Red Tiger Lotus (Nymphaea zenkeri): Ultimate Care Guide

Common Name(s)Red Tiger Lotus
Scientific NameNymphaea zenkeri
Ease of GrowingEasy
AquascapeMid-ground or background plant
Height5–25 inches (15–60 cm)
pH6.0 and 8.0
Temperature71-82 °F (22-28°C)
Growth RateFast
PropagationPropagation by bulb or seed.
Light RequirementMedium to high lighting
CO2 RequirementCO2 is not required. Small amounts of CO2 injection may help increase the growth rate.
Red Tiger Lotus
Red Tiger Lotus (Nymphaea zenkeri)

Red Tiger Lotus Facts

Red Tiger Lotus is a beautiful plant that is ideal for beginners. This resilient species can withstand practically any condition, making it ideal for any aquarist, regardless of experience. Red Tiger Lotus got its name from the color of its leaves, which are bright red. A Red Tiger Lotus is a lily pad.

Some people are surprised by this because Red Tiger Lotus has arrowhead-shaped leaves rather than the circular leaves that people are used to seeing on lily pads. Under bright light, the red leaves might exhibit striped variegation. The arrow-shaped lily pads of the Red Tiger Lotus will stretch to the surface of the water, producing blue or white flowers; after the flowers wilt, the fruit bears seeds that serve as a way of tiger lotus propagation.

The underside side of the leaves of the Red Tiger Lotus will be royal purple. The Red Tiger Lotus, on the other hand, may grow green leaves if there isn’t enough iron present. The white blooms of the Red Tiger Lotuses are exceedingly fragrant. Some variants produce blue or red flowers, depending on the species. Because of decades of selective breeding and hybridization, many other combinations of these colors are now accessible.

The Red Tiger Lotus grows extremely swiftly and is considered an invasive species in many parts of the United States. The Red Tiger Lotus’ rapid growth rate assists it in softening water and absorbing large amounts of nitrate and phosphate. One plant can convert 50 gallons of hard water to soft water in a few weeks. The seeds mature into bulbs that root in the substrate and begin the formation of a new plant.

The flowers are usually white, but some varieties produce blue or red flowers as a result of selective breeding and hybridization. The Red Tiger Lotus grows fast due to its strong root system, which can spread throughout the tank if not properly contained. The Red Tiger Lotus grows to a height of 5–25 inches (15–60 cm) and can grow even taller in ideal conditions.

Red Tiger Lotus Care

Red Tiger Lotus is simple to grow in aquariums. Red Tiger Lotus bulbs can be purchased with or without leaves to avoid rot. These bulbs should not be totally buried in the substrate.

Place the firm, healthy bulbs on the substrate’s surface; roughly 1/2 of the bulbs should be buried in the substrate. If you bury the bulb too deeply, it will rot. If you’re unsure where the top is, leave it to float in your tank until new shoots emerge.

Depending on the bulb’s state, it can take a long time (from a few days to several months!). Under the substrate, a dense root system will form, and growth will continue. Deep (at least 5 cm or 2 inches) and well-fertilized substrates are preferred by Red Tiger Lotus.

How to Plant a Red Tiger Lotus Bulb

The bulb will arrive in a plastic pot covered in rock wool if you order a Red Tiger Lotus plant from Aquarium Co-Op. Small leaves may emerge from the bulb but are frequently damaged in transit or melt away after planting. Don’t worry – the most important aspect is a healthy bulb. Remove the bulb and rock wool from the pot, and rinse away any debris from the stick.

Because Red Tiger Lotus grows to be quite large, place it in the fish tank’s midground or background. Gently press one-third of the bulb into the substrate, leaving the shoots or leaves above ground. If you bury the bulb completely, it will decay. Wait for the bulb to grow wet enough to sink if it is floating at first. The bulb will be firmly anchored in place as the roots grow into the substrate.

Does Red Tiger Lotus Flower?

Submerged leaves offer a lovely ruffled appearance that can give the fish tank a lot of texture. The Red Tiger Lotus will produce a flower if allowed to grow to the surface of the tank.

The blooms of Red Tiger Lotus flowers are normally white or yellow in color, with some uncommon types producing luxuriant pink or purple flowers.

Red Tiger Lotus Lighting Requirement

When it comes to aquarium lights, the Red Tiger Lotus isn’t too picky. Even in low-light tank setups, Red Tiger Lotus may thrive. Regardless of this, medium–high lighting is still recommended because, like many other plants in the hobby, Red Tiger Lotus will grow to be more compact and dense in this environment.

Can Red Tiger Lotus Grow in Low Light?

Though Red Tiger Lotus will grow in low light, it will not reach its full size, form, or color potential. In lower lighting circumstances, the plant will become lanky and lose its compact shape as it reaches for the light. As a result, its growth rate will suffer, and you won’t receive the plant’s signature huge, ruffled leaves.

Red Tiger Lotus Temperature

Red Tiger Lotus thrives in water temperatures ranging from 22 to 28 degrees Celsius (71 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit). Lower temperatures are feared by this plant, which leads to dormancy and degradation. Lower temperatures are feared by this plant, which leads to dormancy and degradation.

Red Tiger Lotus pH

The pH of the water in which the Red Tiger Lotus grows and develops should be between 6.0 and 8.0.

Red Tiger Lotus Growth Rate

The Red Tiger Lotus has a fast growth rate due to its strong root system, which can spread throughout the tank if not adequately contained. Furthermore, if one or two leaves reach the surface, the plant will “learn” that it can do so and will endeavor to do so on a regular basis after that.

But don’t worry; with a lot of attention and constant surveillance, it can be controlled. To begin, clip any leaves that are higher than the plant’s overall height. After being clipped for a bit, several aquarists noticed that the Zekeri grew slower. Another helpful method is to utilize a colder, less brilliant light, as leaves develop more quickly in intense red light. The Red Tiger Lotus will develop at a slower rate in this manner.

Red Tiger Lotus Growth Height

In a medium to intense light, it grows at a medium rate. The Red Tiger Lotus grows to a height of 15–60 cm (5–25 inches) and can grow even taller in ideal conditions.

Red Tiger Lotus Co₂ Requirement

Red Tiger Lotus does not require CO₂ or further nutrient treatment. Although it is not required, for lively and lush-looking plants, you may wish to try CO₂ injection in small amounts as well as root tab fertilizers or liquid plant fertilizers. If you don’t want your aquarium to be overrun with giant plants, don’t overstock. The fact is that a high amount of CO₂ plus copper (which is found in most fertilizers) is extremely harmful to shrimp.

How to Care for Tiger Lotus – Easy Red Plant for Aquariums

Red Tiger Lotus Propagation

The Red Tiger Lotus produces flowers once the lily pads have reached the surface. When these blossoms wilt, they spread seeds that could help this plant reproduce. This method is less common than bulb propagation.

You use bulbs to put the Red Tiger Lotus in your aquarium in the first place. Half of the bulb is planted in the substrate, and the rest is left to its own devices. When the plant reaches a certain size, it begins to produce its own bulbs beneath the substrate.

These bulbs have the ability to form roots and separate from the main plant. As a result, the first Red Tiger Lotus produces a second plant. The plant could take over the aquarium as a result of this propagation. To avoid the Red Tiger Lotus from invading undesirable areas of the tank, keep the bulbs and roots under control.

There are two ways to propagate Red Tiger Lotus:

Uncommon (in aquariums): After the flowers have withered, the plant produces seeds that propagate the plant.

Typical (in aquariums): This can be done once the bulb/shoot has matured and formed its roots by detaching the bulb from the plant. The Red Tiger Lotus plant will either detach from the bulb at this point, or it can be manually removed and placed in the tank to grow another.

Because Red Tiger Lotus absorbs huge amounts of nutrients from the tank water to promote its growth, it should not be put near sensitive aquarium plants. It will devour a large number of nitrates, iron, CO2, and macro, and micronutrients, potentially starving nearby plants.

How to Plant Red Tiger Lotus in an Aquascape

One of the best alternatives for aquascapes is the Red Tiger Lotus plant (particularly for Dutch aquariums). The Red Tiger Lotus blooms beautifully in the tanks and looks great as a focal point.

Can Red Tiger Lotus Grow Emersed?

Red Tiger Lotus is a pretty common Nymphaea in the planted tank hobby. The total plant seldom surpasses 12 inches in diameter, making it a very petite Nymphaea. The leaves are typically 1/2 to 1 inch long and can be found entirely submerged or near the water’s surface.

Those that climb to the surface are nipped off to foster emersed leaves. Red Tiger Lotus does well in moderate to high light, although, like with most aquarium plants, growth is best when supplemented with carbon from a CO2 system or Excel.

How to Trim Red Tiger Lotus

If allowed to form lily pads, the Red Tiger Lotus will blossom. Experienced aquarists, on the other hand, recommend starting to train the plant to grow below the water straight away. To make it bushier, cut the pads off at the base. Allowing the plant to use energy in order to reach the top is not a good idea.

Where Can I Find Red Tiger Lotus For Sale?

Any plant store will have Red Tiger Lotus. Red Tiger Lotus is also available in fish and pet stores. It can also be purchased via Amazon and other online retailers. If you want to order it online, simply fill out the form, and it will be delivered to your address.

Red Tiger Lotus Price

Red Tiger Lotus has an average selling price of $9.5. The price is average; depending on the store, it may be lower or higher.

Red Tiger Lotus vs. Dwarf Lily

The aquatic world’s gems are dwarf water lilies and Red Tiger Lotus.  Red Tiger Lotus and dwarf lilies are admired for their beauty and immortalized in art and religion in both the ancient and modern worlds. Both are pond plants that bloom and sprout from rhizomes and have a similar color palette, but there are a few key differences:

  • Dwarf lily flowers and leaves are waxy and thick, but Red Tiger Lotus flowers and leaves are thin and papery. Each leaf of a water lily also has a distinct notch.
  • The petal of a dwarf water lily is pointed and forms a star-shaped bloom; the petal of a Red Tiger Lotus is rounded and sometimes ruffly.
  • Dwarf lily flowers endure up to two weeks before wilting and falling into the water; Red Tiger Lotus has a large seed pod that grows above the water after the inflorescence has passed.
  • Dwarf water lilies prefer 2 to 5 feet of water, while Red Tiger Lotus prefers 12 inches.
  • Some dwarf water lilies can be grown as far north as zone 3 or 4, but the Red Tiger Lotus can only be grown in zone 9.
  • While both attract insects, the scent of Red Tiger Lotus is more delicate. When a dwarf water lily blooms, it has a powerful aroma that diminishes with time.
  • From June to October, many of both species are easy to grow and reward the gardener with aromatic and lavish blossoms.

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