Cryptocoryne wendtii ‘flamingo’ is an (allegedly) bright pink variant of Cryptocoryne wendtii.  I thought some bright colour might be nice in the lower front of the Fireplace Aquarium, so I picked up a pot from Aqua Essentials.  I used my favourite cryptocoryne planting technique – cut all the emersed leaves off – which worked a treat.  Submersed form leaves appeared after about a week and plant grew steadily and healthily.

But the leaves are not pink!

Cryptocoryne flamingo – I am disappoint!

What’s the point of this plant if it’s not pink?  There are some really stunning looking examples on the interwebs.  What is going on here?  Dennerle has this plant on offer and mentions the leaves grow up to 10 cm long but these guys are not only not even vaguely pink, they wound up comfortably at 20+ cm length.  There is a faint hint of a reddish hue on the undersides of some of the leaves.

really flamingo?

The label clearly says ‘Cryptocoryne flamingo’ but I have some doubts.  Could these have been mislabeled?  This is hard to know.  In any event this plant, even the lack of pink notwithstanding, is too large for the space in the Fireplace Aquarium, so I had to take it out.

There are some comments floating around about sensitivity to light – more light makes them more pink – and about them liking stable water parameters etc. but this level of not getting what you expected is a problem.  Even if the plant could be made pink by higher light levels, I think the lighting in the Fireplace Aquarium is reasonably bright, and having been in a very happy place with respect to green algae for a long time, I definitely don’t want to tempt an algae disaster by messing with light levels.  I will say that if this had been in larger tank then it was a pretty plant even without the pink and very heathy once it got going; the root systems were really well developed and went deep into the substrate.  If this what what you expected, there would be no complaints.

I might give the flamingo another try at some point, just in case this was a ‘switched at birth’ situation.  In the meantime, I’m replacing the flamingo with Cryptocoryne petchii pink and we’ll see how that goes…

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