Bacopa caroliniana is a common and popular aquarium plant the world round. This plant remains a staple of the aquarium hobby due to it being undemanding in almost every way. This plant distinguishes itself from other stem-plants with its relatively slow growth. This makes it more manageable, as it does not require the regular pruning that other fast growing stem plants do.
This plant is generally greenish yellow in colour, however, under intense light the shoots will often gain a pinkish or copper-brown colour. As this plant is undemanding, it does not require regular nutrient dosing, however, as with most plants, colouration is improved with regular iron and micronutrient dosing. Carbon dioxide and macronutrient supplementation will result in slightly faster growth, and thicker leaves. This plant produces small purple flowers when grown emersed.
Use in Aqua-scaping
When used in aqua-scaping, single large stems can be allowed to grow slowly upward. When placed in a small group, single stems will produce long, solid stalks with circumferential leaf groups. This arrangement can create a strong vertical element in an aqua-scape and compliment the horizontal elements that can be created using various hardscape elements.
Alternatively, this plant can be regularly pruned which will cause the proliferation of side shoots that is typical of stem plants. After a few cycles of pruning, the resultant plant will have a thick, bushy structure. After a few months the lower parts of the plant gradually degrade and diminish the plant’s appearance, however, this is easily remedied by uprooting the plant and removing the unsightly lower sections of the plant. Propagation is similar to other stem plants; simply remove the upper portion of the stem and replant that portion.
The circular shape of this plants leaves contrast well with many other popular species of stem plants. B. caroliniana allows the hobbyist to design an aqua-scape that transitions smoothly between the different leaf shapes, as most stem plants have larger or smaller leaf shapes than B. caroliniana. Alternatively, this plant can be positioned between two groups of smaller leaved plants, making the plant stand out in the aqua-scape.
Overall, this is a great plant for any aquarist looking for a low-maintenance stem plant.