- Scientific name: Bacopa Monnieri
- Common Name: Bacopa, Water Hyssop, Baby Tear, Brahmi
- Temperature: Between 15ºC to 30ºC
- pH: Between 6 and 8
- Difficulty level: Low
- Growth, height: 50 cm or more
Bacopa Monnieri is a creeping perennial herbaceous plant belonging to the Scrophulariaceae family that lives in humid environments and muddy shores.
Its leaves are thick and oblanceolate, arranged in the opposite direction to the stem. This one is thin and erect. Its ability to grow in both fresh and slightly brackish water, make it a widely used plant in aquariums .
It can be placed in the back or middle of the tank, preferably in a group. If it is submerged, it will seek the light towards the surface, but if it is on the surface, it will have a creeping shape having a much faster growth.
Its popularity in aquariums may be due to the fact thatit is very easy to grow, and tolerates a wide range of conditions in the water. Their growth is slow and they require large amounts of light.
It is a succulent plant with a rounded shape. Its leaves are oval and slightly serrated, as well as fleshy, as is the case with all succulents, since it serves as an organ to store water.
It can come to bloom giving one flower per stem, but it will only happen if they are above the water level… inside the aquarium it will not flower.
Its usual coloration is bright green. If we observe a change in its color, it may be due to deficiencies due to chlorosis, although it can also suffer necrosis.
In swamps, the stem of Bacopa monnieri reaches up to 50 centimeters long and 3 centimeters in diameter. It is upright when submerged and creeping when on the surface.
It grows moderately, and can reach 10 centimeters a month. This value must be taken into account when we are going to include it in the aquarium, since when we reach a certain height, we must prune regularly to keep the plant within a suitable size for the aquarium.
Distribution and habitat
Bacopa Monnieri is native to the swampy areas of Nepal, Sri Lanka, India, Vietnam, Taiwan, and China .
In the United States, specifically in Florida and the southern states, it is grown in lagoons and swampy gardens.
Currently it can be found feral in many regions of the planet : in wetlands, on the banks of streams and rivers where it forms compact groups.
For this amphibian plant to adapt well to an aquarium, it must have specific conditions:
- The temperatures it supports range from 15ºC to 30 ° C.
- The demand for the water levels is low, it could be submerged or not.
- gH from 6th to 13th
- pH 6 to 9
It supports waters with high accumulations of mineral salts, being able to tolerate waters with a pH from acid to alkaline.
The aquarium lighting must be medium to very high for its proper development.
It can survive perfectly in an aquarium with low lighting, although its growth will slow down, and the space between the nodes (where the leaves develop) will be widened, making the plant very unattractive.
When in perfect condition it looks very compact, in low light it will look very limp.
Substrate and subscriber
The type of substrate that should be used for growing this plant in aquariums is fine gravel.
It is recommended to include concentrations of chloride and cadmium. When fertilizing , you must do it with fertilizer that contains Ca, Mg, He and micronutrients, keeping in mind that the amount varies depending on the aquarium and if it is a community or a planted aquarium.
The best form of reproduction is asexual, since in the aquarium it is very rare for it to flower, and if it did, it would be a longer and complicated process that would imply having to sow seeds.
They multiply very easily by cuttings.
When trying to repopulate using cuttings, it is advisable to find the most vigorous and healthy ones to replant in the substrate, fixing them in compact spaces. When the first leaves are observed it can be concluded that the cutting is already rooted and begins its growth and subsequent reproduction.
Another way to repopulate is, burying a few centimeters of a stem that does not contain leaves, in a short time roots will appear and we can separate that stem from its original plant.
Groups of several stems should be sought, leaving 5 centimeters between them in order for enough light to reach the base of the stem and begin rooting and subsequent growth.
Regarding maintenance, the appearance of algae must be observed very well . Once they appear, it is quite laborious to remove them from the Bacopa .
So, the water changes of a planted aquarium are important, to help restore the levels of microelements that the plants need. Being essential in the same way to keep algae at the margin since if a lot of ammonia, phosphates and nitrates accumulate, the aquarium will fill with them in an exaggerated way.
They do not present much difficulty because they are very resistant aquarium plants. They adapt perfectly to different conditions of pH, gH and substrates.