The Water Trumpet, or Cryptocoryne parva, is an aquatic plant that adds a nice pop of color to any aquarium or pond. It also tends to grow long, narrow leaves, so it makes a great hiding place for smaller fish.
Since it’s a relatively hardy plant with easy care needs, it’s become quite popular among aquarium keepers and hobbyists. It’s also a great plant for beginners to grow. Here are step-by-step instructions on how to grow and care for Water Trumpets.
Before You Start
One of the most important things you can do for Water Trumpets is to make sure that your aquarium has the optimal growing conditions for them. These plants are tropical plants and prefer water with warmer temperatures, so make sure that your water isn’t any colder than 68°F.
Water Trumpets also prefer slightly acidic water, but they can grow in neutral water as well. The pH levels of your water should be between 6 to 7.5. Once they’re established, they can tolerate a wider range of 5 to 9.
Since Water Trumpets need a good amount of iron, look for a substrate that’s enriched with iron. You can also look for iron supplements to periodically apply to the substrate.
Once you’ve prepared your tank or pond, you’re ready to plant some Water Trumpets.
How To Grow Water Trumpets (Planting & Care Guide)
1. Look for a Healthy Plant
While you can grow Water Trumpets from seeds, it’s more common to plant cuttings. Seeds can take months to grow before they’re ready to be submerged in your aquarium, and it’s less common to find them being sold in stores.
You can find Water Trumpets in some pet stores or specialty aquatic pet stores. If pet supply stores near you don’t carry Water Trumpets, you can also buy them online.
It’s best to purchase a Water Trumpet in person because you can hand-select a healthy plant. When shopping for one of these plants, look for a plant that’s standing straight and has vibrant leaves. It should also feel firm to the touch.
The plant shouldn’t have discolored spots or too many yellowing or brown leaves, as this could indicate root rot or infection. Soggy leaves are also a bad sign.
2. Plant the Water Trumpet in Substrate
Once you select and bring home a plant, start by quarantining it. You can risk introducing pests, bacteria, or viruses if you plant it immediately into your main tank.
Planting a Water Trumpet is fairly simple. Make sure that you have about 3 or 4 inches of substrate submerged in water. Then, create a hole and gently place the roots inside. The roots should be at least 2 inches below the substrate.
All Water Trumpets grow from a rhizome, which is a root stalk that helps establish the plant and grow new offshoots. Locate the rhizome and make sure that a little bit off the top stays exposed from the substrate.
3. Monitor the Water Trumpet’s Condition
A Water Trumpet can take about a week or two to fully adjust to a new setting. Look for any signs of distress during this time, such as wilting and fading or yellowing leaves. The water around the plant should also stay relatively clear. Any browning could indicate that rotting particles from the root have dissolved into the water.
You can try to salvage a sick Water Trumpet by removing it from the water and cutting off any rotting roots. However, if the rhizome is affected, it’s very difficult to revive the plant, and there’s a good chance you’ll have to start over.
4. Transfer the Water Trumpet to Your Aquarium
If your Water Trumpet has been thriving in the quarantined space for over a week, it’s ready to transfer to the main tank or pond.
Prepare a spot in your main tank the same way you did for the quarantining space. Then, gently scoop the substrate around the plant to expose the roots. Carefully lift the whole plant and place it in its designated spot.
Make sure that there’s always about 2 inches of water above the roots.
5. Propagate the Water Trumpet
Thriving Water Trumpets will start to grow their own offshoots. If you have a large tank or pond, this usually isn’t an issue. However, if the Water Trumpet has become unruly and takes up too much space, you can always prune it down.
In some cases, you can carefully propagate the offshoots from the main plant. All you have to do is locate the individual rhizome of the offshoot. Make a clean cut and gently pull out the offshoot along with its small root system.
You can grow the new plants simply by planting them in a new location.
Planting Water Trumpets is an easy way to liven up your aquarium. It’s a relatively low-maintenance plant, but it adds so many benefits and can help improve water quality. It’s worth the effort to properly plant a Water Trumpet in your aquarium or pond, and once it’s established, you don’t really have to think too much about it.
Featured Image Credit: Arunee Rodloy, Shuttestock