what a great plant. I have two varieties in my tank. The dward is the most mysterious. It has only put one pad up as long as I have had it. They seem to like a lot of fertilizer. I use both a seachem root fertilizer under the soil as wll as KENT liquids. I have mine in white sandy soil and found that it is very important to keep the plant very shallow. If you have an under-performing Lotus, scrape soil away to expose the tuber or root and it will take off. The pads that they put up are awesome and last for about 2 weeks in mytanks. My angels eat them if I dont keep em well fed.
I have [I]Nymphaea Stellata[/I] (AKA Dwarf Red Lilly), and adore it. It hugs the substrate closely, and whether this is a case of its typical growth habit, or my high lighting (5 WPG 6700K CF)- I cannot say. It ventures out in a radial pattern, yet remains low. It grows faster than you might imagine, at about a leaf every two days. The color has a bit of a copper to it, which is rarely well depicted in pictures. Its leaves are thin and delicate. At first I was concerned that my high water flow might damage it, but it adjusted accordingly, and shows no sign of weakness. It currently resides in a 20L with sand capped Shultz soil substrate and Seachem macro and iron ferts. It makes a great easy care focal point in any size tank.
This thing is awsome, I have 2x of these in my 75g and one has shot up several 4-6" pads in the past 4 months that I have had it, the other one I have has grown quite bushy but has yet to send up anything to the surface despite the fact that they both grow in exactly the same conditions. Also they send out a lot of roots in a radial pattern and as such will require some trimming from time to time or they will quickly choke out other plants and start trying to climb the walls of your tank.
I keep one of these in a 30XH Honey Gourami tank. Within a week of planting the bulb, there were 4-6 stems running up the aquarium. By the end of the month, the leaves spread across the whole water surface! Great cover for the Gouramis and the water pockets that form on the surface between the leaves and the open air have created a sort of Cherry Shrimp apartment complex. Very cool plant!
This plant is reasonably hardy. I do not have a light fixture on my aquarium and it still has healthy looking leaves. The leaves grow quicker than my amazon sword (though that may be due to lack of light) and have a nice green/purple hue. I have kept them in betta bowls as well as 10 gallon aquarium and they have adapted very well. Depending on the depth of water they can have leaves as short as 1/2" from the substrate to more than a foot. I have one now that has a combination of both types of leaves for a nice tiered look (the stems grow first and then the leaves open up when they reach their maximum size).
My plant grew like crazy during a three day blackout. Unfortunately, under two T5NO bulbs the growth rate slowed down and the plant started hugging the substrate and eventually melted away. In my soil tank with 2wpg this plant grew a whopping 15" high and started to take over my 29 gallon tank.
I love my lotus. It's a giant in my 55 but all of my fish seem to love it. It's finally starting to floer afteer about sx months of heavy light and fertilizing. Can't wait, will post some pics when the flower opens.
I thought mine had died off, but when I re-started root tabs and added more ferts (same amount of CO2) it took off. I have two of them in a 125 gal discus tank.The lilly pads are 10 inches wide and made it to dark in the tank, so I trimmed off 6 of the 8 pads and within 2 days....I now have a bloom shoot that is about 2 days away from blooming!