Cryptocoryne Affinis Submersed

Cryptocoryne Sp. Affinis Aka Cryptocoryne Sp. Haerteliana SUBMERSED Spathe Update

Upon noticing this plant flowering in submersed conditions, I begun taking weekly photo’s and watched the spathe daily to record it’s growth. Roughly speaking; the plant grew 0.75 inches a day (3/4 inch) on the slowest day, and 1.5 inches on it’s fastest day.

Since the plant is in an aquarium that is 22 inches tall, I didn’t imagine the spathe would be able to reach the surface since I’ve never seen another spathe this large throughout my research; however upon doing my daily check up on the aquarium yesterday, I noticed the spathe finally reached the surface. The only downfall is I also noticed the spathe was beginning to partially melt where it had broken the surface, so I decided to immediately cut it down to document the spathe and take some closer pictures.

After measuring the spathe it came in at a whopping 17+ inches !! to understand the sheer scale of the spathe, I took a video with the spathe against my arm, in which it reached from my elbow to wrist; I will post the video in a few days once edited.

Enjoy the pictures below!

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Cryptocoryne Sp. Affinis AKA Cryptocoryne Sp. Haerteliana SUBMERSED Spathe

Rarely do Cryptocoryne’s flower fully submersed, but when they do you commonly hear it happening with something easy like a Wendtii species; to wake up and see that my Cryptocoryne Sp. Affinis was sending up a spathe SUBMERSED made me jump for joy.

There are only two known photo’s of a fully submersed Cryptocoryne Sp. Affinis spathe, and only one of the two is an actual real submersed spathe. The reason I say this is the second spathe is going out of the water since the plant is only submersed in a few inches of water; I attached both known photo’s below for all to see:

Photo 1 True Submersed – http://crypts.home.xs4all.nl/Cryptocoryne/Gallery/aff/aff_x_M_988.jpg
Photo 2 Not Truly Submersed – http://www.fnzas.org.nz/wp-content/gallery/plant-database/cryptocoryne-affinis-flower.jpg

Even in the emersed state Cryptocoryne Sp. Affinis is not easy to flower, nor cultivate, which is why most international plant nurseries have stayed away from this plant OR can only offer it at certain times of the year. This makes this submersed spathe all the more special (in my opinion), especially since the plant is in a tank that is 22 inches tall.

The spathe is probably not fully developed yet but I don’t imagine it will get much larger then the pictures below as my research shows the spathe’s to commonly stay between 30-40cm.

The pictures are in order from when I first saw the spathe (3 days ago, Dec 9th) to now (Dec 12th):

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I recently started dosing fertilizers in this tank on a more regular basis, as well as I removed the shade cloth and increased CO2, I’m not sure if this has anything to do with the plant sending up the spathe but it only started to develop after increasing light/ferts/co2.

As always here are the specs of the tank:

Lighting – Marineland Aquatic Plant LED 
Filtration – Marineland C220
CO2 – 2 BPS
Fertilization – Micro + Macro alternate days
Substrate – FAKE Plastic Gravel (Surprising eh?)

Cryptocoryne Sp. Affinis Aka Cryptocoryne Haerteliana

I first purchased this plant at the Peel Region Aquarium Club auction in November of 2013 and since then I have seen a significant amount of growth with this plant considering I have it in a VERY low-tech aquarium besides the pressurized CO2. I keep this plant in my fathers aquarium to give him some “flavour” besides the Anubias sp. and Bolbitis sp. he likes to keep and it’s been sending runners and growing like a weed in comparison to how I have it growing emersed.

There is no “special” gravel or additional root tabs added to the substrate and it’s not even a “real” substrate as it’s an old-school substrate which is basically just painted pieces of some type of “plastic” material as we could say? Anyone who has been keeping fish tanks for a number of years knows exactly what I am talking about, the gravel itself is not a real rock composition and seems to be manufactured in the masses out of a cheap material.

Although there is no special substrate, the thing that this aquarium has going for it is that it’s collected well over 12 years of fish waste which the plants can feed off of for quite a while. One day this will however run out, which is why I’ve fully stocked the aquarium with a large bio load in order to feed the plants accordingly. My father does not like to keep up with regular maintenance in terms of additional fertilizers so I try to limit this by supplementing a larger bio load to feed the plants which has been doing perfectly fine.

As you can see in the pictures below the Cryptocoryne sp. Affinis is growing absolutely great; it is in a 40 gallon tall aquarium and the plant itself is at least 14-16 inches tall considering the tank itself is 22″ tall. Throughout the year that it’s been planted it has sent over 12 daughter plants/runners and continues to grow strong with the conditions that it’s in. I believe the pressurized CO2 does account for the majority of the growth, although I do have it under a tinted glass lid, AND black screen shade cloth since the Marineland Aquatic Plant LED has given me PAR results of over 140 at a 19″ depth which should be slowing down the growth.

Below are some pictures of the plant and as you can see the daughter plants have yet to develop their bullate leaves like the mother plant.

Overall this is a fairly easy Cryptocoryne to keep although it is not as commonly found in the hobby like it once was. If you do get a chance to purchase this plant, DO SO RIGHT AWAY!

As always here is the conditions I also keep the plant in

PH- 7.4 at night, 6.5 during the day when CO2 is on.
Temperature- 72-74
Lighting- Marineland Aquatic Plant LED with the use of tinted glass cover + blade shade cloth underneath the light.
Filtration- Marineland C220 Canister Filter and Hagen Aquaclear Mini
Substrate- Cheap artificial aquarium gravel
Water Changes- X 1 a week
Dosing- Micro + Macro during every water change once a week

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