Nymphoides or Water Banana (Nymphoides aquatica)
Water banana or nymphoids - an aquarium plant growing in fresh water and belonging to the rotational family. Prefers to grow in reservoirs and rivers with a small current. Recently, it has been particularly popular. The plant has several names at once, they began to call it a water banana because of green tubers, which in appearance are similar to a banana. Nymphoids has a distinctive feature, under favorable conditions, it is able to produce a long stem protruding from the surface of the water on which small beautiful white flowers with five petals appear.
This plant can be attributed to unique, has rounded leaves resembling a water lily. The top of the leaf is dark green, and the bottom may be purple or yellow-green. This factor is affected by lighting. After planting the nymphoids to a new place, it will take him several weeks to take root, after which the water banana releases long stems on which the leaves form. But for the rest of the plant to fully develop, it is better to cut off these stems. If this is not done, then after formation, the shoot will separate and a new plant will be obtained from it. And in aquarium conditions it can reach a height of up to 15 cm, a width of up to 10 cm. In nature, it grows up to 50 cm at the top and 30 cm in width. Water banana is considered an amphibian and can grow both completely immersed in water and partially.
When buying nymphoids, you must pay attention to the condition of the leaves and stem, all this must be strong, healthy and without damage. A well-formed process has dense leaves, without cracks and irregularities. Young leaves have a lighter shade, while adults are saturated green. If suddenly during transportation the sheet is damaged, then it will not recover and it is better to trim it, later a new one will be formed in its place. Be sure to look at the tubers, they resemble bananas. This is an important part of the plant in which important trace elements and nutrients are stored. There should be a lot of them on one plant, at least 7, depending on age. Healthy tubers are dense and green.
Maintenance and care
The plant is considered unpretentious. But if you create a comfortable living environment for him, then a water banana will delight its owners with a unique and beautiful view for a very long time. The plant can be kept both in large aquariums and medium (at least 35 l). Suitable for growing in the foreground and middle ground.
Water banana will feel great at a temperature of 22 to 28 0C. Moreover, the hardness of the water should be from 6 to 8 pH. The acid-base balance is from 3 to 6 dKH. There are no special requirements for lighting, but with moderate it grows more actively, and several new leaves grow in a month. In low light, it grows a little slower, so a water banana is suitable for growing for beginner aquarists. The duration of daylight hours is from 10 to 12 hours.
Optional is the additional fertilizer. Nymphoids gets enough nutrients from fish waste. It also does not need additional supply of CO2. But periodic feeding with iron will not do much harm.
Soil should consist of medium sized fractions (2-3 mm). In too shallow, the roots may rot, as the soil will sour.
It is quite easy to care for nymphoids, you just need to monitor the old leaves and periodically remove, opening the place with new ones. Experienced aquarists recommend replacing old plants that are more than 5 years old with young ones.