Rotala wallichii (Whorly rotala): Aquarium Background Plants

Rotala wallichii

The Rotala wallichii is also referred to as:

  • Whorly rotala

The red foliage from the Rotala wallichii can be used to create interesting contrasts to the rest of the planting in the aquarium.

A fine-leaved, relatively small, reddish to pink colored, rather demanding stem plant.

It looks most decorative when you plant a group of many stems.

The Rotala wallichii  is best suited as a foreground plant and for smaller aquariums, if you cut it short. The addition of CO2 promotes their growth considerably. She also prefers soft, slightly acidic water.

Rotala wallichii (Whorly rotala): Quick facts

Scientific name: Rotala wallichii

Other names: Whorly rotala
natural occurrence: Southeast Asia
Height: 10-30cm high and 2-4cm wide
optimum temperature range: 18-28 ° C
Light requirements: partial shade to full sun
pH tolerance: 5 to 7
optimal water hardness: very soft to medium

Difficulty: demanding

Location in the aquarium: Background and Middle ground

Growth height: shoot lengths up to 40cm
Leaf color: brownish-green, pink-colored with intensive lighting
Propagation: Head cuttings and side shoots
Use: The Whorly rotala is one very delicate plant that should only be used in aquariums with calm fish or in artificial tanks with dwarf shrimp.
Special features: grows best in soft water. With sufficient lighting, the shoot tips turn intense red.

Rotala wallichii (Whorly rotala): Habitat

The Rotala wallichii is an elegant stem plant that originates from soft, slightly acidic waters of Southeast Asia. It forms inflorescences with bright purple flowers. Although it is not exactly easy to hold, it is very popular.

Rotala wallichii
Rotala wallichii

Rotala wallichii (Whorly rotala): Shape and Color

In optimal conditions, the Rotala wallichii has a pink to orange color with pinnate foliage on dark red stems.

The colors are brighter near the surface of the water and flooding side shoots are formed.

Shoot tips and side shoots can be shortened if necessary and replanted in small groups. Pruning also promotes increased side shoots.

It has elongated and finely pinnate that leaves reach a length of 1.5-2.5 cm.

They sit in whorls (hence the name Whorly rotala) on angular stems that usually grow straight up.

Outside the water, the leaves are shorter and oval in shape. In the leaf nodes Rotala wallichii can develop bright violet to lavender whorls of flowers.

The submerged young leaf whorls are initially green in normal lighting. With increasing incidence of light, they develop the above colors, whereby the shoot tips are usually intensely red in color.

Under optimal conditions, the monthly growth can be 10-20 cm.

Rotala wallichii (Whorly rotala): In the aquarium

Due to its size, the Rotala wallichii is perfect as a background plant. However, if you have a large aquarium, it can also be placed in the middle.

In the aquarium, it is normally used to contrast other colors. You should then give it limited space in the background or middle.

In order to grow well, the Rotala wallichii needs:

  • A lot of light
  • A supply of CO2
  • A balanced supply of nutrients

Optimal Aquarium conditions:

  • The light should be at least 0.5 watts per liter in order to fully develop the colors and support growth.
  • A good CO2 supply, through a bio-CO2 system or a system with pressure bottles, is essential.
  • This plant grows best when the nitrate level in the water does not reach zero, but also does not rise above 10-15 mg per liter.
  • A high phosphate content of 1-2 mg per liter as well as a heavy fertilization with iron and micronutrients are preferred.

If the growing conditions are optimal, the plant rewards the aquarist with outstanding colors, ranging from bright pink and orange to deep red stems with a diameter of 2+ cm.

This Rotala species forms opulent, finely feathered groups that grow to the surface of the water.

Near the surface of the water it develops its most intense colors and develops most of the side shoots.

As soon as Rotala wallichii gets too big, you can simply cut off the upper part and plant again.

Propagation also happens by cutting off side shoots or head cuttings. These newly planted stems quickly form new roots and begin to grow.

The Whorly rotala is often used in natural aquariums. It is used to create beautiful red accents in the middle ground or background of the aquarium. To get the best effect, you should put 3 to 5 stems together in one place so that nice, dense groups form.

Plant Guide: Rotala Wallichii

Rotala wallichii (Whorly rotala): Maintenance

The demands that Rotala wallichii (Whorls rotala) make when cultivating in an aquarium are quite complex.

  • You have to constantly check the CO2 levels in the aquarium
  • You have to check the nutrient levels in the aquarium
  • Ensure that there is ample lighting in the Aquarium

The plant needs a lot of light – this contributes to the fact that the red moss herb grows well and can have the desired unusual color.

You will have to deal with issues such as CO2 supply, specific water values and fertilization.

The Whorly rotala is not easy to care for in an aquarium and therefore not recommended for beginners.

Rotala Wallichii (Whorly rotala): How To Keep Rotala, Turn Red, Tips and Tricks

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