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Cyperus helferi

Cyperus helferi

Scientific name: Cyperus helferi

Family: Cyperaceae

Usual maximum size in aquariums: 20 - 35 cm (7.87 - 13.78 inch)


Recommended pH range for the species: 5.5 - 7.5

Recommended water hardness (dGH): 0 - 18°N (0 - 321.43ppm)

0°C 32°F30°C 86°F

Recommended temperature: 20 - 30 °C (68 - 86°F)

Reproduction of the plant: Divisions

Origin (in the wild): South Asia

How fast these plants grow: Slow

Recommended substrate: Fine gravel

Demands on lighting: Bright

Ideal placement in a fish tank: Middle


There are several ways to propagate this plant, if left to its own devices the mother plant will grow adventitious plants nears the base. Other ways are by taking cuttings from the top of the plant and turning these upside down will encourage the growth of new plants. The most common way of propagating is by dividing the mother plant and removing any old growth before re-planting the divisions.

Always make sure that before dividing the mother plant there is a decent root system on the plantlets and that they are producing enough leaves to survive away from the mother plant. Patience is the key here as it does take a long time to get suitable plantlets for propagation.



Short Description

This is the only species of Cyperus that adapts well to life in the aquarium. In the native habitats they spend a lot of time submerged underwater and their leaves have adapted to this. They do require a lot of lighting and low nutrients in the water column; they much prefer clear, clean water. The lower temperature range in the aquarium is more suited to this plant so only house this plant with species of fish that also prefer lower temperatures and a medium water flow should be provided by angling the outlet from the filter to provide this.

The main difficulty that many aquarium keepers have with this plant is the long acclimatisation period that this plant requires, once over this stage provided it has been given the correct conditions it should thrive.

Lack of nutrients in the aquarium will impede the growth rate so always make sure that the correct amount of additives are used as suggested for the gallonage of water the aquarium holds.

Due to the length of the leaves that this plant produces it is ideal for deeper aquariums although some keepers will trim the plant for shallower waters.

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