Aquarium Plants Profile: Pogostemon Helferi
 (Pogostemon Helferi)

 To ask a question about this aquarium plant email: Don Matakis

 Grows to a height of .8 to 3.9 inches (MID to BACKGROUND)
 The width of each stem is about 2 to 3.9 inches, based on leaf growth
 Low to very high lighting (1.5 - 5 watts/gal)
 Optimum growth temperature is 68 to 86 degrees

This plant was discovered by aquarists in Thailand, close to the border with Burma. It is called 'Daonoi' (little star) in Thailand, and it is easy to see why. Pogostemon helferi is an unusual and distinctive aquatic plant with a compact habit, curly leaves and a strikingly beautiful green colour. With good light conditions and a substrate rich in nutrients Pogostemon helferi forms many side shoots, which develop small roots, and the plant rapidly forms an impressive carpet of foreground vegetation. It important to note, however, that herbivorous fish appreciate this plant as much as aquarists do. (Excerpt From Tropica)

Pogostemon Helferi grows well in submerged pots in a GH of 5, KH of 1, PH is running around 6.4. Lot's of CO2, The size of each plant increases considerably over a period of four to six weeks..I have been changing water in this setup once every three days at about 90 percent change.

There is good flow in this setup, which because it comes from fast flowing rivers enhances it's growth. Growth temperature is 75 to 77 F. degrees, there are no fish in this setup, only shrimp (Amano) and Nerite snails for algae control.

Pogostemon requires moderate to high lighting (2 - 4 watts/gal) to do well. If kept in low-light tanks it grows longer leaves and growth is slow. Separate each plant from the pot and plant individually. This will result in better growth .

Don's Notes:

My experience with this aquarium plant is that Pogostemon Helferi is actually easy to maintain  and is another beautiful aquarium plant when it has enough light. There really is no other plant that has the same appearance of this unusual looking aquarium plant with it's crinkled leaves. I have noticed that in one pot that only has half the rock wool at the top, no bottom rock wool, it has developed very long leaves.Eusteralis stellata requires sufficient fertilizers (iron sees to be needed in the substrate for good strong growth) and an adequate source of the gas CO2 (carbon dioxide). The leaves turn a reddish tinge as they near the surface and new shoots will branch off of the main plant. I am maintaining around 5 parts per million of nitrate, .5 part per million of phosphate. I fertilize this plant in the substrate with root tabs. I use Tropica Master Grow for liquid micros and iron.There are other plants growing in this setup such as Eusteralis Stellata, Rotala Rotundifolia, Tonia Belum, Rotala Nanjeshan, Ludwigia Repens Rubin, and a few others. Light is close to the plants and intense, running twelve hours a day with rotation from direct to indirect light over the surface.

Pogostemon Helferi is found in the Kwai River in Thailand.

You can read about it here; Pogostemon Helferi Article


Don Matakis is the Aquatic Grower & Senior Aquaculturist for

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