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Bucephalandra: Coveted and Captivating Petite Epiphytes for Nature Aquarium

Bucephalandra aquarium plants, also commonly referred to as Buce plants, originate from the genus of plants native to Borneo, the largest island in Asia. In their natural habitat, they are found growing as dense mats in waters with strong currents, attached to rocks/stones in flood zones or rainforest streams and rivers. Highly coveted and absolutely rewarding nature aquarium plants, Buce are known for their petite size and their distinctive robust arrow shaped or rounded leaves presented in an extensive and vibrant color palette, with truly captivating names unique to each one discovered or cultivated.

Similar to other epiphytes such as Anubias and Cryptocoryne, Bucephalandra belong to the flowering plant family of Aracaea. Being an epiphytic aquarium plant, Buce can be attached to your aquarium hardscape such as rocks or driftwood. Buce can also be planted in soil, however, take caution never to bury or cover the rhizome as this will cause melt and decay. When planning your aquascape, tiny varieties of Buce are best planted in the aquarium foreground and larger leaf varieties do well in the midground. They complement mosses and ferns beautifully with their dramatic contrasting colors and robust leaves of varying shapes and textures. Bucephalandra grow very slowly, and can be cultivated both submerged or immersed (keeping very very moist conditions).

The plant is slow-growing, with new leaves emerging from long, thin rhizomes. With CO2 injection, nutrients, medium lighting they will grow healthier and faster with new vibrant leaves and side shoots (which can be propagated). Bucephalandra may be propagated by cutting of the rhizome side shoots and then securing to hardscape with super glue or thread.

Their best growth rate and coloration is yielded in medium lighting with strong water current, however, Buce adapt well to a range of aquarium lighting from low to high. They prove resilient and rather easy to grow under stable aquarium conditions, especially when CO2 and nutrients are provided. Sudden changes to aquarium conditions or unstable parameters may cause shedding of their leaves or die off, however, with time new leaves can regrow if the rhizome is healthy.

  • Family Name: Araceae
  • Common Name: Buce
  • Common Varieties: Buce Catherinae Dark Carpet, Buce Velvet, Buce Godzilla, Buce Green Wavy, Buce Kedagang, Buce Rainbow Marble, Buce Red Mini, Buce Theia
  • Type: Epiphyte
  • pH: 6.5-7.5
  • Care: Easy, low maintenance
  • Light: Low to medium
  • CO2: not required or +/-30ppm will promote faster growth
  • Propagation: rhizome division
  • Growth rate: slow, faster under higher lighting (may cause algae)
  • Growth state: emersed or submerge
14th Oct 2021

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