Cryptocoryne Beckettii | Size | Color | How to Grow

Commonly known as the Water Trumpet, Cryptocoryne Beckettii originated in the waters of India, New Guinea, and Sri Lanka where it grew alongside slow-moving streams and in basins. It is also now prevalent in areas of Northern America, mainly Texas, possibly due to its popularity in the aquarium trade.

You will find it growing as both a submerged and an immersed plant making it incredibly versatile. It is suitable as a mid-ground plant for most aquariums except small and nano where it is more aesthetically pleasing as a background species.

Useful Information

Common Name Water Trumpet
Family Araceae
OriginSri Lanka, New Guinea, India
Species Structure Rosettes
Growth RateSlow
Care LevelEasy
PH Needs5-8
PlacementMidground, Foreground, Background, Grouped
Lighting Requirements Low Level

Cryptocoryne Beckettii Description

Water Trumpet is a perennial and rhizomatous herb that can grow as either an emergent or a submerged species. It has basal leaves with elongated sheathing petioles up to around 15 centimeters or six inches long.

The blades’ upper surface is usually dark green or brown with marbling in coloration, and the lower surface red-tinged. When submerged as opposed to immersed, this species usually has larger and thinner leaves. 

Aquarium Requirements

Cryptocoryne Beckettii is an incredibly tolerant species and suitable for most aquarium habitats. It will thrive well in acidic waters and also slightly alkaline. It enjoys a pH of between 5.5 to 8, and water hardness should be between 1 and 20 degrees.

It only requires low to medium light as strong light may burn the leaves. Always a bonus in an aquarium since strong light promotes algae growth there!

Cryptocoryne Beckettii Care

Providing the water chemistry is kept constant and at acceptable levels, Water Trumpet does not require any special care. It is hardy, non-demanding and although slow growing will thrive in healthy tanks.

It does, however, require a high in nutrients substrate and one that is also rich in CO2. The ideal base for Water Trumpet would be a mix of clay, sand, and peat. Be sure to root this plant species well as it can be sensitive to change. It also does not like being moved around so be sure you place it in the position where it will stay. 

cryptocoryne beckettii

Once planted, Crypto Beckettii can take up to a month to establish itself and will grow slowly but surely. Do not try to boost growth by providing stronger light as this may result in ‘Crypt Melt’. This is where the plant will melt and lose all of its leaves. This can also occur when there is a high nitrate concentration within an aquarium, so be sure to keep an eye on nitrate levels. 

Most experienced aquarists would not recommend introducing Water Trumpet to an aquarium under three months old as this is when they become well established and will start to support plant growth best. After all, newly established tanks have constantly changing water chemistry which is not beneficial to any plant growth.

Planting Cryptocoryne Beckettii

When planting Crpto Beckettii the first thing to decide is where you are going to put it. In small aquariums, for example, it can look best when used as a centerpiece, and in larger tanks mid-ground to contrast with most other green plants. Be sure, as previously mentioned, to place it where you will be happy with it as Water Trumpet does not like moving positions.

If you want to cover a larger area with Water Trumpet it would be best to divide the pot and plant the shoots around one inch apart. This will allow for faster spreading and growth. For planting in just one area, on the other hand, make sure all the nutrients and CO2 can reach the roots and all of the leaves. 

Attaching Cryptocoryne Beckettii

You can also take a different approach to planting Water Trumpet by not planting it at all! Rather, you can attach it to porous lava rocks or pieces of driftwood for a more natural look. To do this you should begin by gently wrapping the roots of the plant around the object. Then secure them in place with a piece of fish line, rubber band, or cotton thread. Cotton thread is more often than not the most popular choice as it will dissolve over time.  

Attaching Water Trumpet to driftwood can create an absolutely stunning display, but you should be aware you may need to do a little preparation. Most woods will need soaking to prevent them from leaching tannins into your water. This process can take anywhere from 24 hours and up to two weeks so you will need to be patient. 

Suitable driftwood for attaching Water Trumpet to includes:

  • Manzanita (rare but does not need soaking)
  • Mopani
  • Redmoor
  • Bogwood
  • Driftwood
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Cryptocoryne Beckettii Reproduction

There are two ways of propagating Water Trumpet since the plants can live both immersed and fully submerged. Immersed plants that reach above the water surface, for example, will grow tubular flowers and reproduce sexually, whilst submerged ones will reproduce through side shoots next to the mother plant. 

Please note that to promote healthy growth in submerged plants you should cut away any stem that may grow from the mother’s plant root and replant it in another spot. This will allow you to ensure that your plants are getting all the CO2 and nutrients needed by not being over crowded. 

Tank Mates

Due to its attractiveness, and despite the slow growth rate, Crypto Beckettii is a lovely plant that makes an attractive addition to any aquarium. It can be planted near bright green plants such as Lobelia Cardinale, Anubias, and Microsorium for interesting contrasts.

Water Trumpet does well in aquariums with fevered fish as it has strong roots when established. However, you should keep a close eye on Goldfish, Koi, and large cichlids as they may pose a threat, despite the Water Trumpets thick leaves. 

Read our complete aquarium plant Guide here: 21 Best Aquarium plants

Benefits Of Having Cryptocoryne Beckettii In Your Aquarium

As with any live plant in your aquarium, Water Trumpet comes with many benefits. These include providing shelter and security for your fish, reducing algae growth, providing food that replenishes itself, and looking attractive. 

The biggest benefit of live plants, however, has to be that they produce oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide and ammonia that your fish produce. In other words, they help create a natural ecosystem in miniature which is one of the most beneficial ways to keep your fish healthy.


  • How do you plant Water Trumpet? You can either plant water trumpet fully submerged or immersed. It needs to be placed in nutrient-rich substrate with the roots fully covered.
  • Can you put Cryptocoryne Beckettii in gravel bottomed aquariums? Yes, it will grow fairly well in gravel types such as pea. 
  • Will my Goldfish eat my Water Trumpet? They’ll more than likely try. However, due to the Water Trumpet being fairly sturdy and having thick leaves, it stands a good chance of withstanding Goldfish attacks.
  • Where can I buy Water Trumpet? You can buy Water Trumpet from most aquatic stores, garden centers and from online sites such as Amazon.
  • Is Water Trumpet easy to grow? Yes, and it’s incredibly hardy too. Be aware, however, that the growth rate of this plant is slow so it may take some time to establish itself. 

Conclusion: Cryptocoryne Beckettii Growers Guide 2020

With its incredible versatility of how you choose to grow it and ease of care, Water Trumpet really is a plant that you should seriously consider for your aquarium. It is also attractive, provides a place for your fish to shelter, and is one of the tougher ones for many fish to destroy.

Just be aware, however, that it can take some time to establish and to grow to its full potential, but that if you have patience you’ll get a beautiful display.