Aquarium Plants Profile: Hydrocotyle leucocephala
 (Brazilian Water Ivy)

 To ask a question about this aquarium plant email: Don Matakis

 Grows to a height of 4 to 8 inches (up to 24in.) (MID to BACKGROUND)
 The width of each stem is about 2 to 6 inches, based on leaf growth
 Low to high lighting (1.5 - 4 watts/gal)
 Optimum growth temperature is 68 to 82.4 degrees

A plant that grows fast and adapts easily, thriving in relatively hard water. Immediately after planting Hydrocotyle leucocephala will grow towards the light and the surface, where it will spread. It does not need to be rooted, but can be used as a floating plant which provides a hiding-place for young fish. Used as a herb in the tropics. (Excerpt From Tropica)

Hydrocotyle leucocephala is an easy to grow stem plant that will thrive in all aquariums. The plant typically grows to a height of 4 to 8 inches, even taller (24 in.) under high light conditions which has been my experience. The width of each stem is about 2 to 6 inches, based on leaf growth.The leaf is roundish to reniform and alternating.

This plant does well in all water hardness conditions and most lighting situations. Optimum growth temperature is 68 to 82.4 degrees, although it can grow in temps from 41 to 86 degrees.

Hydrocotyle leucocephala requires low to high lighting (1.5 - 4 watts/gal) to do well. If kept in low-light tanks growth is slower. Plant either in the substrate or as a floating plant.

Don's Notes:

My experience with this aquarium plant is that Hydrocotyle leucocephala is actually very easy to grow  and is my personal favorite of all aquarium plants. This is a very tropical and exotic looking plant with a beautiful shade of green. Hydrocotyle leucocephala does better with a nutrient rich water column and loves nitrogen. If nutrients are low, growth seems to stall and leaves become smaller. Aquarists with a bit harder water might find that this plant grows very fast. For those with very soft water growth is not as rapid, although fine specimens can be grown. A beautiful addition to any aquascape!

Hydrocotyle leucocephala is found in Southern Mexico to Northern Argentina.


Don Matakis is the Aquatic Grower & Senior Aquaculturist for

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