by Robert Paul Hudson
This is the smallest known Cryptocoryne specie, reaching a height of only two or three inches, and is imported from Sri Lanka or cultivated by commercial growers around the world. It is more light demanding than most other species of its genus, and is a slow grower. Elevated light levels, and adequate carbon dioxide and nutrients in the substrate will achieve much better results, but even then growth is relatively slow. While the plant is often used in the foreground, it is not exactly a carpet plant. If one expects the plant to cover a large area, it is best to start with as many plants as possible and space them apart across the desired area. Under the best possible conditions and the appropriate number of starter plants, one should expect it to take at least a year for the plants to carpet the desired area. After the initial grow out, the growth rate will increase to some extent. It is important at that time to keep the substrate fertile. If the plant is overshadowed by other plants, it may drop leaves or stop growing. In needs to be planted in an area that receives direct overhead light.
The tiny leaves grow from a rhizome that can range in size from barely a pinhead to several inches. When the plant is purchased potted, it usually has been grown with several small plants and rhizomes fused together. It may be planted in the aquarium as is for a very attractive and bushy looking plant, or divided up into several small plants that are spaced apart in rows. This is adventitious if your goal is to ultimately have a carpet of these plants, but a great deal of patience would be required. As a parva “bush” the plant will have a stronger visual impact without a long wait for it to grow in. The plant is also highly suitable for use in nano size aquariums. As long as you have the patience, and provide adequate growing conditions and a stable environment, then it is a charming and unproblematic addition to any aquascape.