This small red plant is probably one of the easiest of all red plants to grow. It does not require much to get this plant going. Get the right conditions and you have an instant red plant in the aquarium. Like most aquatic plants being used for midground, Alternanthera Reineckii is a slow grower. It will not achieve high growth but it will prefer to shoot out side stems instead. This ability gives it its bushy effect.
Like most red plants Alternanthera Reineckii prefers high light levels. It has no problem growing in a medium lit tank though and will stay a reddish brown as supposed to the bright red. It only takes a small increase in lighting for this plant to start displaying brighter red and more compact growth.
Like Anubias though this plant is very prone to get algae on its leaves when put under bright lights. To prevent this, care must be given to make sure there is no accumulation of detritus or decaying organic matter around the base of the plant.
CO2 is preferred, especially when growing under bright light. It can survive without CO2 supplementation, provided that the lighting is dimmer. CO2 will also contribute to the plant’s richer color.
This aquarium plant thrives in water with a pH range between 6.5 and 7.5 and a temperature between 22-28C. Stability must be maintained throughout. An aquarium with fluctuating parameters can cause the plants to melt or rot.
Planting and Position in the Aquarium
This plant is best used as an accent on mid-ground placement. This is one of the few red-stem plants being used this way. Most red plants are used for the background because of their height. It is best to place the plant in a clump of 5 to 6 plants. Make sure to provide space between each plant as it will grow side shoots, making it wider.
Trimming and Maintenance:
Care for this plant mainly involves pinching the shoots so it will stay short. Removing old, algae-infested leaves should be done on a regulator basis. Removing older leaves will also make way for the side shoots. Care must be given not to damage any good leaves as this plant’s leaves are delicate and easy to damage. Removing the side shoots and replanting them is a good practice when propagating this plant.
(Photo Credit: @fishandco.sd)