Planted Tank Obsessed
The onion plant is an easy bulb plant that grows in most conditions. It grows roots fairly quickly, but has a long acclimation period before it starts growing new leaves (usually a couple weeks). The long ribbon-like leaves are tough but snap easily. It doesn't usually have more than about ten leaves at a time, but each leaf grows to (or well over) a YARD long. Hence, it has a minimum tank size: 20 inch tall tank or more. Tank pictured is 27 inches tall.
[B]It puts a few unique demands during planting: Peel off all dead leaves and peel off the outer layer of the bulb. Trim off most or all of the roots. Then, bury the very bottom tip of it. If the whole bulb or even half is buried, the outer layer rots, turns clear brown and gets slime around the base. After it is growing well, you can remove old and broken leaves, which encourages new ones. A new leaf comes every 10 days or so, but probably faster in a high tech tank.[/B]
Propagation is more difficult and slow than most plants. Maybe it is the high PH around here, but... Apparently it produces daughter bulbs eventually, and may even flower in the aquarium. I have never seen either of these yet...
It needs a deep substrate of 2-3 inches. It does well with no CO2. I add no fertilizers, except for the odd root tab, and it does fine. However, it is pretty much the only plant in the tank: Tinfoil barbs and other plant eating fish don't eat it. To put things into perspective, tinfoil barbs eat java fern, hornwort and java moss. HERBIVORE SAFE. The lighting is about 1.5 wpg.
It could make a background plant, if you have enough, (they cost at least 5 bucks a plant) but it could be a single specimen in the mid-ground as well in a tall tank, sort of like poor man's Crinum calamistratum.