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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have several Crypt. wendtii ‘Green Gecko’ that have been growing well in a heavily planted, lightly stocked, 100 gallon tank (21” deep) with moderate light, Osmocote granules mixed into dirt capped with black blasting sand, weekly Simple Green, I’ve added root tabs around the heaviest root feeders. I have a large variety of plants from swords, several other species of Crypts, lots of Buces, a few Aponogetons, some dwarf lilies ‘Zenkeri’, a few ferns, and some AR ‘Roseafolia’. Tank has been running since mid-March this year. Had some minor algae issues coming under control now.

So one of these crypts just started changing form (likely in response to lowish light for the depth of the tank) starting about 3 weeks ago. The newer leaves were paler, softer, taller, wider, and slightly more ruffled. Now just in the last week it’s shot up 3 leaves that have incredibly long stems and is producing leaves that are darker, nearly flat, narrow, about the same length of the more standard leaves but shorter than the “new” longer ruffled leaves, and laying on the surface like water lily leaves!

I’ve been searching without having any luck finding any info about this. I’m reasonably certain it’s probably an adaptation looking for more light, but wondered if anybody has had this happen before? Has this Crypt plant decide to only grow surface leaves like lilies do? Or can I get better lights and make it grown more like the rest of the crypts again? It’s kind of neat and none of the other Crypts are doing this. The Crypt wendtii ‘Red’ is maintaining nice color, Crypt. axelrodii is also maintaining nice color and markings and they’re growing on either side of the single one of the group of Crypt. ‘Green Gecko’ in question. Crypt. ‘Pink Panther’ recently added (was previously grown emerse) has had minimal melt and is producing new leaves with a nice level of pink.

Disregard the floating bits in the water. I had to do a quick glass clean to get a better pic, lol! Water change and maintenance day tomorrow 🤷🏻‍♀️😉

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I know I've read a post here within the past month or so regarding this same phenomenon happening to a giant crypt. I have never personally had this happen but it does seem as though some specimens will put out surface leaves in response to parameter changes.
 

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From the pictures, it looks like that's an Aponogeton, not Cryptocoyne. Are those leaves in the bottom picture attached to the long stems in the first? Aponogeton definitely push up to the surface and grow floating leaves which look a lot like the ones in the bottom picture. In all my years keeping Cryptocoryne I've never seen one shoot for the surface even if the leaves grow tall enough to bend over and sit on the surface like Vallisneria do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
From the pictures, it looks like that's an Aponogeton, not Cryptocoyne. Are those leaves in the bottom picture attached to the long stems in the first? Aponogeton definitely push up to the surface and grow floating leaves which look a lot like the ones in the bottom picture. In all my years keeping Cryptocoryne I've never seen one shoot for the surface even if the leaves grow tall enough to bend over and sit on the surface like Vallisneria do.
I know! It crazy but it reminds me of Aponogeton ulvaceus! It came in as Crypt ‘Green Gecko’, looked the same as the rest of the Crypts it came in with, has been growing the same for at least 2 months, and had no distinct bulb of any sort. I supposed it could be an Aponogeton but I have been searching and finally found a report of Crypt lucens doing something similar.

I suspect either my light may be right on the borderline except ‘Pink Panther’ is coming in with decent color in the new submerse growth. Or somebody got a very young ulvaceus or other Apo mixed into the crypts.

Here’s a pic of base so you can see the older leaves and how they compare to the adjacent crypts.

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I know! It crazy but it reminds me of Aponogeton ulvaceus! It came in as Crypt ‘Green Gecko’, looked the same as the rest of the Crypts it came in with, has been growing the same for at least 2 months, and had no distinct bulb of any sort. I supposed it could be an Aponogeton but I have been searching and finally found a report of Crypt lucens doing something similar.

I suspect either my light may be right on the borderline except ‘Pink Panther’ is coming in with decent color in the new submerse growth. Or somebody got a very young ulvaceus or other Apo mixed into the crypts.

Here’s a pic of base so you can see the older leaves and how they compare to the adjacent crypts.

View attachment 1030544 View attachment 1030544
I agree on the Aponogeton assesment and that would be very Aponogeton-like to do that. I have never had any of several Crypts ever do that. By the way that Madagascar Lace is awesome!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I agree on the Aponogeton assesment and that would be very Aponogeton-like to do that. I have never had any of several Crypts ever do that. By the way that Madagascar Lace is awesome!
Thanks! I really like how the lace is doing! I probably need to root tab it again. I’d like a little faster growth but I’m half afraid it will decide to go gargantuan on me! I‘m about 95% certain that I got lucky and got Henkelianus since my leaves are quite wide with multiple longitudinal ribs.

I have literally dozens of crypts just in this tank (6 different species and 2 varieties in this tank alone) and this is the first to do anything like this! I have dozens more of most of these species and others scattered throughout multiple tanks, many are lower light (or more shaded) than this one and haven’t even remotely done anything like this. Some are a bit more upright than others depending on light, but that’s completely expected from Crypts.

If I didn’t love how this thing looks, I’d be tempted to pull it up and have another look at the base. It’s so not in the right place for a tall Apo that I may still end up lifting and moving it. It looks great for now so I’ll see how tall it gets. I’ll post an update if I lift it and post pics of the base if it still doesn’t look like it has a proper Apo bulb. I can’t get over how much the form has changed in the last month. I may have to poke a finger down beside it and feel for a bulb. 😆

If anybody has seen a Crypt do something like this, I’d be glad to hear about it! It just seems so much more characteristic of an Apo, but it looked completely identical to the rest of the ‘Green Gecko’ crypts when I got it.
 

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On rare occasions it's possible to remove an Aponogeton from its corm and replant just the plant itself. I've most commonly seen it with young plants that are starting to grow off a larger one. The best way to tell for sure is to try flowering it. Add some tabs near the base, give the tank extra TLC, and see what happens. If it starts throwing out floating leaves, all the better, that atmospheric CO2 is yummy to the max!
 
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