Crinum Calamistratum

How to Keep the Crinum Calamistratum

The crinum calamistratum is an aquatic plant that has gained popularity as an accent plant in home and professional aquariums. This plant originates from West Africa in an area that is rumored to dry out on occasion. Regardless of the rumors, this plant must stay fully submerged in order to flourish. When the right environment is provided, this plant makes an attractive and unique display for fish aquariums or aqua vegetation aquariums.


Crinum calamistratum has a very graceful look. It has long spindly stalks spiraled with dark green wrinkled leaves. The eye-catching trait of this plant is undoubtedly the curly, tentacle-like way that the stalks grow. It looks as though it is in a constant sea swept state—and in a way, it is! The stalks are so long and thin that they easily ride along with the movement of the water. This plant can grow to be as tall as four feet if the conditions are good, but those with more spindly and curly “tentacles” tend to be shorter in height but longer in breadth.

Using the Crinum Calamistratum in an Aquarium

This is a truly terrific plant for almost any type of aquarium. As you could probably imagine, the crinum calamistratum makes a terrific focal point for an all-vegetation aquarium. As this plant has a color contrast of light green stalks surrounded by little dark green leaves, vegetation of other colors such as purple, pink, and bright green would compliment this plant very well! Don’t be afraid to choose a variety of styles to go with this plant. Plants of all different shapes, sizes, and colors will make your aquascape appealing and interesting!

If you want to use this in a fish tank, then there may be a little more planning involved in its use. Crinum calamistratum can easily grow to be larger than you might expect, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing unless it disrupts the fish in the tank. If the plant is positioned in the center of the aquarium, it could easily pose as an obstacle for fishy exercise. Most aquarium fish need plenty of room to swim around, so the best way to accommodate them while still having a nice aquascape is to place the larger plants in the background, similar to how a gardener would use large plants as border accents. Another thing to consider is that crinum calamistratum does like slightly heightened levels of CO2. If your fish are very sensitive to high levels of CO2, then this plant may not be the best option for your fish aquarium.

If you decide to go with this plant, try to plant it in an area where it will receive a good deal of light every day. The crinum calamistratum does grow a bit slowly, but providing a good source of light, elevated CO2 level, and plenty of room to grow will ensure that your plant develops a nice sturdy root structure and reaches optimum health in a quick time span.

General Maintenance

Luckily this plant doesn’t really require a great deal of maintenance once it has been planted. It does not do well with transplants, or being uprooted and planted in another area. While this is possible, it can be a little tricky and the plant might ultimately suffer from it, especially if the roots are damaged during the process. The plant must also remain in an area that is nice and bright, as too much shade will result in drooping of the stalks and poor root development.

Overall, the crinum calamistratum is an easy plant to grow and will provide the “wow” factor that all aquariums deserve. So if you are looking to get the most out of the least effort, then this plant just might be perfect for your tank!