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  Aquatic aroids
From: Taylor Holzer <taylorholzer at yahoo.com> on 2009.01.18 at 07:05:24(18923)
Iam an Taylor HolzerI am 14I am an Aroid collector and i would lik e to add some aquatic aroids to my collection.

i have a large aquarium 55 gallons with some fish. and a smaller one that i s 10 gallons with nothing.
i was thinking about adding Pistia stratiotes, spathiphyllum, and Cyrtosper ma to my 55 gallon.
in the 10 gallon i was thinking about adding anubias, and cryptocorynes.
also i would like to have a typhonodorum could you keep them in just wet so il?

are there any other aquatic aroids i could grow in my aquariums?

any help would be appreciated!
also if you have seeds for these plants i would appreciate them.
i only currently have the spathiphyllum in the aquarium.

From: andreas nik <andreas_nk at yahoo.com> on 2009.01.18 at 17:06:29(18924)
Hi Taylor!
Anubias and Cryptocarines are good choice for water cultivation, but only a nubiases without 'ears'. Even they grow better in paludariums(my case.)
Spatiphyllum will gradually rot in an aquqrium, it's not a water plant at a ll. Perchaps only Pistia is a cmpletely water aroid. All others grow better in paludariums or just in the room(greenhouse is defenitely better).


From: "Marek Argent" <abri1973 at wp.pl> on 2009.01.18 at 17:44:54(18925)

I don't recommend Spathiphyllum - it is not an aquatic plant although it is
often sold in aquaristic shops. It usually dies after a few months spent in
You can also sometimes find Syngonium, Epipremnum, Aglaonema, Alocasia,
Dieffenbachia, Homalomena and Caladium sold as "water plants" -
they are also not aquatic and they rot living underwater.
Cyrtosperma is too large for your aquarium, it can grow half submerged - the
roots in the water and the leaves above,
then you should have installed additional lighting above the leaves.
In your smaller aquarium I suggest you to create a paludarium - plants
growing in wet peat with a fertilizer.
This way you can cultivate many aroids, all these which require high
(Alocasia, Colocasia, many Anthuriums, Zantedeschia, Spathiphyllum)
but not these which fall into dormancy (like Amorphophallus or Arisaema).
A paludarium is also a better place for many Anubias species than an
You can have in any aquarium Lemna, Spirodela and Pistia but many fishes
like to eat them.
If it is not too hot you can try Calla palustris, Orontium aquaticum or
Lysichitons but I don't guarantee a success.


Marek Argent

From: ExoticRainforest <Steve at ExoticRainforest.com> on 2009.01.18 at 18:23:05(18926)
Taylor I owe you an apology! I'vetold several IAS members you are 12! Sorry about that. You'll getgood info right here!

Steve Lucas



From: <ju-bo at msn.com> on 2009.01.18 at 20:43:35(18927)
Hello Taylor,

Welcome to the world of aroids and the IAS, especially aquatic species, only SOME of which do well in aquariums!  I`ll try to give you my opinions on the ones you mention and which you are interested in obtaining.  I also received the note from my good friend Steve Lucas, and will add replies to his questions in the notes here.  His suggestion of getting a copy of Deni Bown`s book is a VERY good idea, she covers aquarium plants and ALL the ones you mention.
Pista stratiotes is a real weed here in Florida AND throughout the warm areas worldwide, clogging canals and drainage areas, so transporting it (and water Hyacinth) are, I believe illegal!   Pista produces almost microscopic seeds, slightly larger than the size of a poppy seed you would see on a bagel.   I HEAR that this floating plant is SOMETIMES seen for sale in aquarium stores ''up North"", maybe you could snag one up there.   It needs very bright light to thrive under aquarium conditions, and is usually an outside pond plant.
Spathiphyllum and Cyrtosperma would NOT survive underwater aquarium conditions, so scratch those from your list.  I see Spathiphyllums sold in aquarium stores, but they would only survive underwater for a short time.
You mention Typhonodorum---this is one of the giants of the world of aroids, think a banana-like tree 5 ft. tall, a 6'spread of BIG leaves, its pseudotrunk as thick around as your thigh.   Seeds of this are the size of a whole prune, and seedlings are TALL (18"+), they also will NOT survive underwater!
The best aroids for aquarium culture are in fact two which you mention, Anubias and Cryptocoryne, several species of the second available, a couple of Anubias are great grown underwater in aquariums once they establish themselves.
Where do you live??   Your best bet would be to locate a GOOD aquarium store, talk with the manager and ask if and when he gets shipments of water plants, as there are other non-aroids which do VERY well in aquariums, some have been around and grown in aquariums since aquarium culture began!

Good Luck, I HOPE this helps and does not discourage you!

The Best,


> Date: Sat, 17 Jan 2009 23:05:24 -0800
> From: taylorholzer@yahoo.com



From: ExoticRainforest <Steve at exoticrainforest.com> on 2009.01.18 at 20:51:13(18928)
Thanks a bunch Julius! By the way Taylor, there is an aquarium lightthat might be able to support these made for growing living coralswhich also need very bright light. The lights are sold on eBay cheaperthan in any store. One the size of your aquarium would run $80 to $100so if you are interested drop me a note and I'll give you a name.




From: "Elizabeth Campbell" <desinadora at mail2designer.com> on 2009.01.18 at 23:51:28(18930)
Everybody is ignoring the duckweeds! Lemna and Spirodella are both interesting aroids that will do well in a tank environment - I've suggested these rather than Wolffia because the smaller ones tend to clog filters; Spirodella makes a nice big leaflet, though.




From: Zach DuFran <zdufran at wdtinc.com> on 2009.01.19 at 14:55:50(18931)
The most common Aroids in the aquarium hobby are the Anubias and Cryptocory nes. You should be able to find these pretty easily in local pet stores. Even the big stores like PetsMart and PetCo will carry plants from these tw o genera. Anubias are very easy to care for in a low light aquarium and do not require extra CO2, as many aquarium plants do. When you get Anubias, you need to attach them (with string, wire or fishing line) to a rock or dr iftwood. The rhizome will rot if buried in your aquarium substrate. If yo u have very much light on your Anubias, you might have to fight algae on th e leaves. Use algae-eating fish or scrape the algae away carefully by hand , rather than using chemicals which would damage the plants. There are abo ut 4 or 5 common species of Anubias you should be able to find (nana, barte ri, coffeefolia are the most common).

There are lots of species of Crypts that do well in the aquarium. Unlike t he Anubias, Cryptocoryne rhizomes like to be buried in the soil. Be carefu l when you transplant these into your soil. They are kind of fragile. Als o, Crypts have a tendency to lose all of their leaves shortly after being t ransplanted, but if left alone, they will usually recover in a couple of we eks. Different species of Crypts will tolerate different light levels, so try to find ones that will be happy in your environment. Do you have a sui table substrate (aquatic soil) in your aquarium for planting the crypts? M ost pet stores carry aquatic soils that you can add to your aquariums now t hat you are planting in them.

Good luck and have fun!

Zach DuFran

From: ExoticRainforest <Steve at exoticrainforest.com> on 2009.01.19 at 21:42:17(18934)
Almost all the SpathiphyllumI grow are in the house as house plants. There are three in the atriumbut they don't appear to like all the water from the overhead mistingsystem and almost never produce an inflorescence. It is my opinionthat is because all of these are hybrids (not species) and have beenbred to survive on minimal water and in low light. But I thought forcertain I had read in some of Dr. Croat's material that Spathiphyllumdo in fact grow in water. I asked him if the genus was a marginal. This is the note he just sent, "Steve: If you mean by “marginal”that they are along the margins of streams, yes, but they also occurout in the depths of the understory, sometimes in full sun too,especially along wet banks. The genus is a hog for water and probablywould not do well in really dry sites.


Steve Lucas



From: <ju-bo at msn.com> on 2009.01.20 at 10:20:58(18938)
Dear All,

At  least one species, (and probably several other species) of Spathiphyllum, S. cannifolium (which is an aroid of my EARLY childhood on Trinidad, W.I.) grows with its roots, rhizome and sometimes the lower part of its petioles in running water on the sides of streams.  It, and other Spaths, will NOT survive long with leaves completely underwater.


Date: Mon, 19 Jan 2009 15:42:17 -0600



From: "Marek Argent" <abri1973 at wp.pl> on 2009.01.20 at 13:12:31(18940)

Not me, I mentioned these genera.

"You can have in any aquarium Lemna, Spirodela and Pistia but many fishes
like to eat them"




From: ExoticRainforest <Steve at exoticrainforest.com> on 2009.08.30 at 10:11:07(19871)
Having kept many large aquariumssince I was a kid I've always wanted to keep aquatic plants alive inthe house but have had terrible results. I've recently met a newfriend from Britain that is an expert in keeping them not only alivebut flourishing. I'd like to suggest that any of you that may beinterested in aquatic aroids visit Devin Bigg's site on ripariumaquariums. http://ripariumsupply.com/ You'll find some very goodinformation.

For those of you associated with botanical gardens, Devin has a line ofproducts to make keeping your displays impressive. Take a look.

If you are planning on being at the IAS show in September Devin hasexpressed an interest in showing some of his work. I don't know ifthat will happen yet but personally I'd love to see it. I've got afeeling Julius and Ted Held would as well!

See you in Miami in less than three weeks!




From: ExoticRainforest <Steve at exoticrainforest.com> on 2009.09.12 at 21:47:06(20014)
I posted a note a week or two ago about Devin Biggs' aquatic aroidwebsite. These are some of his newest photos of a 65 gallon tank:



From: Sheldon Hatheway <sfhatheway at yahoo.com> on 2009.09.14 at 14:26:57(20027)
A well-planted and maintained riparium is a joy to behold. Thanks for sending the pictures!

Sheldon Hatheway



From: Tindomul Er-Murazor <tindomul1of9 at yahoo.com> on 2009.09.15 at 15:07:43(20032)
Wow, thats real nice. What plants do you have in there. Only Colocasia?
My problem with riparians is algae.

From: ExoticRainforest



From: "Marek Argent" <abri1973 at wp.pl> on 2009.09.17 at 18:46:00(20036)


Are the large plants (like Colocasia) in pots?

I don't think they would grow good in so shallow gravel.

What fertilizers do they use?

I also have a problem with long brown algae in a classical aquarium,

any fish doesn't eat them, and I don't know what to use not to kill plants and fishes.

The algae grow on everything, on plants, wood, stones and even on glass.

I reduced the lighting form 60W to 30W, but they still grow slowly killing the plants.

The dimensions of my tank are 100x40x50 cm (40x16x20 inches) - about 200 l.

Can anybody help?




From: "Christopher Rogers" <crogers at ecoanalysts.com> on 2009.09.17 at 22:37:19(20038)

If it is a cyanobacteria (bluegreen algae) they can often be killed with a good strong dose of antibiotics. The antibiotics usually leave the fish and plants alone.

You might also try algae eating shrimp. These are freshwater shrimp in the family Atyidae, in the genera Caridina and Neocaridina. These animals have brushes of setae on their claws and use the brushes to scrape algae and periphyton from the substrates. They can be amazingly effective at eating green and some brown algaes, but they will not touch cyanobacteria.

Good luck,




From: "Steve at ExoticRainforest " <Steve at exoticrainforest.com> on 2009.09.24 at 02:55:53(20064)
Marek, sorry for the delay in responding. We've been at the IAS show in
Miami. Next year we need to get a jet filled with all you aroiders from
Europe to join us!

If you check the link I gave you'll see that Devin has created some
really neat planting devices that allow you to suction cup the pots to
the back of the aquarium. If the plants will tolerate the water you can
plant them lower and if not just place them higher on the back wall. He
suggests using sand or gravel to create the bottom of river and you just
keep the larger rocks turned to keep the algae down. Rocks and
driftwood are used to hide the planters which are neatly devised. Devin
displayed these at the IAS show and I think he has a hit on his hands.
I'm about to set up a 55 gallon aquarium using his products and since he
is on Aroid l I'm sure he'll answer any of your questions.

His design allows us to simulate a river's edge with aroids appearing to
grow terrestrially along the river bank but plants such as
/Spathiphyllum/ can be grown in the water or at least partially wet. In
my case I'm going to plant small /Philodendron/ and other aroids on the
"river bank" using Devin's pots and the put large rocks and gravel in
the bottom. I plan to use a larger rocks and rocks along with
driftwood to hide the pots. I'll use the driftwood for the plants to
climb on and a large Amazon sword which can be bought at almost any
aquarium store as the underwater centerpiece. For fish I'm going to
stick with around 12 neon tetras. The plants will be the actual display
and the fish are only to allow movement and life. If the bio load is low
the build up of nitrates is minimal and algae stays low.

Anyone that tries this needs to keep the bio load low or you'll have a
build up of nitrates. However, in this case those nitrates will be used
by any plant with roots in the water. Having kept living coral reefs
for many years I've learned that if you simply put an undergravel filter
beneath the rocks and gravel you'll create an anoxic zone which also
helps to lower the nitrate build up. Just don't hook the undergravel
filter up! The tank will also need a filter but external filters work
fine for this purpose.

For light I'm having a hi intensity aquarium light hung from the ceiling
which will keep the plants healthy.

Here's the link again:


I'd suggest you go through all Devin's links and look at this photos and
read his explanation. The concept is really simple and neat. Having
kept large aquariums for 50 years I think this one will be spectacular.
I plan to talk to Tom and see what aroids might tolerate the water so I
can have a larger choice of plants for the background. Many philos are
rooted in water so should do well and some Anthurium species may do well
if not drowned.

Forgive me if this is full of typos! My desktop is in the shop for a
tuneup and I'm trying to type on a laptop with tiny keys!!!

Here's another photo Devin sent today of a tank of /Spathiphyllum/. Tom
told me a few months ago these plants are "water hogs".


From: REDRAGON40 at aol.com on 2009.09.24 at 15:37:02(20069)

You may want to check carefully which Amazon swordplant you get. It depends on whether you want it to grow out of the water and how big you want it to get. The final size is important to know ahead of time because swordplant (Echinodorus spp.) roots are invasive to say the least, and removing it later might be problematic. I had one that I put in a tub outdoors that was almost two feet deep and the swordplant put out emersed growth two feet above that. They are heavy iron feeders and grow like crazy in conditions they like. Swordplants actually prefer to grow emersed and one of the appropriate size would be magnificent. There are also varieties with different amounts of reddish coloring which could possibly harmonize with your aroids better than the bright brittle green of some of the ones most commonly seen in the pet shops. You might also consider some of the really small types as companions to the other plants you have at the "rivers edge"

Carol Ross, Bucks County Aquarium Society < ' )))> DIV br



From: ExoticRainforest <Steve at ExoticRainforest.com> on 2009.09.26 at 19:12:47(20073)
Thanks Carol. I've grown them in apond when we lived in Miami and indeed they do climb right out of thewater. I'll do some serious checking before I commit to any particularplant so thanks for the advice.

Right now I have a total of 550 watts of compact lighting ready to hangover the tank. I've grown living coral aquariums since 1990 and havehad as much as 1200 watts of metal halide and other sources ofhi-intensity light on a single aquarium I've seen far too many plantsdie as a result of poor illumination. If you check some of the bettercoral reef aquarium books published by Microcosum you'll find quite afew of my photos.




From: Devin Biggs <dbiggs at xantusidesign.net> on 2009.09.30 at 08:27:19(20096)
Carol I have had really good luck with certain Echinodorus swordplants (these are not aroids) and they are among my favorites for ripariums. I have
grown several in my 65-gallon tank. Here is a recent picture of that setup:


The next one is a picture of the large Echinodorus palaefolius that I grew in the tank for a while. I eventually had to take it out because it grew too
large for the enclosure:


Here is a pictures of the E. palaefolius bloom:


To the left of the next photo is an Echinodorus 'Ozelot'. With purple-mottle variegation this plant is very attractive, but it is problematic in that the
foliage often switches to the underwater form (soft, and with short petioles) even though it is kept above water:


The best sword that I have found so far is Echinodorus cordifolius. This one is a common aquarium and garden pond plant. It will eventually grow ver
large, but my largest riparium specimen is still a manageable size after many months. I pulled it out of the tank one day for a photo op:


And here's the bloom of that E. cordifolius




From: michael kolaczewski <mjkolaffhbc at sbcglobal.net> on 2009.10.01 at 04:38:22(20116)
Greetings Devin and other forum members,

Here is a site which a friend passed along to me some time ago.

www.adgshop.com The aquatic plant products found here are developed for planted aquariums.

They have a variety of substrates, which are tailored for specific aquatic plant

geographic locations. Along with nutrient products, and much more.

You can also Google Takashi Amano, or better yet Google image his name.

You will see some remarkable, and a few incredibly huge aquaria. Large enough for a

person to stand in! I have seen many of these pictures in various aquarium hobby

publications, often with aroids growing in and out of the aquariums!

I hope you find this information useful.

Michael Kolaczewski



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