OUR HISTORY WITH BUCEPHALANDRA
First I know Bucephalandra is from my friend Arif Hamsa back in 2009, he told me that there’s endemic plants of Indonesia that have similarity with Anubias in term of keeping the plants. Back then not many people seems interested with the plants. In 2010 there’s varian of Bucephalandra Montleyana that comes to the market. And we (indonesian aquascaper) began to love it because the various color of the leaves. At that moment we just know that there’s only Bucephalandra Montleyana.
At 2011 we got information from several friends who come from HK and Japan that these plants have very high demand, can be kept fully submersed and have many variations. We began to gather some information in Borneo. And that’s how I met with Erwin Syahputra. He was the first person from Borneo that discussed the possibility to bring bucephalandra to market. After that I met with Abdul Sahal who also already gathers some bucephalandra variations.
Mid 2011 we began to bring bucephalandra to Jakarta. I remember only 6 variant that time, Sintang, Lamandau, Kedagang, Melawi, Sanggau and sekadau. That time plants only divided by the location they found. After that comes several another variant like Nanga Taman, Nanga Pinoh, Kotabaru, Sokan etc. We start research the trading name and species. One of the famous person who introduce bucephalandra at that time is Jeffrey Setiawan Sutanto. He brings many bucephalandra species with good quality photo so hobbyist aware of the plants.
Another person that must be praised for the popularity of bucephalandra is Nakamoto-san and Michael Lo they have been promoting the bucephalandra for several years. Always been our reference back then. Not forget to mention Peter Boyce with his fully dedicated research for aracea including bucephalandra.
Globally the business of bucephalandra still has big market, because this plant is still not widely spread and the speed of growth is quite slow. Maybe more than 90% of the plants sold now are still based on wild collect. We began to grow several species that hard to find in nature or limited when we found. The global demand of Bucephalandra is rising in past two years because many good photos showing the beauty of it. From my point of view the variations of species, leaves color, unique shape, rarity and easy maintenance is the factor that make plant popular.
Comparing to global market Indonesia market is slower in term of knowing the species but it’s slowly grown. We are blessed by the quantity of the bucephalandra and the easiness to get the plants in forum or direct selling.
In overall I think Bucephalandra will grow steady as one of most wanted plant for aquarist. Due the fact that several places that have been destroyed for palm oil plantation, the supply will be decreased and yet the global market still not enough fulfilled. Thus make the price and quantity available in market quite steady.
The main reason I’m farming bucephalandra is because I love it. Simply like that,. I like to see the plant growth, change the color and growing their rhizome, a little bit silly I think. But somehow it gives me happiness. Other than that is we are faced with the supply that may vary in condition and species. Sometimes we get a lot of one species sometimes we don’t have any of it. So I think farming is one of the best ways to keep the species available.
Basically in nature bucephalandra is not grown always submersed. It’s not wrong to keep it fully submersed because they can but it’s not the normal way. Half submersed or paludarium is close enough to their habitat. I’m growing them in farm with mist system 15-15, meaning 15 minutes on and 15 minutes off. In my experience you can keep them with 4-6 times spray only for 1 day but with condition like Jakarta where’s the sun is like to playing around I got no choice.
For emersed I prefer using 3-4 mm volcanic lava sand with mix of clay gravel. Fertilizing I choose NPK 13 13 13 with TE for one week. Different case when submersed, because the goal is to show the people the beauty of the leaves so I prefer using the LED with Red and blue combination and a little white, for bulbs usually I go with one/two red lights, two blue lights and two white lights. The wattage is up to your aquarium volume. Fertilizing I use mainly macro + fe. They love strong water current and my pH around 6.5.
But bucephalandra have many species and different location they found with their own needs, several times Ive seen they grown in high pH like 7.3. The guidance above just solely based on my experience only.
This month (april) we found several new location in east and north Kalimantan. The species is quite small with darker color. It’s simply based on location and leaves not scientific research we estimated that there is 11-12 new variant. One of them is red blade that we post before.
Haa,..its hard to say whats my favorite species but I must say that Kapit , Mirabelle and Kir Royale is make my jaw drop when the first time I see their water leaves. But I’ll assure you that you will love this new species.
Well I must say hello and warm regards from south Jakarta, Indonesia. Thank you for keeping bucephalandra and make them as your favourite plants. Remember that not only the fertilizer and lights that makes the plants beautiful but also your care is important. Ill share a little secret,.. Several times in a week I love talking with the plants as like they can hear and speak haha. I hope that you will keep collecting bucephalandra and I wish your tank healthy and lush.
Bucephalandra is the new hot item to keep by aquatic plant or aroid plant hobbyist. This beautiful plants is very hardy like anubias.
Bucephalandra is a genus of flowering plants in the Araceae family. The genus derives its name from the Greek word for bull’s head due to its horn shaped anthers.
At the first time there’s only 3 species known of bucephalandra namely Bucephalandra gigantea, Bucephalandra motleyana, and Bucephalandra catherineae . But now with more and more research a lot of new species found. Due to the long list of new species, most of the bucephalandra named by the place they found.
All of Buchepalandra are rheophytes from Borneo. Bucephalandra are found growing as dense mats over stones in streams. Bucephalandra can grow emersed and submersed.
Currently we collect and cultivate several rare echinodorus too. You can see our collection under the echinodorus category.