The red Eriocaulon quinquangulare complements Alternanthera reineckii and Trithuria lanterna in this layout.
This reddish Eriocaulon originates from India and is a recent addition to the aquatic hobby. It is farmed as an emersed grown bog/terrarium plant in some plant nurseries. The submerged forms can be relatively short with adult plants around 2.5 - 3 inches tall. It is reddish at the base of the plant with leaves fading to olive/orange towards the tips.
It grows well at steady pace in the aquarium as long as light and CO2 are at good levels. This plant should not be shaded. It grows very well in ammonia rich aquasoils. The plant is delicate and should be handled gently; it is easily squished. It is sensitive to KH and should be kept in low alkalinity water. As a short plant - it's important to direct flow/CO2 to the substrate zone.
The main difficulty in handling this plant is that the submerged forms do not take long shipping well. If shipping for longer distances (3 days +), emersed forms might ship better. Having a healthy specimen is essential for the plant to transition smoothly into the tank environment.
Nitrate limitation can increase the redness in Eriocaulon Quinquangulare; the reddish portion at the base extends further towards the tips. Plants will also grow more slowly - as with any nitrate limiting regime - do it too severely and you risk crashing growth in the tank.
Unlike other varieties of Eriocaulon, this species does not seem to flower/seed underwater. For best Eriocaulon care, read see key success factors below.
KEY SUCCESS FACTORS
HOW TO GET IT REDDER
Eriocaulon quinquangulare is often grown emersed in farms. They transport better in this form.
Relative size comparison of young Eriocaulon quinquangulare to Trithuria sp. Blood vomit at foreground; these are grown under nitrate limitation. Same plants about 2 months later show below.
Relative size comparison to other plants in Tom barr's tank.
As with some other Eriocaulons, the root system can be longer than the leaf portion of the plant. This is a medium sized specimen.