Cryptocoryne parva

Aquarium suitability: yes
Usage: Nano tanks, Foreground, group, Foreground, ground cover
Difficulty: medium
Growth: very slow
Range and localities: 

Sri Lanka: Central highland

Habit, plant type:

  • rosette
Botanical name [?]: Cryptocóryne párva de Wit

Major group (unranked): Seed plants: Flowering plants (Angiosperms)
Order: Alismatales
Family: Araceae
Genus: Cryptocoryne


Cryptocoryne parva, the smallest known water trumpet species, has its origins in the central highlands of Sri Lanka near Kandy city. It grows in dense colonies on riverbanks there. Recently it has been scarcely collected in the wild, and it is possibly to be considered an endangered species.
In aquaristics, it has been known for a long time but hasn't been very widely spread, mostly due to its really slow growth. However, it is easily available in trade or from other hobbyists.

The dwarf water trumpet is quite similar to those plants from the group of plants related to Cryptocoryne x willisii. Under comparable conditions it tends to stay smaller than those, as a submersed, non-flowering plant it is hard to be discerned safely from them, though. Earlier on, the name "Cryptocoryne nevillii" was used for both C. parva and C. x willisii alike, however, in reality this is the name of a totally different species.

Cryptocoryne parva is a very slow grower even in optimal conditions. In contrast to other Cryptocorynes it needs a lot of light. The addition of CO2 and a substrate rich in nutrients or rather, fertilisation via the substrate enhance growth quite considerably and let the plant grow to its full potential. It is especially important to maintain iron and potassium on a relatively high level to prevent this Crypt from developing serious deficiency symptoms like chloroses and multiple holes in the leaves.

The propagation of Cryptocoryne parva only requires the environmental conditions we stated above, and patience. The plant forms lateral shoots directly on its rhizome as well as runners - both faster and more efficiently when the plant is kept emersed.

Its small size makes Cryptocoryne parva an ideal foreground plant, especially for small aquaria and nano tanks. It takes quite some time until it forms a lawnlike population, but it is its slow growth that renders this plant very easy in maintenance.

References (range and localities):
Light medium to high 
Temperature tolerance 15 to 28 °C
Optimum temperature 23 to 26 °C
Carbonate hardness 1 to 18 °dKH
pH value 5 to 8 
Carbon dioxide (CO2) 5 to 40 mg/l
Nitrate (NO3-) 10 to 50 mg/l
Phosphate (PO43-) 0.1 to 3 mg/l
Potassium (K+) 5 to 30 mg/l
Iron (Fe) 0.01 to 0.5 mg/l

Growth: very slow

Propagation: Runners, Rhizomteilung, Splitting, cutting off daughter plants

Can grow emersed?: yes

Suited for outdoor cultivation / ponds: unknown

Winter hardiness: not hardy in Germany

There is no detailled information for cultivating this plant yet.
Aquascaping: forms a grass-like lawn

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Wasserpflanzen sind ein fester Bestandteil der meisten Aquarien. Beim Aquascaping, dem Naturaquarium, Biotop-Aquarium oder dem Gesellschaftsaquarium sind Wasserpflanzen nicht nur für die Wasserqualität entscheidend, sondern sorgen auch stets für eine optische Aufwertung des Aquariums.