Aquarium plant Bacopa ( Water hyssop ) is famous for its unpretentiousness. This meaty look is perfect for decorating an aquarium with living plants. What conditions must be created for the comfortable existence of this interesting plant? You will find the answer in this article.
Water hyssop (Bacopa sp.) Is a group of perennial long-stemmed plants from the Norian family (according to some classifications, plantain). The genus includes more than fifty species, mainly aquatic, so they are great for keeping in an aquarium. There are also land bacopa, they are called “Sutera.”
The genus name is borrowed from the language of the Guyanese natives. Bacopas are succulent marsh plants, the leaves of which often have a pleasant citrus aroma. Certain species are widely used in aquariums, mainly they are planted with a ladder in the foreground or in the middle zone of the aquarium. The plant is picky, resistant to suspensions, and fouling, while it is very attractive. Loves bright lighting.
Consider the appearance of bacopa on the example of the most popular species in aquarium culture – Caroline bacopa.
In good conditions, the bacopa is able to grow up to 60 cm. The shoots are creeping or erect, slightly branched. The stalk is fleshy, its thickness can reach 4 mm. The underwater part of the stem does not have pubescence; the surface above the surface is very hairy.
The leaves are medium-sized, do not exceed 3 cm in length, a width of 8-20 mm. They are located crosswise-opposite. The leaf blade itself is ovoid in shape. The leaves, like the stems, are fleshy. The color of the leaf blade varies from light green to olive. If the aquarium is set up with good lighting, it may turn brown. The root system is weak.
The flowers are single, have a blue or pale lilac, less often white color.
Bacopas grown in aquariums are very widespread around the globe. They inhabit shallow reservoirs, marshy places, and river banks in the tropical and subtropical regions of America, Africa, Asia, Australia. Many species have geographic species epithets that do not always correspond to the region of growth. Due to its unpretentiousness, bacopa in many countries has become an invasive plant, having fallen from aquariums into the wild.
Types of Bacopa
Fast-growing long-stemmed plant. The leaves are rounded, up to one and a half centimeters in size. A noticeable undulation is observed on the leaf plate. Used to decorate the background and middle plan of the aquarium. It takes root well, can develop without problems in the absence of CO2 supply. However, the extra carbon in the aquarium will make the bacopa much more magnificent. Prefers bright lighting.
A widespread species, the range extends from Mexico to Paraguay. In appearance, it very much resembles the Caroline bacopa: the stem is erect, the leaves are dense, arranged in pairs. An interesting feature of this species is its wide color variability. The plant can be green, with reddish tones or purple – it depends on the growing conditions. Color diversity causes great confusion among amateurs, often the same plant is sold as different species.
Keeping in the aquarium is straightforward. Crucial is the illumination and nutrient ground. The amount of light directly determines the color of the plant: if the lighting is weak, the plant will remain green, if strong, purple shades will appear on the leaves. Under suitable conditions, it can bloom in an aquarium.
In nature, it grows on the island of Madagascar. The stalk is fleshy, up to 4 mm thick. In an aquarium, the plant rarely grows more than 15 cm, so it can be used in the foreground and middle of the aquarium. Leaves of a lanceolate form, up to 3 cm in length, have a light green color. Prefers bright lighting. With a lack of light, the plant will begin to lose its lower leaves. The view is perfect for keeping in paludariums.
In Asia, it is a popular medicinal plant and food supplement.
It does not impose special requirements on the content, grows well even in low light. Suitable for growing in ponds.
Bacopa monnieri “Compact”
Bacopa monnieri “Broadleaf”
Another artificially obtained form of the already known bacopa. In appearance, it very much resembles a popular plant – Indian Rotalu. The length in the aquarium usually does not exceed 20 cm, the leaves are rounded, thickened, the color of the leaf blade is green. Suitable for both aquarium maintenance and wet greenhouses. Prefers bright lighting. With a lack of light, internodes increase, which spoils the appearance of the plant. Propagated by lateral shoots, the number of which is very large.
The appearance is also different from another bacopa species. The stem is erect, leaves are arranged in pairs on it, each of which is divided into 5-7 segments, which is not immediately evident. Because of this, a kind of “skirt” of leaves is obtained. The surface form is capable of flowering, the flowers are pale blue.
For successful maintenance, it is necessary to maintain a number of requirements: soft and acidic water, bright lighting, a temperature of about 25-27 ° C, soil rich in nutrients (for example, Tetra CompleteSubstrate). Do not contain floating plants with cirrus bacopa, they can create a shadow.
Despite its name, this plant does not grow in Japan, but on the other side of the world – in the tropics of South America. But in the Land of the Rising Sun, this type of bacopa first began to be used for aquarium design, from where it was spread in other countries.
The appearance differs little from other bacopas: upright stalk, oval leaves arranged in pairs. The size of the bush in the aquarium is up to 20 cm. Propagated by lateral shoots, therefore, in a short time creates dense thickets. The plant is sensitive, requires good lighting, soft, acidic water, and nutritious soil.
Breeding bacopa in an aquarium is not difficult. The easiest way is to cut the stem. To do this, cut off the top of the plant with scissors and plant it in the ground, deepening the lower whorl of leaves. Soon, a new shoot will take root, for the active development of the root system, the Tetra PlantaMin fertilizer will help.