crinum calamistratum aquarium plants

Crinum Calamistratum Aquarium Plant

How to Grow Crinum Calamistratum Aquarium Plant

As an aquarium enthusiast, I have always been fascinated by the vibrant and captivating world of aquatic plants. One such plant that has caught my attention is the Crinum Calamistratum aquarium plant.

With its striking appearance and ability to thrive in various tank conditions, this plant offers a unique touch of elegance to any aquatic landscape.

In this article, I will delve into the origins, ideal tank conditions, planting and propagation techniques, as well as care and maintenance tips for this remarkable aquatic gem.

Crinum calamistratum is an aquatic angiosperm native to Cameroon.[1] It is known by the common names of narrow crinum or African onion plant.[2] The species was first discovered by botanist H. Gregory from a population near Kumba, Cameroon in 1948, and was described by Josef Bogner and Hermann Heino Heine in 1987.[3]


Key Takeaways

  • Crinum aquarium plant is native to tropical regions of Africa and Asia, such as Madagascar, Nigeria, and India.
  • It thrives in warm and humid climates and is adapted to tolerate varying water conditions.
  • Ideal tank conditions include a pH range of 6.5 to 7.5, moderate to high levels of light, and a nutrient-rich substrate.
  • The plant can be propagated through bulb division and requires regular pruning for its health and appearance.

Origins and Habitat

The Crinum calamistratum aquarium plant hails from the tropical regions of Africa and Asia. This aquatic plant is native to areas such as Madagascar, Nigeria, and India, where it thrives in the warm and humid climates.

In its natural habitat, the Crinum calamistratum  plant can be found growing in freshwater rivers, streams, and marshes, often submerged in water or partially emerged along the banks. It has adapted to these environments by developing unique survival mechanisms.

One of the Crinum aquarium plant’s notable adaptations is its ability to tolerate varying water conditions. It’s capable of surviving in both acidic and alkaline waters, making it a versatile choice for aquarium enthusiasts. The plant’s elongated leaves are another adaptation that aids in its survival. These leaves are able to absorb sunlight efficiently, allowing the plant to photosynthesize and produce energy even in low-light conditions.

Furthermore, the roots of the Crinum plant have adapted to anchor themselves securely in the substrate, preventing the plant from being uprooted by strong water currents. Additionally, the roots also serve as a means of nutrient absorption from the surrounding water.

Ideal Tank Conditions

To ensure the optimal growth and health of the Crinum aquarium plant, it’s important to provide it with ideal tank conditions. Here are some key factors to consider:

Water Parameters: Crinum plants thrive in slightly acidic to neutral water with a pH range of 6.5 to 7.5. They also prefer a water hardness level of 4 to 8 dGH (degrees of general hardness). Maintaining these water parameters is crucial for the overall well-being of the plant.

Lighting Requirements: Adequate lighting is essential for the photosynthesis process in Crinum plants. They require moderate to high levels of light, preferably around 2 to 3 watts per gallon of water. It’s advisable to use full-spectrum LED lights or fluorescent bulbs to provide the necessary light intensity.

Substrate: The Crinum aquarium plant benefits from a nutrient-rich substrate. Using a substrate specifically designed for aquatic plants, like aquasoils or plant substrates, will help provide essential nutrients to the roots and promote healthy growth.

Water Flow: Crinum plants prefer a gentle water flow in the aquarium. Excessive water movement can damage their delicate leaves and hinder their growth. Placing the plant in an area with moderate water circulation or using a gentle filter setting will create an ideal environment for the plant.

crinum calamistratum aquarium plants

Planting and Propagation Crinum Calamistratum Aquarium Plant

When planting and propagating the Crinum aquarium plant, I found that creating a suitable environment is key to its success. The first step in planting the Crinum is to choose a well-lit spot in the aquarium, as it requires ample light for proper growth. The substrate should be rich in nutrients and have good drainage to support the plant’s root system. I recommend using a nutrient-rich substrate specifically formulated for aquarium plants.

Propagation of the Crinum can be done through bulb division. Carefully separate the bulbs and plant them in separate areas of the aquarium. It’s important to ensure that each bulb has enough space to grow and receive adequate light. Regular pruning is essential to maintain the plant’s health and appearance. Trim any dead or damaged leaves to prevent the spread of diseases and pests.

Speaking of pests and diseases, the Crinum is generally resistant to common aquarium pests. However, it’s susceptible to infestations of snails, which can damage the leaves and inhibit growth. To address this issue, manual removal of snails and regular monitoring of the plant is recommended. The plant may also be prone to fungal infections and rot if the water conditions aren’t optimal. Maintaining a clean and well-maintained aquarium environment will help prevent these problems.

Crinum Calamistratum Aquarium Plant Care and Maintenance Tips

For optimal care and maintenance of the Crinum aquarium plant, I rely on a simple but effective routine. Keeping the water parameters within the suitable range is crucial for the health of this aquatic plant. Here are a few key tips to ensure its well-being:

Water Parameters: The Crinum plant thrives in slightly acidic to neutral water with a pH range of 6.5 to 7.5. It prefers a water hardness of 4 to 10 dGH (degrees of general hardness). Maintaining these parameters will promote healthy growth and prevent any stress-related issues.

Lighting Requirements: Adequate lighting is essential for the photosynthesis process. Provide your Crinum aquarium plant with moderate to high-intensity lighting for around 8 to 10 hours a day. Using full-spectrum bulbs or LED lights will help simulate natural sunlight, promoting lush green foliage.

Nutrient Supplementation: While the Crinum plant can obtain some nutrients from fish waste, it’s beneficial to supplement their diet with liquid fertilizers or root tabs. These supplements should contain essential macronutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, as well as trace elements like iron.

Regular Pruning: To maintain a tidy appearance and prevent overcrowding, trim any dead or decaying leaves from the Crinum plant. This will also encourage new growth and prevent the accumulation of organic waste.

crinum calamistratum aquarium plant

Compatibility With Fish and Invertebrates

I’ve found that the Crinum aquarium plant is compatible with a variety of fish and invertebrates. When it comes to behaviour and interactions, the Crinum plant is generally peaceful and doesn’t pose any threat to its tank mates.

Its long, flowing leaves provide ample hiding spaces for shy or territorial fish, allowing them to feel secure in their environment. Additionally, the plant’s broad and sturdy leaves serve as a great surface for fish to lay their eggs on, making it an excellent choice for breeding tanks.

In terms of disease resistance and common issues, the Crinum plant is known for its hardiness. It’s relatively resistant to diseases and can tolerate a wide range of water conditions. However, like any other plant, it isn’t immune to certain issues.

One common problem that may arise with the Crinum plant is the accumulation of algae on its leaves. This can be mitigated by ensuring proper water quality and providing adequate lighting for the plant.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Does It Take for a Crinum Calamistratum Aquarium Plant to Reach Its Full Size?

It takes a crinum aquarium plant a certain amount of time to reach its full size. To ensure proper growth, it is important to understand the full growth rate and how to care for these plants.

Can Crinum Aquarium Plants Survive in Low Light Conditions?

Yes, crinum aquarium plants can survive in low light conditions. However, they will grow slower and may not reach their full size. To ensure their well-being, provide them with sufficient light and follow proper crinum aquarium plant care tips.

Are Crinum Aquarium Plants Suitable for Beginners?

Yes, crinum aquarium plants are suitable for beginners. They require minimal care and can thrive in various lighting conditions. The best substrates for crinum aquarium plants are nutrient-rich soils or gravel with root tabs for optimal growth.

What Is the Average Lifespan of a Crinum Aquarium Plant?

The average lifespan of a Crinum aquarium plant depends on various factors such as water quality, lighting, and care. It typically ranges from 1 to 5 years, with a slower growth rate compared to other aquarium plants.

Can Crinum Aquarium Plants Be Grown Without CO2 Supplementation?

Yes, Crinum Aquarium Plants can thrive without CO2 supplementation. To care for them without CO2, ensure adequate lighting, provide nutrient-rich substrate, and regularly dose liquid fertilizers to fulfil their nutritional needs.


In conclusion, the crinum calamistratum aquarium plant is a remarkable addition to any aquatic environment. With its origins in the tropical regions of Africa, this plant thrives in ideal tank conditions, providing a lush and vibrant habitat for fish and invertebrates.

Its easy propagation and low maintenance make it a popular choice among aquarium enthusiasts. Like a graceful dancer, the crinum plant sways with elegance, adding depth and beauty to the underwater world.

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