update from my Post on Aquatic Gardeners Associations FB page . Its a long post but worth reading
Ok here is some information about Bucephalandra as it seems there is not much out there . First they are Aroid's like Anubia's but tend to grow near water or iin areas that are seasonally flooded rather than in it , in their native environment . They almost always grow attached to rock with water spraying on or near them or splashing over them . And it changes with seasonal flooding and or rainfall .They do nt seem to need those conditions at all in the Aquarium at all though and are very easy in the average Planted Tank .
A few general thing's they seem to like include cooler temperatures 70's are fine , so they make a great combination with Dwarf Freshwater Shrimp that also enjoy a no heater tank setup . Pretty easy to maintain in the average air conditioned home . They do very well having their roots exposed and love having something to cling to for support as they evolved to do that . They can also be planted in most substrates but prefer a porous one like ADA or Akadama even up to lave rock size pieces of substrate . In a heavier substrate removing the existing roots may help by keeping those older roots from rotting if they are buried . It also make's them much easier to plant , but does slow the growth down a bit while the roots regrow . They do recover nicely though even though the new leaves will come a bit slower and or be smaller . Like Anubia's they may also push out of heavier soil a bit as they grow . Not heavy feeders and tolerant on low light they are easy under low tech conditions . Also fine under High tech and may grow a bit faster but still are by no means fast growing which is good especially in the Nano tanks starting to become so popular in recent years .
Their growth habit is in clumps with matted roots to hold any decaying matter they can in nature for nourishment and support . They range in size from tiny carpets to mini clumps and medium size as well . Great for Nano and larger tanks as a single type or with other slower growing plants . Having a matted root system makes them a breeze to attach to things sometimes all that's needed is to just meld them into the object . Its a good idea to offer supports at different levels in height so they can be displayed to best advantage . Much easier to work with that other plants that look good on rocks and wood . Thy lend themselves to a naturalistic setting and make spectacular tanks just by themselves as there is such a diversity of species with varied leaf shape's sizes and colors . Rocks and wood are great for adding structure and dimension to your scape .
And Speaking of color's this is where they really come into their own and offer a painters palette in shades of green , blue , purple , red , black and even silver ! They have great texture and offer forms with glossy metallic luster and others with matte dotted surfaces some with contrasting undersides and or stems . Somewhat unique among them and very eye catching is the habit of growing one color of leaf under natural conditions and completely different colors underwater . Add the contrast in color between the new growth and older growth and this can make for stunning displays by carefully using the size , textures shape and color to offer contrast and yet harmony at the same time .
Low to medium low tech light will give them more natural appearance while broad spectrum and or LEDs will give them more brilliance and sharper contrast especially a combination of Red , Blue and White LED's or Plant bulbs . They become very stunning and with an almost unreal color under those conditions . Yu can stare at the tanks for hours either way . Its especially nice with the new groth and its contrasting colors once your tank gets going and improves with age and the overall health of the tank .
Well that offers a bit of information and should get you started on your journey . They are overall very easy to grow , not heavy feeders but respond well to balanced fertilizing . Co2 or None they will grow just fine . I think once you try them you will be hooked , I sure was . Be care full though it can become an addiction that's for sure . Very very easy but with one popular exception the Bucephalandra kishi ( Scientific name ) Skeleton King / Dark Achilles ( common name ) . It grows further away from the rocky watercourses in the Kalimantan mountain streams and is not seasonally flooded . Needs special care to grow in aquarium conditions and will be discussed later . Please do not confuse this with the rest of these easy to grow plants ! Thanks for Reading and hope it opens your mind to these most wonderfull of aquarium plants . _-- robert bauer shrimpusa.com