The name “Staurogyne Repens” might sound strange at first. It’s probably not even obvious that it’s the name of an organism. But, Staurogyne repens is basically a nifty little plant you can grow in your aquarium.
Staurogyne Repens is hugely popular among both beginners and experts. It’s simple to take care of and beautiful to look at it. It’s also an excellent way to keep your tank clean and oxygenated. Staurogyne repens oxygenate your tank water and keep it clean, and get rid of harmful nitrates and compounds In your water.
Staurogyne repens is also prized for its looks. This bottom-dwelling plant looks especially pretty and vibrant. Aquarists who want to spruce up their tanks often are attracted to staurogyne repens.
And since they’re so beginner-friendly, it’s easy to “aqua-scape” with them right away. You can continue to add staurogyne repens to your tank even if you want a lot of fish.
With some CO2, proper lighting, and warm temperatures, you’ll be well on your way to growing a healthy carpet of staurogyne repens.
No matter what your experience level, tank size, or budget is, staurogyne repens is a worthy addition to any aquarium.
Staurogyne Repens Overview
Staurogyne repens hails from the Acanthaceae family. And the Acanthaceae family, which has 2,500+ species worldwide, originates in South America. One of the reasons staurogyne repens is such a hardy plant is due to its origins. Brazil’s Cristalino river, the true home of Staurogyne Repens, can be harsh for living organisms.
In the Cristalino River, staurogyne repens can be found on stones and certain soils. It can even survive quite heartily when it’s underwater. It thrives in sunlight and does well in warm water.
This sturdiness is one of the reasons that Staurogyne Repens is great for beginners. Staurogyne repens will forgive beginners for mistakes and will still end up looking beautiful. Add in the fact that this plant is low maintenance, and beginners should feel totally relieved. Plus, they don’t need to worry about perfectly recreating staurogyne repens’ natural habitat.
Staurogyne Repens Appearance
Since it’s a plant, staurogyne repens has some predicable features. Aside from being really green and bush-like, staurogyne repens is simply beautiful to look at. Staurogyne repens are especially bright for a plant and compliment all sorts of colors.
Well-developed staurogyne repens grows like a green carpet on your tank floor. You don’t need to worry about moving it or cutting it often. This plant will take care of itself most of the time.
Your staurogyne uses stems to keep it in place. These stems look like stiff, green sticks which will grow under your substrate. A fully-grown batch of staurogyne repens will look like a lush carpet a few inches tall. This also means that your fish will still have tons of room to swim above your plants.
As far as your leaves go, they will look a lot like other common leaves. They have pointed ends and large bases. Eventually, they may grow upward from the substrate to gobble up nutrients in your tank. A fully mature and healthy carpet of staurogyne repens is lovely to look at.
Where To Buy Staurogyne Repens?
It’s true that staurogyne repens is still growing in popularity. Even still, you should be able to find some at nearly any aquarium store. Be warned however, that staurogyne repens looks very similar to Hygrophila. The Hygrophila genus is incredibly invasive and also comes from South America. Make sure you talk to a store professional in case you’re confused.
It’s also not uncommon for this plant to be damaged in the store. Pay close attention when you’re purchasing to make sure your plants look healthy. If the plant doesn’t look green and lush, it’s probably a bad sign. Compare pictures of healthy staurogyne repens to what’s in store for best results.
Look for staurogyne repens with green stems and a nice height of several inches. As far as price goes, staurogyne repens shouldn’t run you more than a few dollars. Prices typically go no higher than ten or twelve US dollars. This plant is easy for sellers to grow too, so they are typically cheap.
Also make sure you know how big your tank is or will be. Play it safe and purchase a few staurogyne repens stems at first. This will make it easier to avoid overcrowding your tank with plants. Once you have your plants, watch how they grow for a few weeks before buying more. Staurogyne repens can be slow to grow, so try to be patient with it.
Tank for Staurogyne Repens
Your tank should ideally mimic staurogyne repens’ natural habitat. Natural water conditions for staurogyne repens are very particular. You should do your best to recreate these conditions to have your plants thrive.
Picking a Tank Size and Lighting
Staurogyne repens needs a decent amount of room to stretch out. A good starting point is a 10-gallon tank for your plants to grow in. This should be enough room for you to enjoy how staurogyne repens looks fully spread out. This plant will look especially beautiful from the front of your tank.
Then there’s the importance of lightning. Properly lighting your tank is absolutely critical to growing healthy staurogyne repens. In the wild, this plant photosynthesizes using sunlight. Needless to say, there’s not much sunlight going on in your tank.
So, what’s a good alternative? A reasonably priced, sturdy setup for lighting should do just fine. Typically, staurogyne repens owners will use bright lighting for nearly half the day. Staurogyne repens doesn’t need night lighting, so feel free to dim your aquarium before bed.
It’s also worth mentioning that proper lighting helps your plants grow. Even basic lighting will go a long way in helping your staurogyne repens thrive.
What’s more, proper lighting setups help your plants oxygenate your tank’s water. This can positively affect other fish in your tank as well. Proper lighting is one of the most important parts of keeping staurogyne repens.
Setting Your Tank Temperature
Remember how we were talking about sunlight? In the wild, sunlight usually gives these plants good living temperatures. Staurogyne repens loves warm water, which is common in the Cristalino River. But what do you do if you’re keeping staurogyne repens in a tank?
Luckily, and as you may have guessed by now, staurogyne repens is forgiving. Somewhat. You should try to aim for a water temperature between 68- and 86-degrees Fahrenheit.
We recommend going for the higher end, since warmer water helps these plants grow faster. Consider adding some CO2 as well to keep your plants growing.
You don’t need to constantly keep watch on your temperature. Staurogyne repens is slow to grow and is easy to monitor.
Staurogyne Repens Maintenance
Once your staurogyne repens is safely settled in your tank, you’ll want to maintain it too. This is straightforward even for beginners, with a few caveats along the way.
Although not essential for healthy plants, you should try trimming your staurogyne repens regularly. Regular cleanup such as pruning keeps your plants nice and healthy.
At the very least, it will go a long way in helping you achieve that “green carpet” aesthetic. However, you can get away with trimming as little as every few months.
One of the bigger risks to staurogyne repens’ health is bad lighting. If your lighting isn’t set up well, your plants will lose their color. Browning staurogyne repens is an obvious bad sign which you should deal with immediately.
Also related to lighting is how clear your tank water is. If your tank water is muddy or opaque, not much light will get through. You should also deal with clouded water immediately as soon as your plants start to look unhealthy.
Of course, you’re not without help to keep your staurogyne repens in good shape. There are plenty of supplements you can purchase to perk up your plants. These liquid supplements supply your plants with healthful nutrients.
At the end of the day, it’s definitely not necessary to buy supplements. Considering how hardy this plant, under proper tank conditions they should grow just fine.
Tank Mates and Compatibility
Undoubtedly, you don’t want your staurogyne repens to get eaten. That’s precisely what’ll happen if you pair them with the wrong plants. Picking the right tank mates for your staurogyne repens will keep them safe from harm.
A key point to remember is that your staurogyne repens is like a carpet. That means fish that hang near at the top of your tank won’t bother it much. One of the easiest way to prevent damage to your plants is by researching your fishes’ eating habits.
Some of the biggest offenders would be the goldfish or silver dollar fish. Not only do these fish hang out near the bottom of your tank, but they are also plant eaters.
On the other hand, critters like the amano or cherry shrimp are perfect tank mates. Not only do these shrimps leave your plants alone, they’ll also keep your water clean for your plants.
Other popular tank mates for staurogyne repens include:
- Betta fish
- Tetra fish
- Cherry barb fish
- Cory catfish
- Molly fish
- Swordtail fish
- & many shrimp species
You can even consider adding some plants to keep your staurogyne repens company. Plants like hornworts or java ferns are great for background placements and decoration.
How Can I Achieve That “Green Carpet” Aesthetic?
Like it or not, a main drawing point when it comes to staurogyne repens is its aesthetic. People are drawn to its lush green features on their tank floor. If this is something you’re looking for too, you need only follow a few easy steps.
First of all, it’s a good idea to group your plants together. Try placing them in the nooks in your substrate and between roots. If you want to go the extra mile, keep your plants nicely trimmed as they start to grow.
The easiest way to get that “green carpet” look is by distributing stems. In other words, sever your plant’s longer stems as you settle your plants in your tank. You can then cut them into several pieces and plant them in groups. This should cover your entire substrate and will ensure proper “carpet” growth.
Let your staurogyne repens grow and watch the magic start to happen. After a while your plants will start to grow horizontally. This is where that beautiful lush green carpet aesthetic comes from. For an extra vibrant green color, consider using fertilizers.
A steady supply of fertilizers helps staurogyne repens grow even more lush and bright. You can also add some extra nutrients or compounds to your substrate.
How To Propagate Staurogyne Repens
As is the case with other points we’ve covered, this should be pretty basic. Propagating staurogyne repens is simple, as long as you remember a couple of precautions.
Before you start, though, make sure propagating is the right choice for you. People typically propagate this plant to grow a lot of them all at once. Exercising patience and letting your plants grow is the first step to propagating them.
Every now and then, sever a few inches from your stems and then plant them again. Make sure you leave your leaves intact when you’re cutting. Staurogyne repens need their leaves to properly photosynthesize. Feel free, however, to get rid of roots before you plant your staurogyne repens.
Should You Keep Staurogyne Repens in your Tank?
To be clear, you don’t need plants in your tank. Most fish will get along just fine without them. And you can keep your tank clean with some know-how and proper tools.
However, if you’re a beginner, there’s really no reason not to keep this plant. They are incredibly cheap because of their rising popularity. They are simple to take care of with basic equipment. And they are very effective at keeping your fish healthy and getting rid of algae.
Aspiring “aqua-scapers” will also fall in love with staurogyne repens. This plant is perfect if you want to quickly beautify your tank. You can achieve this without interfering with your fish or other organisms, too. Even if your tank is on the smaller side, you can still plant staurogyne repens for beautiful results.
Consider keeping some staurogyne repens as your first aquarium plant. You will without a doubt only benefit from keeping it with your fish.