cryptocoryne Undulata Portions Apart From Each Other

Once you have satisfactorily cleaned and treated your new Cryptocoryne Undulata, you can proceed to planting it in your aquarium. It is highly recommended that you plan the layout of your Crypts before you introduce them in your fish tank. Using a small trowel, dig holes that measure about one inch in diameter. Each of the holes you dig should be at least two to three inches apart from each other.

After preparing the substrate holes, you can take the separated portions of your Cryptocoryne Undulata and plant them in their designated spaces. Push the roots firmly into the substrate while making sure to keep all the leaves clean and above the aquarium soil. Spread out the leaves of each individual Cryptocoryne before moving on to plant the next one.

– Best Propagation Practices

You can easily propagate Cryptocoryne Undulata by following the instructions detailed below.

Step 1: Look for the Best Mother Plant

Mature Cryptocoryne Undulata plants will send out runners into nearby areas covered with substrate. Look for plants that have these runners, and then examine the physical condition of the mother plant.

You should choose only the healthiest mother plant or main Cryptocoryne Undulata to use for propagation. By doing so, you will increase the chances of successfully and quickly propagating this plant in a home setup. It will also ensure that the resulting shoots are at least as healthy as the mother plant they came from.

Step 2: Take Small To Medium Cuttings for Replanting

Use a small pair of plant shears or scissors to make diagonal cuts to separate the runners from the mother plant. Keep in mind that your chosen runners should have their own set of leaves. Furthermore, be mindful of how many runners or young shoots you remove from the mother plant; do not cut away too many young plants as you might risk robbing the mother plant of new leaves to be used for energy production.

Once you have obtained enough cuttings, plant these young plants two to three inches apart from each other as you did with the first batch of Crypts introduced in your aquarium.


As you can see, the Cryptocoryne Undulata is easy to care for and grow if you have a good grasp of its basic requirements and ideal environment parameters. Here is a rundown of the most important points we covered in this article:

  • The Cryptocoryne Undulata is a freshwater plant that originated from the rivers and streams of Southeast Asia.
  • This plant is relatively low-maintenance and is often recommended for beginner aquarists.
  • This plant needs enough tank space to grow properly; however, it does not need CO2 injections or substrate fertilizers.
  • The Cryptocoryne Undulata should be placed with at least two inches of space between each plant to prevent overcrowding.
  • This plant can be propagated by taking cuttings of runners with their own set of leaves and planting these directly in the substrate.

With all of these bases covered, you should be able to use the Cryptocoryne Undulata to bring another variety of color and form to your aquarium.

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