Tonina sp. ‘Belem’ (common name: Syngonanthus sp. ‘Belem’)
Overview: Introduced by the Japanese brand Rayon Vert to the world of aquarium plants, Tonina sp. ‘Belem’ or Syngonanthus sp. ‘Belem’ is a delicate plant and is native to the soft black waters near the mouth of the river Amazon. This fairly demanding plant is pretty easy to grow once it’s requirements are met. It’s unique appearance of having long scape inflorescence Tonina sp. ‘Belem’ is best used in medium to large sized aquariums as a midground accent plant. It forms an attractive contrast to the unruly grassy background plants.
Appearance: This delicate plant is characterized by it’s capitate inflorescence on long scape similar to Eriocaulon species. It has an umbrella- like appearance on top, and that makes it extremely popular among aquarists. Adequate micronutrients and sufficient iron supplementation ensures bright green foliage.
Hard/Soft plant: Soft plant
Ideal water temperature: Tonina sp. ‘Belem’ prefers warm tropical climate, therefore the ideal temperature for optimum growth is between 20 and 30 degree Celsius.
Lighting conditions: Tonina sp. ‘Belem’ thrives when exposed to high intensity lighting levels of at least 3 watts per gallon or more. Tonina sp. ‘Belem’ can tolerate medium to high levels of lighting, but it exhibits slower and stunted growth rate.
Ideal water pH conditions: For optimum growth, Tonina sp. ‘Belem’ prefers pH levels between 5 and 6.5. A KH of 2 or lower is ideal.
Functions and advantages: Owing to it’s unique appearance, Tonina sp. ‘Belem’ is widely preferred by conventional aquarists rather than the traditional ones. It is ideally used as a midground accent plant, which forms a beautiful contrast with the unruly grassy background plants. As the top umbrella-like appearance is the star attraction of this plant, it is advised not to trim this plant frequently. And in case, if it is required, trimming should be done from the bottom only to restore it’s natural beauty.
Did you know?
Instead of growing vertically, Tonina sp. ‘Belem’ prefers growing laterally and grows many side shoots.