It may seem out of the ordinary to put a pond plant in an aquascape but Red Tiger Lotus absolutely works. More likely a centerpiece plant for large aquariums though, this plant with its broad, soft red leaves will capture the viewer’s attention. It will grow quite large though if left unchecked. Adding a Red Tiger Lotus to a River Bed setup seems to complete the illusion and so has been used by aquascapers in the hobby for years.
Red Tiger Lotus throws out 2 leaf forms. The first would be the shorter stemmed, soft submersed leaves. The second would be the taller, studier leaves which eventually reach the surface of the water.
Its submersed leaves can reach a diameter of anywhere from 3 inches up to 7 inches while the surface leaves will eventually reach the size of 10 inches or more. It may not look that great on a nano tank but it will perfectly suit the larger aquariums.
To achieve its red hue, this plant would require an intense lighting setup although it has no problems with medium lighting. It can thrive in medium light. It just will not give those red spotted leaves.
CO2 can definitely boost the plant’s growth and health. Any other plant would definitely benefit from a CO2 supplemented aquarium. Red Tiger Lotus would not require it though. It can do just fine without CO2. It can stay just as red if given the right conditions.
This plant is not particularly picky with water parameters. It does demand a dose of Micros and Macros every now and then though. It would be best to follow a regular dosing schedule to prevent the leaves from showing signs of Nutrient deficiencies. Given that it is generally a pond plant, Red Tiger Lotus can grow on harder water with TDS of up to 300. It generally does not care and would be happy so long as it is fully submersed.
Planting and Placement
General guidelines for planting would indicate that the plants with broader leaves should be placed at the front while the ones with smaller leaves should be planted at the back to give the tank depth. Red Tiger Lotus should be placed at the front if the idea is to only keep the submersed leaves. It can however be planted among background stem plant if the plan is just to have the taller leaves reach the surface. It would definitely bring a more natural aquatic world setup.
If the plant is to be placed at the front, it is a good idea to just let the submersed short leaves grow and to trim the taller immersed leaves. Trimming the taller leaves would definitely slow the plant’s growth and would keep it from taking over the entire aquarium.
If the plant is to be placed at the back, only keep the taller leaves and cut out the submersed ones to free up space for the background stem plants.