In front of me lies the wonderful book of M.D. Makhlin “The Aquarium Garden”. Probably every fan of hydroflora is well acquainted with it, as well as with K. Hasselman, who has already become an indispensable “Atlas of aquarium plants”. So, from the point of view of aqua-design, Mark Davidovich quite correctly divided water grasses into short stem and long stem, focusing the attention of readers on slow-growing short stem plants. But it so happened that the long-stemmed plants slowly gave way to apono-gutons, anubias, cryptocorynes, and krinums in aquariums. And not only in aquariums. On the pages of print publications, there are fewer and fewer articles about the “durability”.
Let us take, for example, the binder of the magazine Aquarium from 1993 to the present day: how many materials will we find about people? Found nothing but a couple of paragraphs in the Microencyclopedia?
Do not worry, in this material it will be just about the types of Ludwigia that are widespread among Russian aquarists. And if you are interested in rare species to replenish the collection - feel free to refer you to the aforementioned work of one of the greatest popularizers of aquarium XX century.
The genus Ludwig is named after the professor from Leipzig C.G. Ludwig (1709-1773) and includes more than 70 species. Belongs to the Onagrica, or Cyprus (Onagraceae) family. Cyprus is familiar to us from childhood, but only under the “popular name” - ivan-tea. The plant is used in traditional medicine and has no contraindications for use. Ludwigia creeping (Ludwigia repens) in places of its growth is also used as a medicinal plant. But mostly Ludwigia are ornamental aquatic plants.
The conditions of the aquarium luvigii not very demanding. But even the simplest plants in culture can not be attributed to them. Water hardness (in most cases) and pH is not critical for them. The temperature range of the content is quite wide (each species has its own). The main requirements are bright light (from 0.5 W / liter when using fluorescent lamps of type LB and a height of water column 40 cm) and nutritious soil. You can also recommend frequent water changes in large quantities - from 1/5 to 1/3 of the volume of the aquarium. Here, however, and all care.
Read more about the ground. Particle size, like its composition, does not matter. In principle, unlike most aquarium plants, Ludvigia can be fairly successfully maintained in garden soil for a long time. At the same time, plants form additional respiratory roots, thus adapting to the dense, oxygen-poor soil. Undoubtedly, it is better to use homogeneous gravel with a diameter of 3-5 mm and top dressing on the basis of a clay ball, or planting plants in pots-cups, where the lower layer will consist of a mixture of gravel and earth, and the top one - of pure gravel. In this case, the ventilation holes in the pot can not be done.
For quite a long time, Ludvigia calmly endure a floating state. They will even grow and give side shoots. But in the rooted state, these plants feel much better.
For commercial purposes, Ludvigia propagated by vegetative cuttings, lateral shoots from the bottom of the stem. Generative reproduction is not practiced. It is easy to get a small grove of Ludvigians: put the stem on the ground, securing it with pebbles. From almost every whorl you get a new sprout.
Aquarium ludvigii willingly leave the water. They can be kept in moist soil and on a window sill or in a greenhouse. It is also permissible to use them as ampelous plants hanging along the walls of the aquarium. But then return them back to the water - not an easy task. Even if you let the plant float freely on the surface of the water and only then root it in shallow water, there is still a high probability that the surface leaves will simply rot.
N.B. A few years ago, in the autumn, on the “Birdie”, “dry” Ludwigia, grown during the summer on summer cottages, were given. Their distinctive feature was an extremely low price - 2-3 times lower than the aquarium “topper”. Now the "deadwood" can be purchased at any time of the year thanks to imports from Asian countries. Be careful.
Probably in general enough. Let's now turn to the consideration of the species that are most commonly found in aquariums, and also try to sort out some confusion with their names.
So, most of the plants we get from Asian or European countries under commercial names. Further, these plants are acclimatized (or not - but this is a completely different story), they multiply and go on retail sale. If we acquire Ludvigia "Roséfolia", then it becomes immediately clear - this is a commercial name. It is possible to accurately determine the scientific only by flower, but it is still necessary to achieve flowering and to have pictures or photos of generative organs with a detailed description. And the microscope in this case does not hurt.
It is clear that most aquarists, including wholesalers, do not need this. Ludwig "Roséfolia" is a quite convenient commercial name for a very beautiful plant.
What happened to creeping Ludwigia and creeping Ludwigia: in most cases, crawling (Ludwigia repens) is sold under the name “Ludwigia marsh” (Ludwigia palustris), and vice versa. As for the ex-Soviet market, this problem can be partially explained by the similarity of the Latin word “repens” (in translation - “creeping”) with our “turnip” or “turnip”. The plant with leaves, similar to a turnip, and dubbed "repens", well, and the second came form - "palustris" ("palustris" marsh). Do not forget about the "iron curtain" and the lack of literature in those years.
Yes, and in the one that was available, the information was quite contradictory. In Western sources, there is approximately the same confusion, and the total error ratio is about 50:50!
The final point in this question can be put only by moving the plants to the paludarium and waiting for their flowering. But for a number of signs and descriptions of the flowering of these people, I dare to suggest that with the leaves “turnips” there is a swamp Ludwigia, not a creeping one.
Ludwigia marsh (Ludwigia palustris). The natural distribution area of this plant is Eurasia (found in the Caucasus), North and Central America, Colombia, Venezuela, North Africa. Imported to Hawaii, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.
A distinctive feature of the flower of this Ludwigia is the absence of corolla petals. The flower size is about 2 mm.
Detention conditions: bright light, nutritious soil, iron supplementation, temperature from 22 to 26 ° C. Can be recommended for aquariums with an excess of nitrogen compounds, as the plant belongs to the "nitrogen-loving".
To my great surprise, despite its “swampy” origin, this ludwig responded very well to intense (up to 50% of all three
times a week) water changes!
Depending on the lighting and nutrition, leaf color changes. In low light, the leaf loses a rich red color and becomes olive-green.
When commercially diluted by me, clay or water-insoluble AVA fertilizer, as well as their combination, was used as the root dressing. Once, during the water change, complex fertilizers were made for garden plants.
Currently, I keep this Ludwigia in the general aquarium in disposable cups, the structure of the soil in which is described above.
This plant willingly leaves the water and hangs along the walls of the aquarium. A peculiar sight: I managed to see this when I left several branches on the window sill in a small aquarium in the summer and forgot about them for several weeks.
At registration of an aquarium it is possible to land with group of 5 and more branches on the average plan. In summer, the Ludwigia marsh can be planted along the coastline of ponds.
Ludwigia creeping (Ludwigia repens). Distribution - USA, Mexico. It is possible to reliably distinguish it from other representatives of the genus only by flower. The literature mentions many varieties (I met at least four).
This species is less demanding on light intensity than Ludwigia palustris.
The temperature is desirable below 26 ° C, although the plants are quite able to exist for some time in more heated water, but at the same time their growth rates are significantly reduced.
In an optimal environment, this Ludwigia grows quite quickly: under the same conditions, the increase in Ludwigia repens is 2-3 times higher than that of its “swamp” relative.
Due to the rapid growth of the group of these plants will have to constantly prune. The best place for them in the arrangement is the background of the aquarium.
There is a hybrid of Ludwigia palustris x Ludwigia repens. It should be noted that a number of suppliers under this name simply supply both of the above mentioned people (in order not to understand the confusion, probably).
Despite its popularity in Europe, this hybrid of commercial success did not win in Moscow. I personally did not work with him, but a number of acquaintances of professional aquarists tried to multiply and implement it intensively. And if with the first there were no problems, then with the second ...
Ludwig arc (Ludwigia arcuata). Distribution - the eastern regions of the United States. Determination is possible by the flower and additionally by the finely serrated edges of the surface sheet.
Unlike the previous species, this Ludwig has narrow linear sheet plates. With a sheet length up to 4 cm, its width is only 3 mm. Color from green to red.
Capricious, but already very beautiful plant. Probably, it is the last factor that makes people, despite previous failures, experiment again and again with the content and reproduction of this Ludwigia.
The most important thing for its successful cultivation is a bright light. The more intense it is, the redder the leaf. My "arkuaty" contained in low light, and this explains the green color of their leaves. Dim lighting is also explained very simply - the plant feels good at a temperature of 24-26 ° C. Rather narrow range.
Additional light sources in my case will raise the temperature, and this should not be allowed. I have seen the growing season of arcuate Ludwigia in water with a temperature above 28 “C, this spectacle did not leave any pleasant impressions: in such conditions, the leaf plates of the plant noticeably shrink, and this inevitably leads to a loss of decorativeness.
Perhaps it matters and dGH water. The literature recommends water "from soft to medium hardness." The Moscow water supply system provides us with this, but in the Moscow region the water is excessively hard, and the Lodvigians grown there are not so beautiful.
Growing slowly, so that the place they - on the average plan. And as always in a group.
Ludwigia brevipes (Ludwigia brevipes). Range - Southeastern United States.
I admit that this plant is in the collection of Russian aquarists; it is very difficult to distinguish it from the previous species by flower and degree of stem pubescence: with surface culture, the stem of this Ludwigia is bare, unlike the slightly pubescent “arcuate” relative.
What makes me think about its presence in culture? Yes, simply, other things being equal for the kind of requirements for conditions of detention, the recommended optimum temperature for this species is 22-26 ° C. And such plants in our market are found. Add to this a number of similar plants with all sorts of commercial names supplied to us from abroad. Draw your own conclusions.
I think that in the design of aquariums this plant can be used in the same way as the previous one.
In the culture, two more hybrids are bred that often go on sale: Ludwigia repens x Ludwigia arcuata and Ludwigia arcuata x Ludwigia repens. These are two completely different plants. Rasvodchiki do not pay them special attention: in contrast to the market of hybrid echinodorus, the “baptismal” of Ludwig does not enjoy great demand.
On this, you can probably finish the article, since its purpose was to acquaint you with the most common types of people. Descriptions of rarities you can study in literature and the Internet, but not everyone wants to understand commercial and scientific names. But if you have such a desire and you will plant the plants in the paludarium, you will achieve their flowering, photograph or paint the flowers ... Do not take the trouble to share your information with the author of this modest work and the editors of the journal.
Maintenance and care
The representative of this family is actually undemanding to the conditions of the aquatic environment. For fast and healthy growth, it is enough to keep the water temperature around 21-27 degrees. If the water in the aquarium is cold, then the people can stop growing, discard the lower leaves, or fall ill.
Now let's talk about the duration of daylight. The more light that hits the surface of the shoots, the better. The plant loves direct sunlight. Thanks to them, metabolic processes are accelerated and photosynthesis is improved.
In cloudy weather, you can use artificial lighting (at least 11-12 hours).
Reproduction is done in a very simple way - cutting. To do this, cut the top 10 cm off the adult plant with sharp scissors and drop the cutting straight into the ground. If you want to get a plant with a thick crown, then you need to tear off a couple of leaves from a healthy stem, and young shoots will start to grow from these places after a while.
This specimen is also useful in that its leaves actively produce oxygen, and thickets can cover a whole flock of fry. In addition, some species of fish with a lack of vitamins and macronutrients can be happy to eat the leaves of the plant for food.
This species is characterized by long, branched stems with oval leaves. In specially created conditions, it can grow to a height of up to half a meter.
Marsh Ludwig grows on the edge of ponds or in shallow places. Therefore, it is planted in containers with a low water level (the stems do not stretch upwards, but fill the surrounding space) and are used to decorate the back wall.
Ludwig swamp grows well in clean water, the temperature of which ranges from 18 to 23 degrees. She feels great in bright and long-term (over 11 hours) coverage. In such conditions, the upper leaves become dark red.
If the light is not enough, the color loses saturation. After complete cleaning of the aquarium, provided that all the soil was washed, you should add the fertilizer - crushed clay.
What you need to know about aquarium plants?
How to make fertilizer for aquarium plants, read here.
Popular types of ferns for aquarium.
The plant received this name due to the saturated burgundy color of the leaves. Ludwig ruby is very picky about lighting. It acquires a beautiful dark red color only due to long (from 13 hours) light. Water temperature should be between 21 and 25 degrees.
In an aquarium, Ludwigia ruby is planted in several pieces in shallow soil or sand. Thus, groups of reddish thickets will stand out brightly and beautifully against the background of other green algae. This species likes regular feeding with iron particles. Thanks to this element, its leaves are painted in a beautiful dark red color.
Remarkably grows and develops in tanks with clean water. The temperature should be 21-25 degrees. Like other species, prefers bright light, but does not tolerate direct sunlight.
There is a risk of the appearance of a moss-like bloom from algae on the leaves, which can lead to the occurrence of diseases and rotting.
Healthy leaves have a glossy surface. They are green above and red below. This species of Ludwigia prefers low-level aquariums. Depending on the depth, leaves can grow up to 2-3 cm in length.
Flowering is the most important indicator that all the conditions have been created for the further growth of the green inhabitant of a domestic pond. In Ludvigia, a creeping flower has a yellow color.
So Ludwig is a beautiful and useful plant for any aquarium. Thanks to its color, it diversifies the interior and becomes a safe haven for small fish. Among the many species of this plant most often in aquariums you can find the following instances of Ludwigia: ruby, creeping and marsh. They all take root well, grow quickly and multiply under the required conditions.