ABC PLANTS - Cryptocoryne crispatula

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Cryptocoryne crispatula var. Tonkinensis

A unique looking Crytocoryne species hailing from Southeast Asia, C. crispatula 'Tonkinensis" is a handsome plant characterized by long slender leaves with "crinkled" looking edges. This hardy, low maintenance species can best be described as graceful with an attractive yet unusual texture. Because of it's ribbon-like leaves, it looks best in the midground or background.

Cryptocoryne crispatula 'Tonkinensis" is a fantastic choice for low tech aquariums without added CO2 or strong lighting. While a compelling addition to any planted tank, it is uniquely well suited for simple setups with Betta or shrimp. It's lighting requirements are some of the lowest among all aquarium plants. It is a majestic and substantial looking plant that looks great alone or with similar low tech plants for a minimalist yet surprisingly elegant aquascape.

On the other hand, it's also a great addition to densely planted, well lit, CO2 injected aquarium where it's distinctive appearance makes a splash in the background and is useful for delineating groups of plants and providing some definition to an aquascape that may be too uniform.


Cryptocoryne crispatula 'Tonkinensis' is primarily a root feeder so a fertile substrate or root tabs are very important to get the best growth. That's about the only requirement to keep it healthy!

This plant can also be grown emersed in a paludarium or Wabi Kusa.


Position: Midground - background

Difficulty: Very easy

Light: 2/5 - 4/5

CO2: Not required

Size: 10 - 40 cm high

Growth Rate: Moderate

Water conditions: Naturally found in hard water with alkaline pH but very adaptable to a wide range of water conditions.

Propgation: New plants will show up nearby via runners. Adult plants can be carefully divided.

Special requirements: Good substrate - either well aged or fetilized with root tabs.

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