Red Cabomba (Cabomba Furcata)
Overview: One of the stunning aquatic plants, Cabomba Furcata, hails from Central and South America. It is a beautiful red-stem plant that looks unique and one of a kind. The finely divided leaves make it aesthetically pleasing. Even though everything about Cabomba Furcata is alluring, it is not easy to grow and maintain. Therefore, it is considered suitable only for expert aquarists. Red Cabomba has very high and specific requirements, due to which sometimes even the expert aquarists find it hard to upkeep; however, with the right care, it grows well and increases the beauty of the tank manifold. Also, being a fast grower it requires regular pruning; thus, this long-term maintenance could be exhausting for beginners.
Appearance: Cabomba Furcata, popular as Red Cabomba, is a pretty red-colored plant with bushy leaves, looking like a bottle brush. They have a silky, soft, and delicate appearance. The attractive red foliage is enough to become the focal point of any aquarium. When given the right water conditions and lighting, it develops a bright red color. The stem is also red in color. However, the roots are very delicate and fragile and susceptible to breakage when highly disturbed. But, when kept in a stable and undisturbed environment, the roots develop profusely, ensuring the plant’s good growth. It grows well in small to large size tanks.
Hard/Soft Plant: This plant is very hard and tricky to maintain, especially for beginners.
Ideal water temperature: The optimum temperature range for Red Cabomba is between 22 to 28 degrees Celsius. When the temperature stays cool and the light remains high, the plants get shorter internodes.
Lightening conditions: Medium to high lighting is suitable for Cabomba furcata; however, to attain the flashy and vibrant red color, it is essential to provide high light levels. Apart from great color, high lighting will also ensure the plant develops shorter internodes and looks healthier and bushy.
Top leaves are turning green, and internodes are getting elongated than usual, indicating insufficient lighting.
Other Requirements: Red Cabomba is a heavy feeder. It requires a high quantity of fertilizers to stay healthy. Regular and all-round fertilization is a prerequisite. Moreover, carbon dioxide supplementation will bring bright and flashy colors to the stems and leaves. When the plants have thin stems and small crows, it indicates it is underfed. Therefore, make sure you give Red Cabomba nutrient-rich substrate and additional fertilizers to maintain it for longer.
Ideal pH level: The ideal pH ranges between 6.8 – 7.5.
Propagation: Propagation of Red Cabomba is pretty easy as it develops side shoots naturally that can be cut off and replanted as a separate plant. Over time, under the right water parameters, it develops roots and shoots and grows into a new plant.
Do you know: Many aquarists avoid having Cabomba furcata due to its long-term maintenance. It requires high light and high fertilizers, and since it is a fast-growing stem plant, it requires frequent pruning, too.