top of page
Rotala macrandra
  • Rotala macrandra

    SKU: 00262

    Rotala macrandra


    Sometimes considered the "queen of aquarium plants" - Rotala macrandra is a beautiful plant from southern India that is absolutely jaw droppingly gorgeous when grown successfully. It's rich, red coloration is delightful and it's unique foliage is stunning. Though it is a demanding plant that requires high light, CO2 and fast moving water, anyone who's ever grown R. macrandra do its fullest potential would probably say it's worth it! 



    Difficulty: Difficult without CO2

    Type: Red stem plant

    Size: 3 - 20cm+

    Native Range: Subcontinent (southern India)

    Position and Usage: Background or midground "show piece". Quite conspicuous.  

    Growth Rate: Fast (with CO2 and good lighting)

    Lighting: 4/5 - 5/5

    Temperature: 20-28

    Water Conditions: pH 5.5 to 6.5 - soft to medium-hard

    CO2: Highly recommended - required

    Propagation: Cuttings can be re-planted in the substrate - frequent trimming promotes shorter, bushier growth.

    Special requirements: Sensitive to sudden drops in temperature. Likes good water circulation, access to micronutrients. Prefers acidic, nutrient rich substrate.

    Emersed growth: Suitable and easily aclimates to emersed growth. Looks almost identical to Rotala rotundifolia when grown emersed except for the red coloration. 

    • Description

      A exquisite, brilliantly conspicuous red plant, Rotala macrandra has been around the hobby for a long time but is getting a lot of attention recently thanks to the development and widespread adoption of technologies like bright, full spectrum lighting and CO2 fertilization which has made it much easier to cultivate in the aquarium. 

      When found in the south of India, it was originally thought to be a red subspecies of Rotala rotundifolia due to their similar emersed appearance but when it was found submerged, it was obvious that Rotala macrandra is a very different species. Leaves are longer and wider and its rich red coloration is very unique to this species. In nature it is found most often submerged in fast flowing rivers.

      For decades, Rotala macrandra was known to the aquarium hobby but never took off because it was considered extremely difficult to cultivate. Present day hobbyists and aquascapers, armed with "high tech" equipment have given this jaw-dropping plant a new lease on life, frequently featuring in some of the most beautiful aquascapes.

      While Rotala macrandra is not for the faint of heart, with adequately bright lighting and importantly, CO2 injection, it's actually quite an easy plant. When provided with a suitable environment, R. macrandra grows rapidly and can be artistically pruned into a vast range of different growth habits and shapes. 

      In addition to lighting and CO2, it is beneficial to provide good water movement through the use of "lily pipe" canister filter interfaces or just a simple powerhead since the plant natively grows in riverine environments.

      Water chemisty and temperature is also important. While it does not require soft water, Rotala macrandra will struggle in very hard water. Aquarium water should be slightly acidic - though this tends to be the case in the vast majority of planted aquariums. It prefers warmer water and is very sensitive to sudden temperature decreases. 

      Substrate should be nutrient rich and slightly acidic. Virtually any "active substrate" designed for planted aquariums fulfills this requirement so most should not have an issue.

      Despite being admittedly quite picky, Rotala macrandra is a spectacularly rewarding plant and a very good reason to consider taking your the hobby to the next level and investing in a good CO2 system for your planted tank.

    Out of Stock

    Related Products