A fairly easy and beautiful plant that will grow in a large cluster, the addition of C02 and nutrients will improve its overall health and looks, but can be grown in a low light setup. Downoi is not always an easy plant for the beginner.
Downoi means little star in Thai.
Light affects size of this plant. In high light co2 enriched conditions it tends to stay small and compact as in the low light no co2 enviroment it grows larger and the leaves grow further apart from each other.
Awesome looking plant. Unfortunately it didn't last a day in my tank. My german blue ram devoured it down to the roots. The only other plant I have that he's attracted to is Lindernia Rotundifolia Variegated. If you have fish that occasionally pick at plants, you may want to skip this one.
Tried in a low tech setup and it just all melted or just came up. Tried again in a system with pressurized co2 and it took off. Within about a week or two I noticed big start leaves coming out and small leaves popping out around the main plant in the substrate. So I'd say some Co2 addition is highly recommended. Lighting I'd say low-moderate. Tends to become uprooted very easily in the beginning until it gets a bit of a root system going, so avoid bottom feeders and other fish that might sift through the substrate or bump into it a lot. Really gorgeous looking ground cover plant.
When you buy this from petsmart you shouldn't trim off the crowns and plant them individually. The transition phase will tear up most of it. I learned this from experimenting with 20% of success rate to 95% or above. You should plant the whole stem into your substrate and you can also let it float a day or two prior to planting. Don't be afraid of the buried stems dying as it will sprout out of the ground. Let the melt fade off and when most of the leaves stay green you can then trim and replant. TIP: From my personal experience, this plant took about 4-6 weeks of melting before it was able to adapt. The longest time that I've ever waited on a transition phase to peak and the wait was very annoying.
I grow and sell these plants online, and having been doing so for over a year now. In my experience these plants like direct high light, nutrient rich substrate, regular dosing of micros and macros, and co2. Also good water circulation. I have gotten them to grow up to 3-4inches tall, and 3-4inches wide. Beautiful plant if you can meet its demands. Grows quickly under these parameters. Not for the beginner.
So I purchased this plant from Petsmart on Saturday and planted it. It started melting on Sunday as expected. What I didn't expect is my Platys had a field day nipping at them. I came home from work today to see nothing but stems in the substrate. I'm going to leave them there and hopefully they will take root and grow.