Cryptocoryne Parva – Dwarf Water Trumpet

cryptocoryne parva

Last updated on July 14th, 2022 at 09:57 am

Cryptocoryne parva, or Dwarf water trumpet, is an excellent aquarium plant because it can grow in both fresh and saltwater and requires very little light to thrive. These relatively new species have been bred to stay small, no more than 4 inches (10 cm) tall with leaves that are only about one inch (2.5 cm) wide. The flowers are small and white, similar to those of the larger Cryptocoryne wendtii and Cryptocoryne balansae species.

Cryptocoryne parva, more commonly known as the dwarf water trumpet, is a small perennial plant, its unique name comes from its trumpet-like leaf tips, which are often green or red in color and project outwards above the water’s surface.

It belongs to the Araceae family and can be found primarily in Southeast Asia and Indonesia, but there are also populations of this plant found in other parts of Asia and Africa as well.

What is crypt parva?

cryptocoryne parva

Cryptocoryne parva, or crypt parva for short, is one of over 250 species of cryptocoryne found in Southeast Asia. This plant loves to grow emersed and submersed, and is native to India. The leaves are a bright red color when young but turn into a dark green as they mature.

This is a very adaptable plant and will thrive in most aquariums with high lighting conditions. It can even do well in freshwater tanks with minimal care! If you’re looking for an easy low-maintenance plant that thrives in higher light levels, then Cryptocoryne parva is perfect for you!

Origin and distributions

Cryptocoryne parva was originally discovered in Indonesia and is also known as dwarf water trumpet. It is closely related to Cryptocoryne wendtii and Cryptocoryne crispatula, a few other popular Crypts. It grows in freshwater marshes in tropical regions such as India, Sri Lanka, and Australia.

The original habitat of dwarf water trumpet is lowland swamps from sea level to 2200 ft (600 m). It usually has less than 4 stems with lengths between 1-4 inches (2.5-10 cm). The leaves are up to 5 inches (12 cm) long and 2 inches (5 cm) wide.

Plants are either male or female; only female plants will produce flowers. Flower colors vary from white, green, red, or purple depending on light intensity and/or fertilizer content.

Cryptocoryne Flamingo (Crypt Flamingo)

How to grow Cryptocoryne Parva

cryptocoryne parva

One of cryptocoryne parva’s most attractive features is its ability to be propagated easily. In fact, it’s so easy that you can literally put pieces of it into just about any kind of water and grow it to full-size plants. I like to propagate new plants by splitting them in half with a sharp knife when they are still small enough.

The cutting should have a few leaves on it and be at least 4 inches long if not longer. A shorter piece will likely not work out as well as a longer one. You may also choose to split larger clumps as well but make sure to cut through several internodes (the area between two nodes) or you will end up with fewer plants than intended.

Once you have your cutting(s), simply plant each section into your substrate (I use oasis cubes) with an equal amount of rhizome exposed above the substrate line and watch them take off.

In my experience, they generally root within 1-2 weeks after being planted, although some species from the genera, other than crypto, can take months to produce roots. Also, note that cryptocorynes grow best attached to rocks or driftwood because that keeps their leaves up off of whatever surface you place them on for easier light absorption.

Cryptocoryne Parva care

cryptocoryne parva

Cryptocoryne Parva, otherwise known as dwarf water trumpet, is a beautiful aquatic plant that requires minimal effort to maintain. These plants are native to Madagascar and are often kept in aquariums. If you’re looking for a more natural decoration than fake greenery or plastic animals in your fish tank, consider dwarf water trumpet.

They only grow to be around 4 inches tall (10 centimeters) and can produce vibrant red, yellow or orange flowers from time to time. Dwarf water trumpets prefer softer water with a pH between 6 and 7.5 but will tolerate anything between 5 and 9 after acclimation. They do best at temperatures between 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit (21-27 Celsius).

When planting dwarf water trumpets, make sure their roots are covered by two inches of substrate; they like slightly acidic soil with plenty of nutrients.

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Light requirements

Dwarf water trumpet plants grow best in medium light; try keeping them near a window where they’ll get morning sun, with afternoon shade. Keep them out of direct sunlight to avoid scorching and algae growth.

The ideal temperature for Cryptocoryne Parva is about 75 degrees Fahrenheit (24 degrees Celsius). Grow dwarf water trumpet in cooler temperatures during their dormant winter months; keep them away from drafts and heaters that could dry out their air. In addition to planting your new plant in fertile soil, keep it happy by providing additional nutrients at its root zone.

Plants like Cryptocoryne Parva thrive when you give them iron-rich compost or iron supplements designed specifically for use with aquariums and terrariums. Keeping your dwarf water trumpet healthy will help prevent nutrient deficiencies that cause yellowing leaves—which will eventually lead to brown edges on newer growth leaves and even plant death if not remedied quickly enough!

Soil/potting mix

Crypts require a very specific type of soil in order to thrive—one that drains well but retains moisture. There are several good commercial brands of crypt-specific substrates on the market. A mixture of roughly 1/3 garden soil and 2/3 clean river sand makes for a good base mix; add in some peat moss or compost to give it some extra oomph as well as beneficial microbes.


When potting your new plants, add a small amount of fertilizer at about half strength into each pot. This will help get them off to a good start before adding more fertilizer later when you start feeding them regularly.

Fertilize once a month with a weak liquid fertilizer or once every two months with a mild dry fertilizer. Be sure to use an aquarium-safe type of fertilizer; other types may harm your plant’s growth and your fish. However, keep in mind that too much fertilizer will produce extra vegetation rather than flowers, so don’t overdo it!


The Cryptocoryne Parva is an extremely adaptable plant and does best in consistently cool water with a temperature of about 70 degrees Fahrenheit. It can tolerate stagnantly or slowly moving water for long periods of time. To achieve optimal growth and coloration of your plants, there should be 1-2 inches of water above their roots at all times.

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cryptocoryne parva

The ideal growing temperature ranges between 60 and 75 degrees F (6-24 degrees C) with a water temperature of 68 to 80 degrees. Keeping these temperatures will optimize plant growth while keeping algae at bay.

Any hotter and you’ll cook your plant as it sits in its pot – any colder and you won’t see optimal results from your plant. Keep your water clean by removing algae from time to time with a siphon or small net used for aquariums/terrariums.


This plant is able to adapt to low humidity environments as long as there is plenty of sunlight. The trick is to mist them lightly with room temperature water every few days. This will create a moist environment for your plant and prevent it from drying out.

Try placing it near a window with direct sunlight for optimal growth and health. These plants are native to Africa where they thrive in tropical environments that are humid all year round.

The ideal humidity range is 70% to 80%.


Like many other aquatic plants, water trumpet is best pruned as it grows. Simply cut any portion of a shoot that is growing in an area you don’t want it to grow. If you find that your plant becomes leggy (in which all shoots are near or at surface level), trim just above a growing tip with a pair of scissors. New shoots will quickly grow from where you trimmed.

Crypts generally have rapid growth rates and benefit from annual pruning. Be sure to leave enough room for each shoot to fully expand its foliage; do not let them become crowded. It’s generally better to err on cutting too much than too little, though new plants can be propagated by stripping off long stems without leaves into fresh aquarium water and waiting for new roots and growth after several weeks.

Cryptocoryne Parva growth rate

Cryptocoryne parva is a slow-growing plant. However, as it grows with age and its nutrient requirements are met, it will grow faster. In general, healthy plants under optimum conditions can double their size every year or two. Plants that are exposed to lower levels of light or nutrients will grow slower than those in optimum conditions.

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While some freshwater aquarium enthusiasts will have Cryptocoryne parva in their tank and never have a problem with it, there are many reports of high levels of toxicity and deaths caused by them. The most likely cause of death from these plants is carbon dioxide poisoning.

If your fish are healthy and active in one day but dropped dead or dying within a matter of hours, then it’s possible that CO2 levels became too high for them to handle.

Pests and diseases

Cryptocoryne parva is a very hardy plant that can withstand a variety of pests and diseases. Crypts are typically only susceptible to attack from fungus gnats. Overcrowding in tanks can cause the population of these bugs to spike; if you see them on your plants, it’s likely they have become an issue.

If left unchecked, these pesky insects will lead to root rot and kill your plants. One way to prevent fungus gnat infestations is by removing older leaves once they start yellowing. Plants with smaller leaf counts tend to be less affected by infestations than those with more leaves.

Does Cryptocoryne Parva spread?

cryptocoryne parva

Cryptocoryne Parva is a terrestrial plant and therefore can spread on its own. However, it is not very invasive in most instances. It spreads slowly and should not be a problem in your aquarium unless you have a lot of plants already that provide cover for it to grow out of control.

In some instances, you may want to remove a piece of it that has spread by itself as well. Just clip off any unwanted pieces and replant them into another location. This will help keep them from spreading too quickly.