Despite its forgiving nature, Alternanthera reineckii will not thrive under a stock aquarium hood available with most kits. A dual to quad T5 high-output fluorescent system or a good quality, colour tuned, specialty LED unit will produce beautiful deep red to purple growth. Unlike many other fully red plants, this variety of Alternanthera does not necessitate CO2 injection though (like virtually all other plants) additional CO2 will enable faster growth. Without CO2, it is a slow-growing, short plant which forms dense patches that will not overgrow their welcome in the aquarium. Propagation is simple: like all stem plants, manually cutting pieces of stem containing nodes and replanting them is sufficient for creating new plantlets which root relatively quickly. The remaining stem will grow even bushier after pruning. Even under less than ideal conditions, this plant is hardy and will maintain its shape and color, even growing redder over time.
Difficulty: Simple to moderate
Type: Bushy stem
Size: Rarely exceeding 30cm; often shorter
Position and Usage: Foreground to midground
Growth rate: Slow to moderate depending on lighting and CO2 levels
Lighting: 3/5 - 5/5
Water Conditions: 23 - 28°C (tropical; heater recommended)
CO2: Advantageous, but not required
Propagation: Make cuttings from stem or branch with nodes and replant
Special Requirements: Adaptable to a wide range of water parameters; soft, slightly acidic water preferred. Iron supplementation is highly recommended for maintaining colour and for overall health and growth.