Moneywort (Bacopa monnieri) isn’t just an aesthetically pleasing plant to have in your aquarium, it can also have positive effects on the wellbeing of your fish and tank environment in general. This guide is a comprehensive breakdown of all you need to know about taking proper care of moneywort in an aquarium setting.
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Moneywort, otherwise known by its many aliases such as water hyssop, coastal hyssop, or “creeping plant” has become a popular choice amongst aquarium hobbyists. This adaptable and hardy aquatic plant boasts a wide natural distribution across various continents and can thrive in somewhat imperfect conditions.
The Benefits of Having It in Your Tank
Moneywort is an excellent plant to have in your aquarium as it offers many benefits, including:
Oxygenation: Moneywort is known for its ability to release oxygen into the water through its leaves, which is beneficial to the aquatic life in the tank.
Natural filtration: The plant helps in the absorption of nitrates, phosphates, and other organic waste, which helps maintain a healthy environment in the tank.
Hiding place: Moneywort provides a hiding place for small fish, shrimps, and other aquatic creatures.
Aesthetic appeal: The vibrant green color and the unique shape of the leaves add a beautiful look to the aquarium.
Additionally, its foliage provides shelter for breeding fish, making it a worthwhile investment for anyone looking to breed their own.
Moneywort features one long stem with nodes along it, each sprouting thick leaves. The foliage frames the stem in a two-inch-wide formation, with leaves that are thick and fleshy, similar to succulents found on land.
With proper lighting, this plant has the potential to bloom small white flowers with splashes of pink and purple.
Size And Growth Rate
In aquariums, moneywort typically grows 12 inches tall, although they can grow longer under ideal conditions in the wild.
Moreover, its growth rate is relatively fast at around an inch per month, although this can vary depending on the water and lighting conditions. Regular pruning is required for optimum growth.
In terms of difficulty level, moneywort care is generally quite straightforward and requires basic upkeep.
The most important thing to consider is the size of the tank, which should be 10 gallons or more depending on the fish you plan to keep with it.
Water parameters should be kept in line with the tropical freshwater requirements of moneywort, namely pH 6.5-7.5, water hardness 5-15 dGH, and temperature 72-82°F (22-27°C).
Although not necessary, this plant can benefit from occasional feeding. Liquid fertilizer works best because it easily dissolves into the water and is quickly absorbed by the roots.
Alternatively, you can purchase substrate-based tabs which provide slow release nutrition, ensuring healthy growth and coloration.
Moneywort grows best with low to medium light intensity. A good rule of thumb is to provide 3-5 watts per gallon, preferably in the form of full-spectrum lighting that mimics natural daylight. Too much light may result in stunted growth and algae outbreaks.
Pruning needs to be done regularly to prevent the plant from becoming overcrowded. Clip off any dead or dying foliage, but be careful not to remove too much of the plant at once.
Pruned leaves can be used as cuttings to propagate for future use.
When it comes to choosing tank mates for moneywort, it is important to consider the plant’s needs and the needs of the other fish and invertebrates in the tank. This plant can coexist with a wide variety of fish, but some species may be more compatible than others.
Here are some examples of suitable tank mates for moneywort:
1. Neon tetras: These small, colorful fish are peaceful and do not pose a threat to moneywort.
2. Corydoras catfish: These bottom-dwelling fish are also peaceful and will not damage the plant.
3. Guppies: These small, colorful fish are active and fun to watch. They are also peaceful and do not pose a threat to moneywort.
4. Cherry shrimp: These tiny invertebrates are great algae eaters and will not harm moneywort.
5. Otocinclus catfish: These small, algae-eating catfish are peaceful and will not damage moneywort.
6. Endler’s livebearers: These small, colorful fish are peaceful and do well in planted aquariums.
7. Ember tetras: These small, colorful fish are peaceful and will not harm moneywort.
It is important to avoid keeping any aggressive or herbivorous fish with moneywort, as they may damage or eat the plant. Additionally, it is important to ensure that the tank is well-maintained and that the water parameters are appropriate for all the inhabitants of the tank.
When it comes to propagating moneywort, the process is quite simple. Here are the steps to propagate moneywort:
1. Identify a healthy stem: Look for a stem that has several sets of leaves and is free of damage or disease.
2. Cut the stem: Using sharp scissors or a razor blade, make a clean cut just below a set of leaves. You should have a stem segment that is about 4-6 inches long.
3. Remove the lower leaves: Carefully remove the bottom 1-2 sets of leaves from the stem. This will expose a section of the stem that will be submerged in water.
4. Place the stem in water: Place the stem segment in a container of clean water. The water should cover the exposed section of the stem but not the leaves.
5. Wait for roots to form: In a few days, you should start to see small white roots forming from the bottom of the stem.
6. Plant the stem: Once the roots have grown to about an inch long, you can plant the stem in your aquarium substrate. Gently press the stem into the substrate, making sure that the roots are covered.
7. Maintain water conditions: Continue to maintain appropriate water conditions, including appropriate lighting and nutrient levels, to ensure that the new plant has the best chance of survival.
With these steps, you can easily propagate moneywort and add more plants to your aquarium.
Author Note: Remember to always use clean tools and maintain good hygiene when working with your aquarium plants to prevent the spread of disease and parasites.
Understanding how to take care of moneywort in an aquarium isn’t difficult – it’s a forgiving and adaptable plant that can survive a range of water conditions. With the right lighting, water parameters, and occasional feeds, moneywort will soon flourish in your tank, creating an attractive and beneficial environment for your fish.
On top of its many benefits, Moneywort is an excellent choice for beginners due to its low-maintenance nature. As long as the water parameters are kept in line and light levels don’t exceed the recommended intensity, Moneywort should thrive in most environments
Another thing to note is that Moneywort is sensitive to copper, which is commonly found in some medications used to treat fish diseases. Copper can cause issues such as rotten leaves and discoloration, so it is best to avoid copper-based medication while the plant is present in the tank.
It’s also beneficial to utilize slow-release fertilizers and liquid products to maximize the potential of Moneywort. Regular fertilization can help keep the plant vibrant and healthy.
Dry fertilizers and supplements can be added to the substrate of Moneywort as well, however it important to remember that excess nutrients can cause unhealthy algal growth. Therefore, it is essential to monitor the levels of fertilizer and make adjustments accordingly if necessary.
All in all, Moneywort is an excellent aquatic plant for any aquarium. It is hardy and adaptable, and with the right care and maintenance, it can add a beautiful and lively touch to any tank.