Overview: Native to the Southeast region of Asia, Rotala rotundfolia is an emergent perennial aquatic plant with stunning bright red foliage. Unlike other Rotala species, R.rotundfolia is fairly undemanding in nature and is extremely popular among aquarists worldwide. In it’s natural habitat they grow in semi-immersed state along shorelines, rice paddy fields, riverbanks and marshy areas. This is a delicate plant and must be avoided in fish tanks with herbivore fishes or large fishes that can cause damage. The stunning color of this plant is ideal for Dutch style as well as Nature-style aquascapes. Rotata rotundfolia looks best when mixed with other plants and is thus ideal as a midground and background plant in aquariums. It readily grows side shoots that make the plant dense and bushy and makes the lower leaves unexposed to light (that is essential for it’s rich vibrant color). Therefore, frequent pruning is highly recommended for this plant.a
Appearance: As the name suggests, the striking feature of Rotala rotundfolia is the red rounded lanceolate submerged leaves. The smaller leaves are less than an inch long and are arranged in groups of 2 or 3 along thepink stem of the plant. The emergent Rotala rotundifolia has fleshy, bright-green and rounded leaves and the submersed Rotala rotundifolia has darker green or reddish leaves and are sword-shaped.
Hard/Soft plant: Soft plant
Ideal water temperature conditions: Rotala rotundifolia prefers tropical temperatures between 21 and 30 degree Celsius.
Lighting conditions: The vibrant color of the leaves of Rotala rotundfolia depends majorly on the light intensity. When the lighting levels are high, they develop a reddish hue and under moderate levels they become pale yellowish green. Therefore, it can inferred that Rotala rotundfolia prefers moderate to high lighting levels of approximately 3 to 5 watts per gallon facilitated by full spectrum (5000 to 7000K) bulbs.
Ideal pH conditions: Rotala rotundfolia tolerates a varied degree of pH and water hardness. For optimum growth, pH levels should be between 5.5 and 7.5 and water hardness should be below 15.
Functions and use:
1) It is a versatile plant used in aquascapes of different kinds like Dutch and Nature – style.
2) In aquariums they are ideal to be used as midground and background plant.
3) In ponds they look as beautiful flower heads in shallow water or grown as aquatic plant that easily grows up to 12 inches in height.
Did you know?
Rotala rotundfolia is a fast growing plant, therefore regular pruning the top shoot is highly recommended to control in invasive growth. Apart from bright light, low nitrate and high phosphate levels, regular doses of iron and Co2 promotes optimum growth and rich vibrant color.