Echinodorus opacus "Rataj"

Dark swordplant

Echinodorus opacus "Rataj"

Dark swordplant

  • Small Echinodorus wild type
  • Distinctive appearance
  • Spreading habit
  • Slow growth
  • Rarity
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Echinodorus opacus is a remarkable, beautiful swordplant wild type that originates from Paraná state in southeastern Brazil, occurring in fast-flowing rivers. Described as a species by Karel Rataj in 1970, it is likely a natural hybrid from the Echinodorus grandiflorus species group. There are different plants under that name, however our plant is a small form that is already cultivated since the 1970's as Echinodorus opacus. Due to its low propagation rate it is still a rarity. Only recently the name addition "Rataj" is used to designate this small E. opacus form.
Very different from the many big, fast-growing Echinodorus types, this plant grows slow and hardly flowers. It developes a creeping rhizome and hard, stiff, dark green leaves with ovate blade. It is particularly attractive through its light nervature that contrasts with the darker leaf tissue.

Echinodorus opacus "Rataj" is not really demanding and is content with medium light intensity, however it benefits much from nutrient-rich substrate and CO2 supply. The temperatur may drop below 20 °C, corresponding to the subtropical climate in southern Brazil with already quite cool winters. With the growth of the rhizome, the leaf rosette shifts slowly on the ground. Long rhizomes can be cut into pieces for propagation. Side shoots will grow from buds on the rhizome parts.

This rare Echinodorus wild type is a special gem in aquariums, looking best as an adccent plant in the midground, in tall tanks also in the foreground. Old, broad specimens with many leaves are especially attractive. This plant should also be interesting for naturally designed aquariums, imitating a river biotope with pebbles and boulders.

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Peter K.
Perfect choice
25th July 2018
Echinodorus opacus "Rataj" - Single plant
Echinodorus opacus "Rataj" - Single plant

Really beautiful plant which deserves best place in your tank. I received one in perfect condition, with huge root system. It adapted perfectly in my tank and soon started to grow. (read more)

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