Updated: January 19, 2022 - By: - Categories: Planted aquarium

The outstanding tolerance of shades and ease of care make Cryptocoryne a great choice for the midground along with other plants, stones, and driftwood. There are so many Cryptocoryne species in the hobby these days, each of them features its own beauty. Following are over 15 popular species that hobbyists usually choose for aquascaping. You can click on the link under each picture to go to the sale page.

Cryptocoryne wendtii ‘Green’

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The Cryptocoryne wendtii ‘Green’ is an excellent plant for decorating aquariums, featuring bright green leaves that will make your tank look striking and lively. It can grow as tall as 15cm high and creates a rosette that’s around 8 to 15cm wide.

It is relatively easy to grow, capable of withstanding most growing conditions, even in the shade of higher plants. Because of this, this plant is an excellent option for beginner growers and is ideal for bringing a touch of elegance to an aquarium’s midground.

Cryptocoryne wendtii ‘Brown’

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The Cryptocoryne wendtii ‘Brown’ is another popular aquarium plant from the Cryptocoryne species. Unlike the green species, it has striking reddish-brown leaves with slightly wavy edges. It features an average growing time and easy care level, making it ideal for beginners.

A bush of this plant is around 4 to 6 inches wide. Growing well under low light conditions makes them an excellent addition to shaded spots in the midground. A pressurized CO2 supply system is optional but the plant will grow better if provided enough CO2, especially in a densely planted tank.

Cryptocoryne wendtii ‘Tropica’

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The broad brown and hammered leaves make the C. wendtii ‘Tropica’ stand out from other Cryptocoryne species. It has a robust shape with broad leaves that can grow up to 6 inches and rosettes that reach as wide as 8 inches. The rosettes grow in breadth rather than in height making it an ideal choice for placing under other higher plants, driftwood, or stones.

Like other plants in the species, the Cryptocoryne wendtii ‘Tropica’ can withstand various growing conditions, even in hard water.

Cryptocoryne wendtii ‘Red’

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C. wendtii ‘Red’ is a new Cryptocoryne wendtii variety with reddish-brown wavy leaves. The plant can grow fast and become dense with proper nutrients and lighting supplied. Its height is greatly affected by the light. It tends to grow close to the substrate under intense lighting and grow taller under average lighting.

Cryptocoryne wendtii ‘Mi Oya’

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C. wendtii ‘Mi Oya’ has been well established in the aquarium hobby because of its vigorous appearance. The leaves are a little hammered but not as apparent as the C. wendtii ‘Tropica’. The submerged leaves in the aquarium are reddish-brown while the emersed leaves are green. A cluster of this plant with stones in the midground looks very appealing.

Once adapting to the aquarium conditions, Cryptocoryne wendtii ‘Mi Oya’ grows quickly and develops broad leaves.  Although not a demanding species, the plant needs enough light to maintain its beauty. The leaves tend to rise taller and less appealing under low lighting.

Cryptocoryne pontederifolia

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Cryptocoryne pontederifolia has light green heart-shaped leaves. The new leaves of the inner part of this plant develop slowly, so one plant can’t grow many leaves. The upper side of the leaves is sometimes tinged with red, especially when positioned somewhere with good lighting. It is suitable to be used as an accent in the layout.

Cryptocoryne undulata


The plant can tolerate environmental changes and is very easy to care for. Regardless of the environment where it grows, the leaves stand out with wavy edges and a reddish-brown color. It is best to plant it in groups so that the beauty of the leaves can be highlighted. It grows well in various aquarium conditions, but better with good lighting, CO2, and nutrient-rich substrates.

Cryptocoryne parva

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This plant is the smallest of the Cryptocoryne species. It is also excellent as a foreground or carpet plant. To achieve a dense carpet, doing dense planting early and proper maintenance are needed.


It needs more light to grow well. Patience is also required to see its beauty. A beautiful and dense carpet of this plant will make any aquarium splendid and shows a nice aquascape. The leaves are green and look like grass.

Cryptocoryne lucens

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The leaves of Cryptocoryne lucens are upright and narrow. They are also bright green and have brown stems. The attractive leaves of this species make it a centerpiece in the aquascape. Even if there is only a single plant placed in the midground, it is so beautiful.

This is a less popular type of Cryptocoryne species used as a midground plant. When you grow them in groups, they look like tall stalks of thick grass. It is also suitable for beginners since it easy to keep and only needs low care.

Cryptocoryne willisii


This Cryptocoryne plant is from Sri Lanka, which was called Cryptocoryne nevilli mistakenly. Compared to the C. parva and C. lucens with similarly shaped leaves, the submerged leaves of this plant have a longer stem. Thanks to this, it is easy to create a natural ambiance with this plant when you place it near driftwood and stones.

Like other Cryptocoryne species, it grows slowly in the early stage. Usually, no significant changes are seen in the first month after planting. Nevertheless, when it begins to grow, many runners are produced, resulting in a compact cluster.

Cryptocoryne crispatula ‘Balansae’

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This is one of the most beautiful aquarium plants you will ever have. It has wavy leaves that look like tape. The primary leaf veins become wine red depending on the condition, making it appear more beautiful.

Leaves can grow exceptionally long so that they can float on the water surface of your aquarium. Therefore, they need to be cut so that the leaves do not overhang along the water surface. This may block the light from getting into the aquarium.

Cryptocoryne retrospiralis

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The plant has a close resemblance to Cryptocoryne crispatula var. Balansae, but the leaves differ since they are not as wavy. They are olive green and have an austere and elegant feel. The plant can also be bright green or bronze, depending on the environment.

Unlike other tape plants from the same plant family, Cryptocoryne retrospiralis is placed in the background. Planting it together with hair grass gives the layout a soft impression.

For hundreds of years, many aquarium enthusiasts choose this as their midground or background plant. The hammered appearance of the plant makes it a unique backdrop or accent.

Cryptocoryne crispatula ‘Tonkinensis’

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You can quickly identify this plant because of its narrow tape leaves. They have a grass-like appearance with a smooth and soft texture. The colors of the leaves vary from green to brown, depending on where the plant was grown.

It grows slowly and needs enough light and CO2 to survive. Initial dense planting is advisable since the volume of each plant is relatively small. A background with this plant surely makes your aquarium splendid. 

Cryptocoryne albida ‘Brown’

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Cryptocoryne albida ‘Brown’ features by its red-brown and specially waving leaves. This plant is easy to use in the layout because of its compact size. It is also easy to blend and creates a nice contrast to your layout. The amount of light it gets determines the appearance of the leaves. Under low light, the leaves appear more green, and under high light, they turn to red with brown spots.

Cryptocoryne beckettii ‘Petchii’

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The smooth and dark olive-brown leaves make Cryptocoryne beckettii ‘Petchii’ a lovely aquatic plant. Beginners can put their hands on this beautiful plant because it is not difficult to care for. It can grow well in soft and hard water. It can still grow in weak light, but it thrives better when placed under moderate light. After the plant is placed in the tank, it spreads fast and creates compact bushes.

Cryptocoryne walkeri ‘Lutea’

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Cryptocoryne walkeri ‘Lutea’ looks similar to C. wendtii ‘Green’; however, the stiff and upright leaves make this species different and unique. The leaves are slightly wavy and tinged with red, especially the upper region which gets more light. The stem and the main vein of the leaves are brownish, too. The red tinge of the leaves depends on the environmental conditions of the aquarium. Some dense clumps of this plant in the midground look very appealing.

We enjoy keeping fish, and have for many years. We are trying to promote the hobby as much as possible. We want to see many others succeed in their fish keeping efforts and are committed to sharing our knowledge when we can.

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