Schismatoglottis prietoi: Care, Propagation and Plant Profile

Schismatoglottis prietoi in an aquarium

Schismatoglottis prietoi is a small aquatic and semi-aquatic plant species that belongs to the family Araceae. It is endemic to the Philippines, where it can be found in fast-flowing freshwater rivers in the lowland, humid forests of Cebu, Panay Island, and some parts of Luzon. Although this species is still rare in the aquarium hobby, it is quickly gaining popularity due to its excellent aquarium suitability.

This article will introduce Schismatoglottis prietoi and provide tips on how to care for it, set up your tank, and maintain the right water parameters to help it thrive in your aquarium.

Plant Profile

Schismatoglottis prietoi (pronounced as Pre-Yee-To-Wee) is an aquatic and semi-aquatic plant species in the family Araceae that is native to the Philippines. Esquerion Prieto, a member of the Aquatic Cebu Enthusiasts, was the one who first discovered it on the island of Cebu. This plant is still relatively new to both science and the aquarium hobby, but it is quickly gaining popularity due to its unique appearance, easy care, and ability to grow in a variety of conditions.

S. prietoi is a true aquatic species that grows in sandy and gravelly riverbeds. It is the only species in the genus Schismatoglottis that can grow in a fully aquatic habitat. The plant anchors itself to sandy river beds by rhizomes and thin, creeping stolons, comparable to Cryptocoryne species, and develops in large stands in its natural environment.

Schismatoglottis prietoi in its natural environment | Photo: Julius Teves

It is a small plant that grows only up to 2 to 8 cm (0.79 to 3.15 in) tall. The pale green to green leaves are smooth and are around 3 to 4 cm (1.2 to 1.6 in) long and 1 to 2 cm (0.39 to 0.79 in) wide. Its small elliptic glossy leaves resemble those of Anubias ‘Petite’ but are lighter green. This plant grows faster than Anubias and is perfectly suitable for planted aquariums grown on the substrate or on rocks.

Light:medium – low
Temperature:20-28 °C
Growth rate:medium
Area:foreground, midground
pH:6.5 to 7.5
Water hardness:soft to hard

Planting and Propagation

Schismatoglottis prietoi is a versatile plant that can be planted in a variety of ways. It can be planted directly into the substrate, attached to a root or stone, or even grown as an epiphyte.

The plant can grow in nutrient-rich aqua soil or inert substrates such as sand or gravel. It may grow more quickly if it roots down into the substrate. You can also grow it as an epiphyte and attach it to a rock or driftwood using a fishing line or thread. If you glue it on (with cyanoacrylate superglue), glue the root to the wood rather than the rhizome.

You can divide the rhizomes to propagate Schismatoglottis prietoi. To do this, carefully remove the plant from the substrate and divide the rhizomes into several pieces, each with at least 2-3 leaves. Use a sharp knife to cut the rhizomes because they are quite tough and to prevent damage to the plant. Plant the divided rhizomes on the substrate. If you want to speed up the growth, you can grow it emersed. However, you have to wait for the leaf to transition from emersed to submersed.

Plant Care

Schismatoglottis prietoi is a relatively easy plant to care for. It can tolerate a wide range of water conditions, but it does best in moderately hard water with a pH of 6.5 to 7.5. The plant also prefers moderate lighting, but it can tolerate some low-light conditions. A CO2 injection of 10-20 mg/l will also accelerate its growth.

When given more light, fertilizers, and CO2 injection, they can develop a dense, relatively low, crypt-like community of dark green, wavy-edged, leafy rosettes.

This plant grows slowly at first, but once established, it begins to grow much faster, eventually forming dense bushes about 4-5 cm high. Do not grow it in a tank with fish that dig the substrate, like Convict cichlids, Ram cichlids, Jack Dempsey cichlids, Oscars, and Firemouth cichlids. They will dig into the substrate, exposing the rhizomes, and will not be able to root.

Monitor the water conditions regularly and make sure that the pH is within the recommended range. You can also trim the leaves regularly to prevent them from becoming overcrowded.


Schismatoglottis prietoi is a beautiful and easy-to-care-for aquarium plant that is perfect for both beginners and experienced aquarists. It is versatile and can be planted in a variety of ways, making it a great addition to any tank. With proper care, Schismatoglottis prietoi will thrive in your aquarium for many years to come.

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