Cryptocoryne Parva

Origin:Asia (especially Sri Lanka)
Growth Rate:Slow
Light Demand:Low to Medium
CO2 Demand:Low

Cryptocoryne Parva is also known as “Dwarf water trumpet” or “the smallest crypt” is an aquatic plant species belonging to the Araceae family. The natural habitat of this plant is the Asian continent and especially the rivers in Sri Lanka. This species was first discovered towards the end of the 1700s. It was sold and used under different names for hobby purposes in the following years. Cryptocoryne Parva was then classified as a separate species in 1970. Although it is very similar to the Lagenandra species, they can be distinguished from each other by their leaf structure. Because of its slow growth, aquarists do not widely use this species in aquariums.

Cryptocoryne Parva is the smallest of the plants known as Crypts. It has a narrow and oval leaf structure, and these leaves can grow up to 5 cm in length. Also, these leaves in green color come together and create a bush look on the aquarium floor. The total height of the plant can reach up to 10 cm.

Cryptocoryne Parva can be grown in aquariums of different sizes, from nano tanks to large aquariums. The ideal water pH balance for this plant is between 5,5-7,5 and the proper water hardness is between 1-20 dGH. Therefore, it can tolerate both soft and hard water. The ideal water temperature is between 20-28°C for the plant to grow healthy. Unlike other Cryptocoryne plants, Cryptocoryne Parva prefers medium-intensity lightning. Thus, be sure that there are no tall and floating plants in the aquarium that will overshadow this plant.


Cryptocoryne Parva does not need carbon dioxide injection. But carbon dioxide injection positively improves the growth rate of the plant. An important point to note is that since the regular growth rate of the plant is slow, adding carbon dioxide will not cause a noticeable increase in growth. The addition of iron and potassium affects the plant’s health positively and prevents the formation of holes in the leaves. With its strong root structure, Cryptocoryne Parva can attach itself to the gravel. It can live in harmony with most fish species such as Tetras, Danios, or Barbs. Also, Cichlids or Goldfish that like to graze on or dig the gravel may harm or dislodge the plant. In that case, the frequent displacement of the plant impacts its development negatively. To prevent big cichlids or goldfish to dislodge the plant from the gravel, protecting the rhizome part with some small rocks will be helping.

There is a syndrome that mostly Cryptocoryne species and hence Cryptocoryne Parva encounters. It is named Crypto Melt. This syndrome causes all the leaves of the plant to fall off and then die. According to a common opinion, the reason for this disease is a complete change of the habitat (displacement), or a sudden change in the water parameters such as temperature, pH, or water hardness. The second of these views is that the plant lives submerged in nature, and if it rises above the water, this change causes melting. Another common opinion is the increase in nitrate levels can cause this syndrome. So, it is necessary to change the water regularly.

Another significant problem can be the leaves turning yellow. That is a sign of iron deficiency, and the addition of iron fertilizers will solve this issue.

There are different methods for propagating the plant. The plant can naturally propagate by rhizomes or runner methods. If an asexual propagation is preferred, the daughter plant can be cut from the parent plant and replanted. It is known that crypt plants usually encounter the melting problem in the period after first planting. This fact forms the basis of the above-mentioned opinions for the melting syndrome. It is believed that this happens because of the energy that plant consumes to adapt to its new place. The daughter plants may also encounter this problem when they are first planted. In that case, it is important to keep the new plant in its place since the adaptation can sometimes take weeks. After a while, the plant will regenerate and release new leaves.

In summary, this plant is the choice of aquarists with its easy care and green, vibrant carpet appearance on the aquarium floor. The parameters that ensure its healthy growth also generally allow it to live in harmony with other plants and fish. Since it takes energy to adapt to its place, the melting syndrome can be observed with the new plant. This can be solved by focusing on the possible causes mentioned above.

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