Red Temple, Telenthera


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Aug 10, 2005
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Miami, FL
Common Name(s) - Telenthera, Red temple

Scientific name - Alternanthera reineckii (discussing V. rosaefolia)

Family - Amaranthaceae

Geographic origin - South America

Type (stem, bulb, rhizome, floating, etc.) - Stem

Max. size (height, width) - Up to 50cm, usually less. Leaf width 1-1.5cm, leaf length 3-5cm.

Lighting required - moderately low to very high

Temperature - 22-28 degrees C

Water chemistry requirements (pH, hardness) - Grows well in both hard and soft water conditions, but prefers soft conditions. I grow mine with in a pH of 6.8 with a slightly hard gH. Unlike other red-leafed plants, A. reineckii prefers nitrate and phospate-rich waters.

Growth Rates - Medium to fast.

Demands - Prefers an iron rich substrate, bright light, and CO2 injection, but growth can be achieved without these components. Lower leaves will fall off if kept under less than ideal conditions.

Additional info - This colorful plant is undemanding under the right conditions. It propogates using cuttings and lateral shoots, and is another plant that doesn't have to be pruned every week. Though not seen often in "Nature" style aquascaping, A. reineckii is very common in "Dutch" style aquascapes because its dramatic foliage immediately creates a strong focal point in the aquarium and it contrasts well with green plants. It is suitable as either a mid-ground or a background plant and care must be taken to plant individual stems at first, so enough light penetrates to the lower leaves. I have grown mine successfully in 3.73 WPG. I do not have a nutrient-rich substrate, but I supplement my A. reineckii with root tabs placed near the plants. Though I do not have high nitrates levels, my plants have not suffered and are growing well. Here is a picture of this lovely plant, a great addition to any planted aquarium.



EDIT: In the past years, I have worked with this plant extensively and have found that it does thrive in non-CO2, low-light conditions. I grew it under 1.4WPG of T5s with no CO2 or ferts, and in a Dutch style low-tech. This is an undemanding plant. It is, however, sensitive to direct doses of Flourish Excel. The doses used to combat hair algae. Pictured below is the specimen from my 1.4WPG 20g tank.



New Member
Feb 7, 2014
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Sad to say there is no Red Temple, Telenthera in our location. I've been looking for this plant for two months. :(


Fish Addict
Dec 10, 2018
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So far even plants grown by test tubes are doing well for me in a sand and gravel Co,iron though. Coloration so far? Brownish top of the leaves..that vivid pinkish color to the leaves undersides. Sort of how my Ludwigia red is doing. It's fine with me..I like it and some color is better than none.

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