Bucephalandra are a relatively new (to the aquarium hobby) and exciting
species of plants from Borneo. They are similar to Anubias and Java ferns in
that they have rhizomes can be grown on driftwood or rocks. Like Anubias and
Java ferns they don't really have any special requirements but will grow very
slowly. Most Buce species are quite small (under 5cm) but some of the larger
species can grow up to 20cm. Most will come with 5-7 leaves and can be mounted
on lava rocks or mesh pads. Most Buce are kept in immersed conditions so their
leaves are mainly green - it will take them a few months inside your aquarium
to fully color up.
In aquariums, Bucephalandras can be grown on wood, and coconut fiber, but seems to do best when attached to hard surfaces such as lava rock. The roots have the ability to firmly attach to hard surfaces, even if they are slippery. Sometimes it is even necessary to use a knife to remove the plant from the surface that it is attached to, because the roots of the plant have grasped the surface so tightly.
Even with only minimal amounts of light, Bucephalandras will continue to grow and will still produce new leaves, but the color of the plant is usually not as eye-catching. To ensure good coloration, stronger lighting is required. The addition of mild fertilizers through the water column with even small amounts of CO2 will improve leaf growth and coloration. This is hardy plant that does very well in small bowls and nano tanks. Perfect for freshwater shrimp to hide in and forage on.
Optimum Submersed Temperature Range: 70° - 76° F
Optimum Immersed Temperature Range: 78° - 84° F
Ideal pH Range: 6.5 - 7.5
Lighting: Low to High (High levels of light produces a more intense leaf pigment)
Origin: Indigenous to Borneo, Indonesia.
Aquarium placement: Middle and foreground. Rhizome should not be completely buried.
Care: Easy to Moderate