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Crypt and Rotala Sunset

May 7th, 2009

I’ve recently obtained two completely different plants with “Sunset” in their names. The first is Cryptocoryne wendtii var. ‘Florida Sunset,’ which was just introduced last year at the Aquatic Gardener’s Association convention by Florida Aquatic Nurseries (FAN). FAN is the U.S.’s largest supplier of aquatic plants, so you should be able to obtain this plant through your local aquarium retailer.

Cryptocoryne wendtii var. 'Florida Sunset'

This variety is named for the extreme varigation present in the leaves. Unfortunately, so far for me, the submersed leaves resemble regular Cryptocoryne wendtii in coloration. In my picture above you can see the varigation in one of the taller, decaying terrestial leaves with green, orange, and red all present.

Cryptocoryne wendtii var. 'Florida Sunset'

The next plant is known as Rotala sp. ‘Sunset’, and is far more rare in the U.S. Apparently, it’s more readily available in Japan, but I only know that from heresay. This plant is a rather beautiful stem plant exhibiting oblong red leaves with attractive veining, similar to Rotala ramosior. The green stem provides a very nice contrast.

Rotala sp. Sunset

So far it hasn’t been as fast a grower as some other Rotalas, but hasn’t been glacial either. It seems to branch readily, and grows vertically toward to the light. I think it has a lot of potential to be a great aquascaping plant, as a small group could be a fantastic accent plant.

Rotala sp. Sunset

I recommend both of these plants to anyone. Obviously, the Cryptocoryne is more suitable to a wider array of tank conditions, but the Rotala should grow for medium-high light tanks, with CO2 being highly preferred. I have only grown it in high-light with CO2, so I cannot fully vouch for grow in other conditions. If anyone else has kept these plants, please feel free to share your feedback.

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