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Plant of the Month
- January: Rotala macrandra
- February: Crinum calamistratum
March: Elatine triandra
- April: Tonina fluviatilis
- May: Bacopa caroliniana
- June: Bolbitis heudelotii
- July: Rotala rotundifolia
- August: Syngonanthus sp. "Belem"
- September: Cryptocoryne wendtii
- October: Ludwigia inclinata
- November: Ludwigia x lacustris
- Lagenandra meeboldii “pink”
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Common Names: Threestamen waterwort, longstem waterwort, mudwort
Native Distribution: United States and Canada
Aquarium Placement: Foreground
Requirements: CO2, high light, heavy iron supplementation, and macrofertilizer
Description: Elatine triandra is a delightful foreground plant. Its small stem width of ½ to 1 inch, rich bright green color, and ease of growth make it a beautiful choice in any size aquarium. The somewhat elongated and rosette-like leaves at the stem’s end make it a unique foreground plant.
In nature this plant grows along the edges of waterways and, more specifically, in the mud flats of tidal rivers and marshes. Its natural habitat is in the cooler regions, and it reseeds itself for each growing season, making it an annual plant. Relatively rare and hard to find, it can be obtained from fellow hobbyists. The hobbyist should expect an adjustment period for this plant while it acclimates to its new environment. It does not ship well and is not generally available commercially.
E. triandra is a nutrient hog; high light, rich macrofertilizer, heavy iron supplementation, and CO2 are essential. If any one of these is not supplied, the plant will melt and disappear. Even when a rich, nutritious substrate is provided, additional fertilizer must be dosed into the water column.
Notes: E. triandra is just one of 10 Elatine species, and out of those only three are kept by aquarists: E. americana, E. minima, and E. triandra. It is important to know which species you are getting before purchase because all three have some unique care requirements. Another important point is that it will take a good deal of effort to obtain any of the three species, since they are unavailable commercially and can only be obtained from other hobbyists.