If you’re interested in plants that come in a lot of varieties and colors, then Water Trumpets might be for you! Water Trumpets are a group of aquatic plants that produce unique, trumpet-shaped flowers. These plants come in a broad array of sizes and shapes, so there’s something for every taste when it comes to Water Trumpets.
There are things to learn about Water Trumpets before bringing them home to your tank, though. They can be sensitive to changes in the water and they are not a great fit for tanks with fish that are hard on plants, like goldfish. Here’s everything you need to know about the care of Water Trumpets!
Useful Information About Water Trumpet
|Common Name:||Water Trumpet, Cryptocoryne, Crypt|
|Origin:||Southeast Asia, Papua New Guinea, India, Sri Lanka|
|Color:||Green, Red, Brown|
|Water Conditions:||Temperature 68-86˚F
|Minimum Tank Size:||5 gallons|
|Supplements:||Iron-rich fertilizer or substrate|
|Placement:||Foreground, midground, or background|
|Propagation:||Runners, plant division|
|Compatibility:||Freshwater tanks with stable parameters|
Water Trumpet Appearance
Water Trumpets, or Cryptocorynes, are actually a genus of plant that covers dozens of plants. These plants come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but they do all have some characteristics in common.
Water Trumpets grow long, tall leaves on short stems. These stems are attached to a root system that sends out runners for propagation. Some Water Trumpets have narrow leaves while others have broad leaves. Regardless of the size of the leaves, all Water Trumpet leaves come to a point at the tip.
These plants can be light to dark green, red, brown, or rust-colored. Some plants have solid-colored leaves while others have patterned leaves or leaves that fade from one color to another.
Water Trumpets are called this because of their inflorescence, which is a cluster of flowers that form from a modified stem. This cluster of flowers appears in Water Trumpets as a spadix inside of a trumpet-shaped spathe, similar in appearance to a pitcher plant. These spathes can be a variety of colors, including yellow, purple, red, pink, and white. The family Araceae is the same family that plants like Peace Lilies and Anubias.
Where to Find It?
In the wild, Water Trumpets are spread across a large portion of tropical Southeast Asia, India, and some South Pacific islands. They have become invasive in similar environments in the US, like the state of Florida.
Water Trumpets are extremely popular aquarium plants, so they are easy to acquire from online and in-person aquatic stores. Large pet stores may not carry these plants, though.
Water Trumpets are, overall, easy-care plants as long as they are kept in stable water with nutrient supplementation. They come in over 60 varieties, so there are a lot of options to choose from.
Habitat, Tank Conditions & Setup
Since Water Trumpets are available in a wide range of sizes, there is not a specific tank size for all Water Trumpets. Cryptocoryne parva is available in a nano variety that only reaches about 4 inches in height. Cryptocoryne undulata can reach heights over 12 inches, making it a good choice for large tanks.
Water Temperature and pH
These are tropical plants, so they prefer warm water from 68-86˚F. Water Trumpets prefer slightly acidic to neutral water but can grow successfully in water pH from 6.0-8.0.
Water Trumpets need a nutrient-rich substrate that has iron in it, like Seachem Fluorite. Root tabs with iron, like the Seachem Flourish root tabs, are another good fertilizer option for these plants.
Other plants that grow in tropical freshwater environments are good additions to a tank with Water Trumpets. This includes plants like Hornwort, Anubias, and Amazon Swords.
Water Trumpets can live in medium lighting, but most grow best in low-light environments. Floating plants can be used to achieve shade for Water Trumpets if more light is needed for other plants in the tank.
These plants prefer environments with gentle currents, making them a good fit for tanks with sponge filters and HOB filters that produce minimal current. These plants cannot survive environments with fluctuating parameters, so filtration that helps keep nitrate levels stable is needed.
Water Trumpets prefer to be planted in a nutrient-rich substrate, especially one with high levels of iron. The roots should be planted into the substrate and plant weights can be used to hold the plant into place if needed. This is especially handy if trying to plant Water Trumpets in tanks with goldfish or loaches.
Water Trumpets are notorious for a large die-off of leaves after planting. This is known as “melting” and in these plants, it’s specifically called “Crypt melt”. Many people believe their plant has died but with stable water parameters, the plant is likely to come back in time. These plants don’t like to be moved after planting, though, so choose the location wisely to prevent Crypt melt undoing the growth your plant has accumulated.
4 Benefits of Having Water Trumpet in Your Aquarium
Concerns About Water Trumpet
Within a stable environment, Water Trumpets are hardy plants that propagate easily. These plants have the ability to become invasive in warm, slow-moving water. Water Trumpets have become an invasive species in the state of Florida and have the potential to become invasive in many other areas as well.
Also, since Water Trumpets require nutrient supplementation, be cognizant of what type of fertilizer you use if you have invertebrates, especially shrimp. Many fertilizers have copper added to them, which can be deadly to some invertebrates. You can purchase shrimp-safe fertilizer, though, like NilocG ThriveS.
After learning all about Water Trumpets, what varieties do you think will work best in your aquarium? You have a broad selection of interesting colors, shapes, and sizes to choose from with Water Trumpets. As a bonus, they produce large, noticeable flowers.
Your small fish and invertebrates will love the addition of some Water Trumpet plants to the tank. These plants will provide a safe place to play and rest for your aquarium residents. While these plants are considered easy-care, the need for supplementation makes them a good plant choice for beginners who are ready to start moving toward more complex-care plants.
Featured image credit: rodimov, Shutterstock