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This watermilfoil species may not be very familiar to aquarium hobbyists, at least by name. Myriophyllum tetrandrum is a relative of the Red watermilfoil, M. tuberculatum, and is native to tropical Asia as well. This very fine-leaved underwater plant occurs in India, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and southern China.
Myriophyllum tetrandrum resembles Myriophyllum pinnatum except that its stem is not dark red but green to slightly reddish. The shoots are densely set with whorls of pinnate leaves and reach a wide of about 4 to 6 cm. The stems are sparsely ramified and may get a length of 2 m. Under aquarium conditions, the leaves are mostly light green while in the natural habitats, in full sun, they may be reddish.
Myriophyllum tetrandrum has high nutrient demands, however it also grows with medium lighting and without CO2 addition as long as there's enough free CO2 in the water. Generally its growth rate is moderate, but the growth may be quite lush with high CO2 concentrations and intense lighting. The carbonate hardness should be rather low. This plant has been found in up to 34 °C warm water; its optimum temperatures lie between 26 and 32 °C, but it also tolerates cooler water of about 18 °C. As well as other stem plants, it can be propagated by stem cuttings.
This tropical watermilfoil is especially recommendable as a group in the background of large aquariums. Its fine, light green foliage contrasts well with coarser textured, darker plants. With its preference for high temperatures it is well suitable for tanks with thermophilic fish species.
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