This is quite a hardy aquarium plant, one that gets very large with super long and green leaves. The crypt balansae is a very beautiful plant that is suitable for any larger aquarium.
Let’s take a closer look at this particular plant, as well as a quick look at some other plants in the Cryptocoryne Balansae family.
Table of contents
- 1 Cryptocoryne Balansae Profile
- 2 Cryptocoryne Balansae Benefits
- 3 How To Care For Cryptocoryne Balansae
- 4 Cryptocoryne Balansae Propagation
- 5 What Is Crypt Melt, And What Causes It?
- 6 Cryptocoryne Balansae Reproduction
- 7 Other Plants In The Cryptocoryne Family
- 8 Conclusion
Cryptocoryne Balansae Profile
Cryptocoryne Balansae is actually a part of the araceae family of plants, and it has its origins in Southeast Asia, India , and Papua New Guinea.
This plant usually grows in fairly fast moving rivers or streams where it gets plenty of nutrients thanks to strong water currents. In the rivers which it grows in, this plant enjoys growing on rocky substrates and other hard objects which the runners can easily attach themselves to.
In terms of the size and appearance of the Cryptocoryne Balansae , it has very long strap like leaves which can grow up to 55 centimeters, or just under 22 inches in height, making it one of the larger aquarium plants which you could put in a tank.
These leaves are usually around 1 inch thick, and these strap like leaves also usually look like ribbons, or in other words, they tend to have a wavy pattern to them, almost as if the leaves had been hit with a hammer from top to bottom at regular intervals.
For this reason, mainly due to the size of the Cryptocoryne Balansae , it is usually always used as a background plant.
Remember that this is also one of the faster growing plants that you can put in your fish tank or even an aquascape tank.
In terms of caring for the Cryptocoryne Balansae, it is a fairly hardy plant and will usually do fine if you provide it with moderate to high lighting, although it can technically also survive in low light conditions.
Remember that this plant lives in fairly fast moving waters, so it does enjoy having a decent current in the tank, particularly because this is how it picks up a lot of its nutrients, through water column fertilization.
The Cryptocoryne plant is a little bit picky in terms of water conditions and parameters, so one thing to keep in mind here is that you do need to keep the water clean, very much so, and remember to keep the temperature between 75 and 82 degrees, with a water hardness level between 4 and 8 dGH, with a pH level ranging from 6.8 to 7.5.
Cryptocoryne Balansae Benefits
You might be wondering what sort of benefits the Cryptocoryne Balansae can bring to your tank.
Well, there are actually quite a few of them. While this plant definitely looks very nice, there are many other benefits which the Cryptocoryne Balansae will bring to your aquarium, so let’s take a quick look at the main ones.
Shelter for Fish
One big benefit which the Cryptocoryne Balansae brings to fish tanks is that due to its large size and multitude of leaves, it makes for a great fish shelter in aquariums.
It is a very good plant for fish that like to feel secure and have some shelter. Fish in the wild enjoy having shelter from above, as it allows them to hide from predators such as birds, as well as other fish who might be looking for an easy meal.
Even if just for fun and out of curiosity, fish seem to really enjoy swimming through and under the foliage.
The next big benefit which the Cryptocoryne Balansae brings to aquariums is that it serves as a great natural water filter.
This plant picks up a lot of nutrients and contaminants from the water as it goes through its regular photosynthesis growth process.
No, of course this plant cannot rival a high power aquarium filter, but it can certainly help keep aquarium water clean none the less.
Yet another benefit which the Cryptocoryne Balansae brings to aquariums is that it helps to oxygenate the water.
This is a big plant, which means that as it engages in photosynthesis, it releases a good deal of oxygen into the water, thus allowing fish to breathe easier.
If you have the Cryptocoryne Balansae in your tank, and the tank is not too large, you might not even need an air pump and an air stone.
A Defence Against Algae
In case you don’t know, algae in fish tanks usually grows due to there being a lot of extra nutrients in the water, as well as ammonia and other compounds.
Seeing as the Cryptocoryne Balansae is a great plant in terms of water filtration, this can stop algae blooms from occurring.
When you have plants like this, ones which absorb a lot of the extra nutrients and compounds in the water, it will take away the nutrients which algae needs to grow, thus stopping it in its tracks.
Fast Growing Food
There are many fish out there that enjoy eating greenery in fish tanks. Of course, not all of them do, but those fish that do like eating plants often enjoy the soft and tender leaves of the Cryptocoryne Balansae.
Due to the fact that this is a fairly fast growing plant, you don’t have to worry too much about your fish eating the whole plant.
As long as you don’t have an aquarium full of voracious eaters, the Cryptocoryne Balansae should be able to grow at a faster rate than it is being eaten.
Fairly Low Maintenance
Many people also enjoy Cryptocoryne due to the fact that it does not require all that much maintenance, just a bit of trimming, as well as the right water conditions.
Yes, there is also the fact that this is one of the prettier looking fish tank plants out there. Those long and green leaves look very nice as they undulate in a decent water current.
How To Care For Cryptocoryne Balansae
Cryptocoryne care is not very difficult at all. As long as you follow the tips which we are about to lay out for you below, you should not have taking care of it.
- If necessary, you may need to get a decent aquarium heater to keep the temperature between 75 and 82 degrees. Remember that having the right water parameters is quite important here.
- Cryptocoryne Balansae needs the water to be fairly soft in terms of the dissolved mineral content. It does not enjoy having too much calcium or other dissolved minerals in the water, so you may need to use a water softener to keep this parameter at the ideal level.
- Seeing as the Cryptocoryne Balansae enjoys having the water pH level be very slightly acidic, neutral, or slightly alkaline, you may need to use a pH altering chemical in the tank in order to keep this parameter at the ideal level.
- You will want to get a decent aquarium light to provide Cryptocoryne Balansae with moderate to high lighting, as it grows best with a good amount of light. While it can survive in low light conditions, it won’t grow as fast or healthy as it otherwise would.
- You should have a fairly strong aquarium filter for this particular piece of greenery because as previously mentioned, Cryptocoryne Balansae grows in fairly strong water currents, and you do want to replicate these conditions in your fish tank.
- To allow Cryptocoryne Balansae to grow as fast and strong as possible, you may want to supplement the water with some added CO2 and fertilizers, although this is not 100% necessary.
- The only other thing that you need to know here is that this thing does grow quickly, so depending on the size of your aquarium, you will probably need to trim the leaves on occasion. Using a razor blade or something similar (as long as the blade is thin and super sharp), you can easily trim the leaves down to keep them at an ideal size for your freshwater tanks and ponds.
Cryptocoryne Balansae Propagation
Propagating Cryptocoryne Balansae is about as easy as it gets because it all happens through the offshoots.
The mother plant will send out runners, almost like little strings, which will then grow leaves at the top and roots at the bottom.
Once this occurs, you can then separate the new growth from the mother using something like a razor blade, and then place it in any part of the tank you see fit. Through this reproduction method, it can multiply and spread at a fairly rapid pace.
What Is Crypt Melt, And What Causes It?
Crypt melt is the biggest problem which cryptocorynes like this face, and it is characterized by the leaves dying and falling off. There are several things that can cause crypt melt to occur.
- High nitrite or nitrate levels in the water can cause crypt melt.
- Rapid changes in water conditions, such as pH and temperature changes can cause crypt melt.
- Being moved from being immersed to submerged too quickly can cause crypt melt.
- Getting far too much light, especially when it is still young, may cause crypt melt.
- Unclean water can also cause crypto melt to occur.
If not taken care of in a timely manner, crypt melt can be fatal. To prevent crypt melt from occurring, simply follow all of the tips which we have covered in today’s article so far.
Cryptocoryne Balansae Reproduction
As mentioned above, cryptocoryne reproduces through runners and offshoots. As long as you keep the water clean and at the right parameters, it should reproduce all on its own, and quite quickly at that too.
Once you seperate the offshoots from the mother, you can then place them in rocky substrate or even attempt to tie the bare roots to hardscape items to make one heck of a focal point.
Other Plants In The Cryptocoryne Family
There are a few other cryptocoryne species that exist, ones that you can put in your aquarium. Here is a short summary of the most common cryptocoryne species out there.
Cryptocoryne crispatula looks very similar to balansae, with the main difference being that it grows in limestone heavy waters in Thailand, so it is likes hard water.
This one has long leaves, usually dark brown or green in color, and it is indeed one of the easiest species from this family to maintain. It can grow submerged or submersed, and it can be grown in various substrates too.
This one features very long and green foliage, it is the easiest to maintain by far, and also the most common crypt species that people have in their tanks.
This is a really cool one because the foliage is green on the top and red on the bottom. It’s also one of the hardiest crypts out there, as it can tolerate a very wide temperature range.
The defining feature of the walker is that it is very rigid in terms of its structure. Moreover, this is perhaps the least common among crypt variations out there and can be quite hard to come by.
As you can see, as long as you follow all of the tips which we have outlined here today, you should have any problems maintaining this beautiful piece of greenery.
Photo Credit: Xema Romero (Wikimedia Commons CC)