Mayaca sp.”Santarem Red”

Today I will be presenting another stem plant, this time a Mayaca species from Brazil. It made its debut in Japan in mid-2008, so by no means is this a brand new discovery, it is quite an established Mayaca. Although it has since fallen out of popularity and has thus become a “hard-to-find” stem plant.

Whenever you think of Mayaca, what characteristics come to mind?? For me, I think of the color green, leafy, all-around thin plant that is soft and delicate. First and foremost I think of the color green because in the Mayaca genus, you rarely come across any species that is “colorful” or shows any hint of any color other than green. That is where this Mayaca sets itself apart from the rest!

(Unfortunately I was not able to get any pictures of my own regarding this plant, so none of these pictures belong to me, they are from an-aquarium, a small aquatic store located in Ginza.)

mayaca santarem red
mayaca santarem red

The red hue on this Mayaca is astounding! As you can see from the picture below (minus all the bubbles :P) The shade of red is so deep, that it is practically maroon! Although the color ranges from pink to red to this maroon, depending largely on the amount of light given to it, as well as the fertilizers.

mayaca santarem red

If you look closely at the leaves of this plant, you can see that they aren’t fully red. The red color only appears within a small strip going down the middle, length-wise, of each leaf. While there is this red strip down the middle of the leaf, the edges remain green, so therefore there is this green-red-green striping that occurs. Quite an interesting characteristic that is easily missed if one does not look very closely at this plant.

mayaca santarem red

As for the requirements of this plant, obviously if you want to see these bright/deep hues of red, you will need stronger lighting to bring it out. Fertilizers will help bring out the colors, but they aren’t necessary to keep this plant growing healthily. Soft (1-2) and acidic water (2-4) is ideal, as it is a Amazonian species of aquatic plant. Temperature is not of any real concern as long you aren’t boiling or freezing it 😛 You may notice that the leaves look crinkly, and the reason is this plant is sensitive, and any dramatic changes in water parameters or environment can cause deformities in the plant. If grown in an ideal environment, with little physical contact/movement or major changes, the leaves should have little to no crinkling at all. (a small amount crinkling may be inevitable, due to the amount of turbulence made in the tank just by maintenance alone)

Lastly it is a relatively fast growing stem plant, just like most Mayaca species. The crown is about an inch across, so not a large stem plant by any means, it is a smaller stem plant, ideal for mid/background placement in aquascapes, or mini/nano tanks.

I hope you enjoyed this short write up on this really unique colorful species of Mayaca from Santarem.
I still have a few more stem plants to cover in my future posts, so keep your eyes open for them!
If you like what you see, please leave a comment!
Have a good one!


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