When planning your aquascape, keep in mind that the Red Tiger Lotus will grow to be a massive plant...unless you prune it
Who really wants to do all that pruning? I suppose if you are only keeping a couple of planted tanks, it’s not that big of a deal to do some regular pruning on a couple of plants. The somewhat easier solution is to just grow the Red Tiger Lotus in a larger tank as the focal plant of your aquascape.
As a fan of the “do less” method aquascaping and fish-keeping, letting the Red Tiger Lotus grow to its natural glory would include planning your aquascape around the eventual size of the Red Tiger Lotus instead of forcing this massive plant into a small space.
The Red Tiger Lotus will (eventually) grow into the middle, top, and surface of a pond or planted tank, and with this in mind, choosing plants that will occupy the space in-between, beneath, and above the Red Tiger Lotus will allow the plant to grow into its natural size and also allow you, the aquascaper to have an actual aquascape of multiple aquatic plants.
To do this, you can add one (or more) carpeting plants to soften the bottom of your planted tank and add some greenery beneath the Red Tiger Lotus. Choices for carpeting plants include:
- Lilaeopsis Novae-zelandiae
- Monte Carlo: Micranthemum
- Dwarf Hairgrass
Because the Red Tiger Lotus is so massive, it is great at oxygenating aquarium water
With this said… I’ll get to the point. Allowing the Red Tiger Lotus to keep a couple of lily pads on the surface of your planted tank will increase its ability to oxygenate your aquarium because the lily pads will grant the aquatic plant unlimited access to atmospheric CO2. For your planted tank, this means more oxygenation from the Red Tiger Lotus, a faster growing plant, and a plant that is able to suck nitrates out of the water column at a faster rate.
Due to its massive root system, the Red Tiger Lotus will be better anchored in a heavier soil substrate
As is the nature of plants, a massive plant has massive roots, and those roots need to go somewhere to properly anchor the Red Tiger Lotus to give it its best growth. It is important to to note that the Red Tiger Lotus will float in the water column if it does not have enough plant substrate to hold itself to the bottom of your fish tank.
When planting this aquatic plant with fish that enjoy digging or pulling at plants, like goldfish, koi, and corydora catfish, having a thicker planting substrate will also make it more difficult for the fish to uproot not only your Red Tiger Lotus, but all aquatic plants.
Red Tiger Lotus is a fresh-water plant that will grow in basically any fresh water aquarium
This is hardly an exaggeration. If you view the video below, you will see that despite being tossed into a dark nano tank filled with composting debris with poor water clarity, plant debris, and tap water, the Red Tiger Lotus still survived.
In its efforts to do so, the Red Tiger Lotus bulb kept the plant afloat, sending leaves to the surface of the nano tank as quickly as possible to collect carbon dioxide directly from the air.
So, if you think your Red Tiger Lotus bulb has died, the chances of that happening are rather slim. This makes the plant a great beginner plant and an excellent choice for any Walstad Method dirted tank in need of a fast-growing, durable, difficult-to-destroy aquatic plant.