Cabomba palaeformis "Rio Dulce"

Mexican fanwort

Cabomba palaeformis "Rio Dulce"

Mexican fanwort

  • Little known Cabomba from Central America
  • Red brown, fine-leaved
  • Grows well in medium-hard water
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The Mexican fanwort occurs from Mexico to Nicaragua in standing to slowly flowing waters. The water in those habitats is partly medium hard with pH values above 7. Although Cabomba palaeformis is the easiest to keep Cabomba species, it is not common in the aquarium hobby and hardly available in trade. In contrast to Cabomba caroliniana this Central American species is not included in the EU list of invasive alien species. Two forms, "Green" and Red-brown", are already long known as aquarium plants. We received our plant with the information that it was found in the Río Dulce in Guatemala. It looks similar to Cabomba palaeformis "Red-brown", however the latter came from the Laguna Noh in Campeche, Mexico.
The stems may reach a maximum length of about 1 m, with about 4 cm long finely dissected leaves. New shoots appear regularly at the base of the older stems. When the shoots reach the water surface, one may expect shield-like, linear floating leaves and little white flowers.

As mentioned, the Mexican Fanwort is not a difficult species. It grows well in medium-hard water, with medium to strong lighting and temperatures between about 20 and 30 °C. CO2 addition is not absolutely necessary but enhances its growth. However the plant should be well supplied with macro- and micronutrients that it also takes from the bottom. Occasional cutting is necessary to prevent that the shoots overgrow the surface. As well as other stem plants, Cabomba palaeformis is easy to propagate by stem and sideshoot cuttings.

This brownish green to red-brown form of the Mexican fanwort looks decorative in the background to midground, best in larger aquariums. In open tanks its small floating leaves and flowers may provide an interesting look. Cabomba palaeformis is also a fitting choice for Central America-themed biotope aquariums. It is also a substitute for C. caroliniana that is prohibited in the European Union. However, for all kinds of aquarium plants, it must be ensured that they do not enter waters and sewage systems. Dispose aquarium plants via the household waste only.

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Giselda G.
11th September 2020
Cabomba palaeformis "Rio Dulce"
Cabomba palaeformis "Rio Dulce"

Pianta bella e in salute, arrivata in tempi celeri, sta già cambiando colore. La raccomando, grazie per la cortesia e la disponibilità dimostrata.