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Nymphaea lotus

Nymphaea lotus

Scientific name: Nymphaea lotus

Family: Nymphaecaceae

Usual maximum size in aquariums: 20 - 50 cm (7.87 - 19.69 inch)


Recommended pH range for the species: 5.5 - 7.5

Recommended water hardness (dGH): 4 - 12°N (71.43 - 214.29ppm)

0°C 32°F30°C 86°F

Recommended temperature: 22 - 28 °C (71.6 - 82.4°F)

Reproduction of the plant: Rhizome

Origin (in the wild): Madagascar

How fast these plants grow: Fast

Recommended substrate: Fine gravel

Demands on lighting: Bright

Ideal placement in a fish tank: Background



Common Names

Tiger Lotus, White Lotus, Egyptian White Water Lily


Easy, this plant is suitable for beginners and a great option if you want a red plant without the high lighting requirements they usually come with.


This is a very easy plant to propagate. It is a rhizome plant and once a year it can be split into sections to form several plants from the one mother plant.


This lotus plant can be placed in the background or middle depending on the size of your aquarium. When placing the rhizomes in the substrate never completely cover them or they will rot! Plant the rhizome so that the crown is above the substrate and there should be no problems: just leaving them on top of the substrate is actually a good way to prevent rotting.

Short Description

Tiger lotus are usually available in both red and green. Their size and striking colour definitely make them an ideal centerpiece, though placement is something to consider!

If you’ve just bought your lotus it may look like just a dead bulb, but this is not the case and nothing to worry about. Once it has had some time to establish it will grow into a lush, red plant with large leaves. It is especially appreciated by fish and inverts that like to sleep or forage on plants, like Otocinclus catfish and snails.

This is a versatile plant that can be grown in ponds where there is a temperate climate or grown in the aquarium. If grown in the aquarium be sure to reserve plenty of space for it as it does require a lot of room. CO2 and fertilizers are not required, but definitely appreciated and an enriched substrate as well as a few root tabs can really help this plant grow properly.


Most keepers of this plant will nip off the flower stems before they reach the water surface of the tank so that the foliage will grow bushier. If you do allow the stems to reach all the way to the surface, a lovely pink flower can grow but you will often find the plant losing its bushy shape and forming taller leaves. If this has happened to your lotus, continuously removing the taller leaves can help bring it back to its original form.

If you’re worried about your tiger lotus growing too large (which can definitely happen!), it’s sometimes recommended to keep them in pots.

Notes and Credit

Demands on lighting are within medium to bright. The growth depends on how much light it gets, as it will stay relatively compact under bright lighting and can grow all the way to the top if there is less light.

This species is also sometimes known as Nymphaea zenkeri.

Profile was updated on 10th January 2016 thanks to

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