Whenever you want to include plants in your aquarium, you may want to consider using Bacopa Caroliniana. This plant can also be called Lemon Bacopa, Water Hyssop, or Giant Red Bacopa. It all depends on the reference text.
Some call it the Lemon Bacopa since it gives off a lemon scent when you crush its leaves.
The plant has its origin in the United States. It grew naturally in the warmer southern states. Well, you could also find it in other continents and countries such as South Korea.
This guide looks at why you may consider using Bacopa Caroliniana in your aquarium and how best to care for it.
Why Choose Bacopa Caroliniana
The first reason Bacopa Caroliniana is a top pick is because of its hardy nature. It can do remarkably well in different water conditions. Well, the plant does not just grow in water, but also in soil and sand. It can also grow while floating on the water surface, thus providing the fish with enough shelter.
Aquarium plants are vital for improving overall aquarium health. This is because the plants will take away some of the pollutants common in your tank. That is what B. Caroliniana will do for your aquarium.
There is no doubt that the fish and the various tank mates would enjoy the shelter they get from such plants. With the shelter in place, the fish will also not have to stress much.
The plants are good in terms of making the aquarium look good. You will notice that the aquarium will be aesthetically pleasing. Rather than the plain water, you now have some plants to make everything better.
Bacopa Caroliniana is characterized by having bright colors. For more people, this will be a great sight to look at. The effect is even better when the plants finally flower. You are going to generally like the overall look of the plants generally.
The flowers will develop above the water surface. However, the plant can also flower in the tank. You are likely to end up with blue flowers with around five petals.
The color of the Bacopa Caroliniana plant is likely to differ based on the light intensity. The bright colors in a room will make the plant have a reddish-brown color. That is why you can find it being called the Giant Red Bacopa in some texts.
When the light intensity is low, the plants will have the classic green color for the whole plant.
Having a bright color can also make the leaves grow closer and remain tightly packed. As such, you should end up with a bushier appearance.
The leaves have an oval shape and will be around one inch in size. They can be thick with a wax coating too. It is because of this wax that the plant can survive underwater. The wax will also give the plant its glossy effect.
As for the height, you can expect the maximum height of the stems to reach 16 inches. However, you can still control the height by trimming the top regularly.
Understanding the plant habitat can help determine how best to set up the tank to grow such a plant.
This plant is a freshwater species. As such, you can find them growing in ponds, wetlands, marshes, and lakes. They can also grow around the shorelines or even the shallow waters. The plants can also manage to grow when they are fully submerged. So long as there is enough light, the plants will flourish.
The water parameters can vary slightly in natural habitats. However, these plants prefer when the water is warm with slight acidity and alkalinity.
So, if you have to plant it in the tank, you can choose any substrate. This is because the plants can grow either in sand or gravel with ease. You may want to consider the tank mates when picking the best substrate.
You do not even need fertilizer to grow this type of plant. Keep in mind that the fish will emit biowaste, so that can be used as fertilizer by the plant.
The Bacopa Caroliniana tends to float easily. It is the reason you are advised to weigh it down. Also, plant it in a space that will not have its roots competing with other plant species for space.
Since we are still looking at how to set it up right, you should also consider the temperature. Your tank temperature should be from 68 degrees F to 82 degrees F. Nevertheless, the plant can still grow in cooler water as low as 14 degrees F. However, cooler water will lead to slower growth.
You also have to take note of the pH level. The pH should be from 6 to 8. Make sure to avoid the extremes on either side. Most people have found that both hard and soft water can be a great choice for the plant.
Providing the plants with 8 to 10 hours of light is highly recommended.
There is no doubt you would also have the question of tank size on your mind. The last thing anyone wants is a tank that cannot hold the plants.
You can keep the plants in different tank sizes. However, it is easy for the plants to outgrow the small tanks. This means you might have to do more maintenance to contain the plants.
For starters, consider a tank of size 10 gallons or more. This will help keep you from trying to keep the plant contained all the time.
Most people love growing plants in large tanks. You could cut it more often when it gets to the surface of the water. If you do not trim it, the plant can still grow above the surface easily without a problem.
Caring for Bacopa Caroliniana
Most people find Bacopa Caroliniana as a hardy plant. This means the plants can easily be adapted to different aquarium setups and will still grow great without the owner intervening too much.
The plant will also grow fast, especially when the aquarium has warm water. Other things that would make the plants grow fast include bright lights, improved oxygen concentration, and a tank with many nutrients the plants need.
As mentioned earlier, the plants do not need a lot of maintenance. It is for this reason; you only have to maintain the tank to be in the best condition. Let the biowaste from the fish provide all the important nutrients the plants need to grow better.
Still, as part of caring for the plant, it is best to trim the plants whenever they get tall. Most people should not find this as a lot of work to do. So long you have planted them in a large tank, you will not have to keep trimming them all the time.
After you have trimmed the plants, be careful how you dispose of the cuttings. This is because you do not want to introduce the plant into your local ecosystem. This is because they can grow and spread quickly, making it hard to contain them.
The best way to dispose of them is through burying, adding to the compost heap, or you could dissolve them in bleach.
Tank Mates for Bacopa Caroliniana
Anyone who is creating a tank community would also think of adding more plants to the tank. As much as the Bacopa Caroliniana is hardy, you should consider planting it in a freshwater environment. This means that the other tank mates should also be freshwater plants.
Other than using plants, you could also use other fish types as part of the tank community. Some of the options as fish that can survive well in such a tank would be the mollies, guppies, tetras, yoyo loaches, otocinclus, and many others.
You may be wondering if the fish will feed on Bacopa Caroliniana. Well, that is not a problem. This is because the fish tend to avoid this plant. It might be the smell it gives off when crushed. This is yet to be confirmed. However, even if the fish nibbles on the plants, they will still grow back fast. So, this is not a big deal.
Other than the fish, you could also get other invertebrates as the tank mate. You could consider shrimps and snails for this type of environment.
Propagation is quite easy for Bacopa Caroliniana. Most people find it easy to do it in an aquarium. You simply have to buy it in small amounts and then multiply the plants in the aquarium. Just have some patience as the plant will quickly fill up the aquarium.
Those who might want to speed up the growth process can cut the side shoots when the plants develop rooms. Plant these shoots in other places in the aquarium.
You could also use the cuttings from another aquarium to grow in a different aquarium. However, you are advised not to plant Bacopa Caroliniana without its roots. This is because it may rot while in the substrate.
Now that you have more information about what Bacopa Caroliniana is all about, you may be ready to get some for yourself. That will be a good move since the plant is hardy and can complement the other tank mates. Also, many people find it easy to care for Bacopa Caroliniana in general.