Tiger Lotus (Nymphaea lotus) Care Guide (2021)

In this post, I want to talk about one of my all-time favorite aquarium plants. We want to talk about the tiger Lotus.

So the red tiger lotus you can see in the featured image, I find to be a really unique looking plant and one of the easiest ways to get red into your aquarium. Red tiger lotus may be a bit less common than other plants. So what you’ll find is a lot of people will come over and be surprised and asked what it is if they come and visit your planted tank.

Although I do understand that the leaf shape and look is for everyone say, you know, that’s up to everyone’s individual personality. Red tiger lotus being in the Nymphaea family.

They will want to shoot up lily pads right to the top so that they can best consume things like Co2 and light, however, with careful trimming, you can make sure that the leaves stay submerged you’ll get a nice sort of rounded bushy plant.

Of course, if you do want to allow the leaves to go up to the surface, you can certainly do that. But what you might find is that once the first one goes up all of the others will want to go up as well.

And you will lose this effect of these red rounded leaves in your aquarium, you’ll just see the stocks going up to the top, and probably the lighting will be reduced because those lily pads are going to sort of drown out a lot of the light or block out a lot of the light.

Red tiger lotus bulb

Red tiger Lotus is like many of the other plants in the Nymphaea family are actually a bulb plant. What you’ll find is that at the base of the leaves, there’ll be a small bulb that will resemble something like a piece of pea gravel, or river gravel, something like that.

It will be maybe two or three millimeters in diameter. And what you want to do with this plant is not actually put that bulb too far down into the substrate. If you do put it too deep then what you’re going to find is that it’s going to sort of rot out things like that, and it’s really going to struggle to send more leaves up.

So hopefully the bulb that you have or the bulb that you get is going to have some little white roots off of it, and I find it a lot easier to take my planting tong grab onto those white roots. And plant those down until I get to the point where the bulb is sort of half in the substrate and half out, and I find I have the best success with that way.

Red tiger lotus in a low light tank

Red tiger lotus has fairly low demands for a light, although I would suggest sort of a medium lighting scheme. But what you’ll find is that if you give it a lower level of light, it just won’t exhibit the same deep crimson tones that you’ll get in the high lighting.

Does a red tiger lotus plant need Co2?

I would consider the tank above in the featured image to be high lighting and I do inject Co2, so that can be an indicator of what this plant will look like under sort of ideal conditions. But I find this plant can be really great for bottom-dweller fish like corydoras, and I find that my little school of corydoras likes to often hide underneath the leaves.

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Also, the broadleaf will provide a great spawning area for things like discus, angelfish, and other fish that like to spawn on leaves. Another great one is the Harlequin Rasbora and other Rasboras that like to spawn underneath leaves as well.

This can be a great option for them because they’ll really get the seclusion and privacy but being able to hide away from everything and do their thing. Because of the broadleaf structure, I wouldn’t suggest that this plant will do too well in high flow conditions.

It will certainly thrive and look a bit more natural and better under medium to low flow because the slower flow will allow it to have the look that it sort of comfortable to spread around like a flower pot I guess.

It’s not being blown around and having to hold on to dear life for its leaves because they do resemble I guess a little bit of a kite or a sail and you can imagine that you know a bit of high flow would certainly take a leaf off no problem at all.

Tiger lotus propagation

Propagation is fairly easy, they’ll send off runners and once you notice a little plant off to the side, you can just pick it off and then replant that, maybe in a terracotta pot or something like that if you wish or just in another aquarium.

Really easy to do and very simple. Overall, I find the red tiger to be a really enjoyable plant, and I’ve managed to propagate it a few times. If you like the look of this plant, I certainly recommend picking them up and giving them a go because I find that they can create a really unique look within your aquarium.