They say Cryptocoryne lutea ‘Hobbit’ is a small crypt, but saying it and seeing it are two different things. This is a really small crypt! The original idea was to have a small plant to go in front of the Lobelia cardinalis ‘Dwarf’ to hide the rooty lower stems of the Lobelia without covering up the pretty bright green higher foliage. The ‘Hobbit’ is listed as a maximum height of 5 cm which sounded about right, but now I think that’s too small. The ‘Hobbit’ adapted to submerged growth easily, but after a good number of months still ranges from 2-3 cm in height. Further, the dark brown/purple coloration of submerged form ‘Hobbit’ gets lost against the dark colour aquasoil making the ‘Hobbit’ hard to see. To top it all off, the ‘Hobbit’ became overrun by the Marsilea hirsuta carpet, which is about as tall as the Hobbit and spreads much more aggressively.
I like the ‘Hobbit’ but I don’t think it’s fit for the original purpose in the spot. Accordingly, I decided to try the “next size up” in crypts, Cryptocoryne parva. That left open the question of what to do with the ‘Hobbit’ so I’ve moved the Hobbit to the front and centre of the tank.
Cryptocoryne species have a reputation for ‘melting’ if they get traumatised. In this case they shed all their existing leaves and make it a do-over with fresh growth. I’m hoping that doesn’t happen with these transplanted Hobbits. The aquasoil only very loosely holds the roots such that there wasn’t much root tearing, and the replanting procedure was more a nestle-in-place rather than putting them in a hole and covering them with dirt. I’ll keep them free of Marsilea invasion and the new venue has more illumination as well since it is more centrally located under the light and isn’t generally overshadowed by any of the taller species: Lobelia, Ludwigia and Lysimachia.