Cryptocoryne Parva Care: The Smallest Crypt that Carpets


Common Name(s)Cryptocoryne Parva
Scientific NameCryptocoryne Parva
OriginSri Lanka
Ease of GrowingEasy
AquacapeForeground
Height2-4 inches (5-10 cm)
pH6.0-7.5
Temperature68–84°F (20-29°C)
Growth RateSlow
PropagationSeparating runners or lateral shoots
Light RequirementLow to Moderate Light
CO2 RequirementCO2 is not required, but low amount (6-14 mg/L) can be added to enhance growth rate.
Cryptocoryne Parva
Neue Triebe der Cryptocoryne parva. SurfGuard, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

Cryptocoryne Parva is the smallest of all Cryptocoryne plants. It is a simple and reality basic plant planted by those who are just starting to develop their very own aquarium. These plants are considered to be the ideal beginner aqua life plants for you!

Today, we will be discussing some important facts, requirements, and conditions that you must have in order to plant the Crypt Parva. We will also be looking into its origins, appearance, growth rates, tank mates, methods of propagation, and whether or not this is the plant for you!

Cryptocoryne Parva Facts

  • The Cryptocoryne Parva plant originated in Sri Lanka. These plants would be immersed by large bodies of water.
  • These plants can be planted in the smallest of aquariums. They are very versatile in that sense.
  • These plants come from the Araceae family. Monocotyledonous plants that sypialny exude a leathery appearance. Some of these plants are also considered flowering plants.
  • The Cryptocoryne Parva plant is considered to be one of the most appropriate beginner plants for those just starting to develop their aquarium.
  • Cryptocoryne plants are considered to be one of the most popular aquarium plants among aquatic enthusiasts. This is because of its basic, bushy, grasslike appearance. It is both an aesthetic and scientific choice. Having real plants that your fish can eat and receive environmental benefits from is of great importance.

Cryptocoryne Parva Care

Lighting Requirements

Before you go out of your way to get an aquarium light, there’s something you should know. Cryptocoryne Parva plants do not require a lot of light.

Experts recommend a low to medium amount of light, as these are simple plants in need of little attention. This is one of the main reasons why this plant species is considered to be one of the most optimal aquarium plants for beginners.

pH Levels

It is imperative to the health and safety of your aquarium plants and aqua life to keep on top of pH levels. pH levels of 6 to a maximum of 7.5 are highly recommended. Make sure your tank has fresh water!

Growth Rate

This plant has a considerably slow growth rate in comparison to other plants. However, as a result of this plant’s anticipated height, this shouldn’t pose as too much of a problem. Patience is key when it comes to these babies. You can expect the plant to reach its plateau in approximately 3 – 5 months depending on whether or not your Parva is in optimal conditions.

Growth Height

Cryptocoryne Parva should reach their average height after 11 – 21 weeks of being planted. These plants range from heights of 2 inches to 4 inches on average. This is great considering its appearance is classic and minimalistic for your aquarium; perfect foundation plants!

Co2 Requirements

You can inject the appropriate amount of Co2, however, this likely won’t change how fast the parva will grow. It is going to grow slowly regardless.

By adding Co2 and Fertilization, you could go from needing 12 months to only needing 5 months for the plant to grow. These two steps in encouraging growth will also aid the crypts in crypt melting less. By establishing a stable environment that would allow for the crypts to thrive, you should see progress sooner than later.

Cryptocoryne parva

 How to Grow a Cryptocoryne Parva Carpet

This plant makes an excellent carpet for your aquarium. It is a long process waiting for it to grow, but the final outcome is magnificent.

There is not much you need to do when growing these plants, because they are very easy to grow.

These plants are from Sri Lanka. These plants grow near river banks and large bodies of water with plenty of Co2 and fertilization. This is why Fertilizer is highly recommended to encourage the parva’s growth, as well as Co2 injections.

Overall, the process of planting and growing Cryptocoryne Parva is not complex. As long as you are patient, you will be pleased.

Can you plant Cryptocoryne Parva on Gravel?

You can plant your Cryptocoryne in gravel! Make sure to allow for a stable environment, and avoid changing where you are planting the plant. These plants require stability to thrive, much like people. Think of these plants as young kids… they already grow very little and take time to

develop, so why strain them and move them through several homes? Moral of the story, don’t traumatize your plants.

Can you plant Cryptocoryne Parva in the Sand?

You can plant your Cryptocoryne in sand. These plants do not appreciate instability; replanting. As long as you’ve decided where to place your plant, you can plant them in the sand of your aquarium with ease.

Can you grow Cryptocoryne Parva Emersed?

You can grow this plant, but it will not grow to its fullest potential.

You can plant your Cryptocoryne Parva submersed. It must be covered with substrate. It takes up a lot of space in your tank, becoming bushy and dense overtime.

Note that crypts can crypt melt, meaning your plant is fine but you must remove the leaves that have melted so that it can come back. Distributing an appropriate amount of fertilizer will help a lot!

How to use Cryptocoryne Parva in an Aquascape

It’s time for one of the best parts of purchasing this plant in the first place. Aquascaping is the intricate, precisely thought out design of your aquarium.

Wood, stone, fertilizer/dirt hills, moss, and other elements that you can place in order to make your aquarium look more like a fun aquatic life environment.

As a general rule of thumb, it should be known that this plant is typically used for the carpeting of the tank. It also looks best this way, because of the bushy and grassy look of these plants. Fresh and electrifying bright green carpeting for your fish!

Mixing these plants with gravel, sand, wood or stones overtop and/or underneath – the possibilities are practically endless.

Some advice from an aesthetic point of view; scaping the fertilizer and/or sand into a mound, so that once the parva has grown throughout the terrain and establishing a carpet, so that it looks like a little mountain or ravine under water. What kind of fish wouldn’t like that? A shellfish ingrates, that’s for sure!

Cryptocoryne Parva Propagation

In terms of propagation, you can save money and even make money from doing so.  At the bottom of the plant, there will be even smaller leaves.

Grab the plant from the roots so that you can remove the runners with ease.

Runners are smaller versions of the plant, at the bottom of the plant that you can use to plant them into other pots, and so, growing more of the plant.

You should be able to pull it off of the plant with ease, rather than needing to take it out with tools. You will hear the roots crack at some point, and when that happens, that is a sure fire indication to stop. Be careful while doing this, as to not damage the plant you already have.

If you find that your plant has some dead leaves or stems, feel free to remove them as well.

The method of propagation allows for one to start with one plant and end up with 5 – 8 or more runners that turn into new plants. Be smart both finicaliay and ethically.

Where can I find Cryptocoryne Parva for Sale?

The best place to find Cryptocoryne Parva is online. Ebay, Amazon, and various other online retailers carry Crypt Parva for sale. While local fish stores may carry it, if you are looking for this specific species, you may need to visit multiple stores.

Cryptocoryne Parva vs Cryptocoryne Lucens

Cryptocoryne Parva and Cryptocoryne Lucens are similar plants, but there are some differences as well. Here’s a chart to compare the two plants:

Cryptocoryne Parva Cryptocoryne Lucens
ColorBright Green, Light BrownBright Green, Light Brown
GrowthBush-likeSlim
SizeIt is the smallest Cryptocoryne. These plants can grow up to 2-4 inches. Especially in their emersed state they are small.They are considered to be on the smaller species of Cryptocoryne. These plants grow to sizes 5 to 10 inches on average.  
OriginOriginates from Sri Lanka.Originates from Sri Lanka.
DescriptionThey are perfect plants for creating carpets. Crypt Parvas require only a little amount of light and pH levels of 6 to 7.5 are advisable. Co2 can be used to encourage growth, but it is not required. You can expect this plant to grow relatively slowly. In order to propagate these plants, you must separate the runners from the very roots of the plants.  Cryptocoryne Lucens have attractive slim leaves. They are considered to be a relatively uncommon type of crypt, but they are a practical aquarium plant.   They can be used as midground or foreground plants. Crypt Lucens resembles long grass when grown in an aquarium, but they are not the best choice for creating carpets. Crypt Lucens grow faster than the Crypt Parva and Crypt Pygmaea. Lucens can grow both emerged and submerged. Quality aquarium soil is recommended if you want to see good growth, at a decent rate. While it isn’t required, CO2 injection can help with their growth as well. PH levels of 6.5 to 7.5 are ideal. In order to propagate these plants, you must cut the stem and replant said stems wherever you please.  

Cryptocoryne Parva vs Cryptocoryne Pygmaea

Cryptocoryne Parva and Cryptocoryne Pygmaea are similar plants, but there are some differences as well. Here’s a chart to compare the two plants:

Cryptocoryne Parva Cryptocoryne Pygmaea
ColorBright Green, Light BrownBright Green
GrowthBush-like 
SizeIt is the smallest Cryptocoryne. These plants can grow up to 2-4 inches. Especially in their emersed state they are small.Relatively small Cryptocoryne. These plants can grow to 5-9 inches or more.
OriginOriginates from Sri Lanka.Originates from Philippines.
DescriptionThey are perfect plants for creating carpets. Crypt Parvas require only a little amount of light and pH levels of 6 to 7.5 are advisable. Co2 can be used to encourage growth, but it is not required. You can expect this plant to grow relatively slowly. In order to propagate these plants, you must separate the runners from the very roots of the plants.  Cryptocoryne Pygmaea require minimal amounts of light, and Co2 is not required. PH levels of 5 to 5.8-6 are recommended for these plants. The growth rate of Crypt Pygmaea is slow as Crypt Parva. Whilst in its emersed state, it is far smaller than its growth in submersed state. It can thrive in either state. In order to propagate these plants, you must separate the runners by the Rhizome.

Cryptocoryne Parvas are amazing little plants that can be a great foreground plants in your aquarium. They are easy to grow, even for beginners. They can be a source of beautiful green growth, even in low light environments. Add some Cryptocoryne Parvas into your aquarium to make your fish’s home beautiful today!

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With decades of collective fishkeeping experience, we are happy to share the fish care tips that we've picked up along the way. Our goal at Fish Laboratory is to keep publishing accurate content to help fishkeepers keep their fish and aquarium healthy.

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