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Lobelia Cardinalis Aquarium Plant Care

Lobelia Cardinalis Aquarium Plant Care

Very difficult plant with leaves of dark green on the front and red on the back. The origin is the emery plant, but hybrids have been obtained that can be used in aquariums. In the aquarium, the leaves have a lighter green color, then return to their normal color when they reach the surface of the water.

Can be used with ease and pond planting. When rising above the water, it forms blooming red blooms. It needs fertilized substrate and CO2 addition. Multiplication by seedlings to be planted in the substrate after the leaves are removed.

Info Table

  • Origin: North & Central America
  • Height: 20-30 cm
  • Circumference(Width): 17-15 cm
  • Light: High – Very high
  • Temperature: 5-26 C
  • Water Hardness: 4-20 dGH
  • pH: 5,8-7,8
  • Growth Rate: Fast
  • Difficulty: High (Not a beginner plant)
  • Familie: Lobeliaceae
  • Buy Now From Amazon

In North America, Lobelia cardinalis grows wild. In the nursery, in marshy conditions, this plant is cultivated to form dark green leaves, which are purple below. In aquariums with stems 10-30 cm tall and 5-10 cm wide, the feeds turn into a beautiful shade of light-green.

It grows over the water area in open aquariums, where very beautiful scarlet flowers form and the sheets return to color. It can be used in garden ponds. The florets are very common in the Netherlands aquariums in the so-called “plant streets.”

The good supply of nutrients, the addition of CO2 and enough light lead to a very bushy habit and lovely green color. The plant also manufactures many plants of the daughters that are cut off and replantable, and the roots of the nodes are covered with dense foliage and many lateral shoots.

This plant tends to grow long, which doesn’t look very nice when the light is insufficient and nutrients are scarce. Nor does it produce as many side shoots, which significantly impede propagation.

Planting the Lobelia Cardinalis & ensuring a healthy growth

When it comes to actually put this plant in soil, things aren’t very difficult. You can use any type of soil you want, but it is recommended that you start with nutrient-rich soil, such as Amazonia Aqua Soil (Link to Amazon). This is very good for beginners as it will provide the most nutrients that the plant will require.

But having just the soil is not enough to keep your plant healthy. As many expert aquascapers recommend using the Amazonia soil for aquarium plants, having some extra nutrients thrown in the water will help the plant develop very well.

Lobelia Cardinalis is known for being a difficult plant, but with the right care and the right products, you can have a good looking and healthy planted aquarium.

Having a CO2 system in your aquarium will benefit all your plants, not only Lobelia. It does require a moderate amount of CO2 to reach its full potential. Having CO2 will help the plant grow faster and it will have rich colors.

Setting up the aquarium for the Lobelia Cardinalis

Every beginner aquarist does not give in to the temptations to go through all stages of the aquarium. Usually, the attraction of buying various species of fish is very large, then with the accumulation of information and experience, it will reach the desire to have a planted aquarium.

The planted aquarium is an environment that offers the transference of a landscape from nature to our place of relaxation.

Planted aquaria require a lot of experience but also patience. This is a process of evolution and permanent change, everything is alive, natural and constantly changing.

Aquarium equipment comes to your passion with small tips, secrets, suggestions, designed to help you reach the dreamed biotope.

Equipment Required

The planted aquarium, conforming to the recommendations of aquarium equipment, must meet the following criteria:

The aquarium has to be generous in size to create the desired environment. We recommend that the height is not more than 60 cm because the higher the underlying plants will suffer because of the diminishing intensity that will reach them.

Width or, as we say, depth, is very important to get the greatest visual impact. About the length, we can not say that there are limitations, each and everyone allows space.

Lighting must be a qualitative one with a spectrum of light specific to planted aquariums, the minimum quantity for a planted aquarium being 0.5 Watts/liter. If you want to keep your plants well, then even 1 W / liter is recommended.

Compensation of a less powerful light can be done by mounting reflective surfaces that reflect the light to the surface of the water.

It must be taken into account that the boundary between a well-planted aquarium and one full of algae is extremely fragile, a small imbalance and everything can change. That’s why you need patience and much attention in choosing the equipment.


Aquarium equipment recommends external filters, which have the advantage of not occupying the space for proper decoration. Do not compromise on this chapter and do not buy an undersized one.

A quality filter requires a minimum of cleaning once every 4-6 months depending on the load of the living. The little secret revealed by aquarium equipment is that inside the filter is the micro bacteria plant that will support the aquarium in natural balance. So disturb this environment as rarely as there is no imbalance in the stability of the basin.

The temperature can be set by means of a heater. You can choose one that will stay in the aquarium substrate or a vertical one in the corner of the basin, placed diametrically opposed to the thermometer that will show the right temperature in the water.

The optimal temperature in terms of aquarium equipment is located between 24 and 28 degrees, outside these beaches some more sensitive plants suffer.

The UV system, like any other fish or saltwater pool, has the role of neutralizing bacteria damaging livestock and controlling some types of algae that can invade the aquarium.

The shared secret of aquarium equipment is that the UV lamp is the only way to remove the so-called green water (all water gets green and no fish can be seen). This is an invading alga that cannot be neutralized by other methods.

We recommend using the UV lamp only during aquarium illumination because it can also remove the added fertilizer for plant growth.

Another thing revealed by aquarium equipment is that it does not mount the UV before the water enters the filtration system, destroying the beneficial bacteria of the biotope.

The Co2 system. Carbon dioxide is extremely beneficial for aquarium plants. In the natural environment carbon dioxide is supplied by the sludge deposited on the bottom of the water by bacterial decomposition of plants and dead algae.

Often, the water in our aquariums contains too little CO2. This is because wastewater treatment plants extract the natural carbon dioxide content from the water.

Unlike what is happening in the natural environment in aquariums, there is a lack of natural carbon dioxide. As a result, the plants in our aquariums do not have the elements necessary for vigorous development, they are weak, pale and atrophied, their immune system is affected, the algae colonize the leaves.

For plants to grow harmoniously and to keep fish healthy, it is recommended that the level of carbon dioxide in aquariums is artificially increased.

We recommend that the addition of co2 be monitored using the Ph level, which should be around 6.2-6.8 ph. Depending on the plant requirements, aquarium equipment recommends mounting a ph controller to help maintain the desired level. It will start and stop carbon dioxide in such a way that the level is kept constant.

Arrangement of the Aquarium

The substrate – here begins the proper arrangement. It must be of good quality with a 2-3 mm grain. The finer it is, the higher the risk of asphyxiation of the roots.

The substrate must have a thickness of 3-5 cm so that plants can be planted without problems. There are various types of fertilized substrate that will later help the plant’s roots to extract the necessary substances.

It will be arranged in preference mode, small islands can be made higher than the base, or you can choose to sit in steps starting from 3 cm at the front and ending 5 cm at the back (this also helps and to the profound effect of depth).

The color remains to be set depending on the desired contrast. Aquarium equipment does not recommend the multicolored substrate, it destroys the natural effect that a planted aquarium should emit.

Diseases that can affect Lobelia Cardinalis

Mostly, aquarium plants have fewer diseases than emersed plants. But the main reasons to worry are the lack of essential nutrients that the plant requires.

What are the shortcomings?

We often wonder why the aquarium does not work after expectations, despite being perfectly equipped and maintained. Lack of a nutrient can have negative effects on plant growth and may prevent the absorption of other nutrients.

Sometimes, the deficiencies of certain elements in water show their effects on plants, and this can be very upsetting.

Deficiencies or deficiencies of aquarium plants are often difficult to diagnose because the affected leaves look very similar. Despite this, this article will attempt to describe the most important shortcomings.

CO2 deficiency

Deficiency of CO2 is usually the biggest problem. It is preferable to have a CO2 level of 20 – 30 ppm in the aquarium. And not just the CO2 level can cause this deficiency, but also the flow of water and its movement.

We would inject CO2 if we let it out of the aquarium immediately. The goal is that the aquarium water circuit is designed so that the CO2 enriched water is thrown around the plant area and they benefit fully.

It is good to try to have an hourly flow of at least 10 times the size of the aquarium so that the aquarium water is filtered at least 10 times in an hour.

Mobile and immobile nutrients

If there is a lack of a particular nutrient, the plants can transfer this nutrient from the oldest leaves to the new leaves to ensure the growth of the plant.

This is an alternative way for plants to make sure they survive. Different nutrients can be transferred inside the plant at different transfer rates.

We can share these nutrients in two groups – mobile and immobile. Real estate nutritionists are those who travel at a slower speed and thus do not arrive on time to new leaves, so these leaves begin to show symptoms of deficiency.

Mobile nutrients are faster, they are immediately transferred to new leaves, and as a result, the symptoms of the deficiency of those nutrients begin to appear on the older leaves.

Related Questions

Does Lobelia Cardinalis require a big tank? You can plant Lobelia in any sized tank, it doesn’t have a minimum or a maximum size preference. The plant will grow according to the tank it is placed in and according to the number of nutrients it receives.

What fish can be put along with Lobelia Cardinalis? Most types of fish will work. You need to keep an eye for Chiclids and Goldfish, they tend to eat the leaves of the plant.

Do I require any special substrate for my Lobelia Cardinalis? Not really. You can plant Lobelia in garden soil or even on beach sand, as long as it gets its nutrients, the plant will grow just fine. But if you want something special for your plant, you can go with the Amazonia Aqua Soil.

Does Lobelia Cardinalis require frequent trimming? If the plant is healthy and it has sufficient light and nutrients, it will grow at a faster phase. When the plant becomes too big for your tank or it is aesthetically bad, you can trim the leaves with a pair of scissors.

jasmine young

Saturday 18th of April 2020

my plant has spots on the leaves, I am not using co2 cause of a fish I have that can not have co2. the spots, is it because of NO CO2 or is it because of all the snail I have makin babies.

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