Myriophyllum mattogrossense comes from the tropical lowlands of South America. This species is relatively new as aquarium plant, even though its name has long been known in the hobby. The red milfoil Myriophyllum tuberculatum was (and sometimes still is) erroneously sold under the name M. mattogrossense for around 20 years. In 1994, red milfoil was correctly identified as M. tuberculatum by A.E. Orchard.
True M. mattogrossense is all green, and was first imported from Eduador by Christel Kasselmann in 1990. Its popularity has been growing ever since due to its beauty and easy cultivation. It is relatively often found in trade now.
This milfoil is one of the easier-to-cultivate plants. At least medium light (0.5 watts per litre or above) should be provided, though. M. mattogrossense is especially suitable for medium-lit tanks with no CO2 injection. Even under these conditions, this milfoil will develop healthy, large, green leaf whorls. Under stronger light and continuous CO2 fertilisation it grows faster and forms overall bigger leaves.
Nutrient-wise, M. mattogrossense is not picky, all it basically needs are a little NO3 and PO4. At higher nitrate (around 10 mg/l) and phosphate (1-2 mg/l) levels, the stems grow larger and more robust. If the shoot tips turn white, the plant urgently needs iron and micronutrients.
M. mattogrossense needs to be cut back very often due to its very strong growth. Cut off the shoot tip and re-plant it into the substrate, or throw it away and leave the rest of the plant to grow back. Propagation is very easy due to the large number of lateral shoots you can use as cuttings.
So far, this plant isn't used very frequently in Nature Aquaria or Dutch-style tanks, even though its finely structured leaves and lush green colour give it a lot of potential as a background or filler plant. It is also an excellent choice for beginning hobbyists who are looking for an easy-to-keep, fast-growing and at the same time highly attractive stem plant.
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