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Red Cabomba

(Cabomba furcata)

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 Quick Care Facts

• Care Level: Difficult   • Lighting: High   • Maximum Size: 36"
• Placement: Background   • Water Conditions: 75-86° F, pH 5.0-7.0, KH 2-8
• Propagation: Cuttings   • Color Forms: Red, Orange, Lime-Green
Supplements: High Quality Liquid (phosphtate and nitrate) and Subtrate Fertilization, CO2 Supplimentation
• Origin: Central and South America   • Family: Cabombaceae

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Native Habitat and Species Information

Red Cabomba native habitat, distribution, behavior & aquarium compatibility.

Cabomba Furcata (Nectris furcata), also known as Red Cabomba, originates in Central and South America and grows in dense mats in soft, acidic waters with rich, organic substrate. Red Cabomba has feathery, lime-green to deep-red, forked leaves, which are divided into narrow segments and offer vibrant color and interesting texture that will contrast well with other plants and driftwood. Red Cabomba is a densely growing plant that makes an excellent, natural background in a planted aquarium.

Aquarium Care

How to successfully keep Red Cabomba in the home aquarium.

Under optimal conditions, the tips of Red Cabomba can easily reach the surface of an average aquarium within a week or so and will eventually cover it entirely. However, if lighting is insufficient, the plant will exhaust itself quickly and growth will slow to a crawl. Trim the tops and propagate the cuttings for the freshest appearance.

If left untrimmed, the lower portions of each stalk will have insufficient lighting and loose their foliage. Lateral branching in Red Cabomba is not common but it can occur; especially on long shoots allowed to float below the surface.

Liquid fertilization and a rich or regularly fertilized substrate is important and considerably enhances robust growth. Red Cabomba will react to nutrient deficiency with darkened leaves, slowed growth, and elongated internodes.

Feeding & Nutrition

How to feed and nourish Red Cabomba.

The color of Red Cabomba can be enhanced to a gold and pinkish color by the careful limitation of nitrate. Excessive foliage shedding is usually a sign of poor water conditions or CO2 deficiency.

CO2 supplementation is not required but is highly recommended for optimal growth. Red Cabomba seems to thrive on light above all else and should be given high lighting at 3 to 5 watts per gallon with full spectrum (5000-7000K) bulbs.

Propagation Information

How to propagate and grow Red Cabomba.

Red Cabomba can be propagated by trimming branches from the main plant and pressing their stems at least 1" into substrate. The "topping" method is the best way to propagate this species; if the bottom portion of a trimmed shoot is left in the substrate, it will produce a new growth tip from its highest node.

Under good conditions, this species grows very quickly and requires frequent pruning. For optimal effect, place the cuttings in groups along the back or sides of your aquarium. Cuttings placed in substrate will slowly grow new root systems and their growth will accelerate.

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