Overview: Popular with names such as Pepperwort, Bristly water-clover, and Rough water-clover, Marsilea hirsuta is a beautiful aquarium plant suitable for novice aquarists. It is more like a freshwater aquatic fern. This plant is easy to maintain and perfect as a foreground aquatic plant. Since it grows along the substrate and creeps, it is also used as a carpet plant. The strong carpeting ability comes from its prolific runners that spread and create a carpet-like formation. The slow growth and compact size are other factors that make Marsilea hirsute a wonderful carpeting aquatic plant.
Native to Australia and hailing from the Marsileaceae family, Marsilea is a tropical freshwater tank setup. It can be easily found growing on the banks of rivers in its natural habitat. Due to its amphibious nature, it can be grown in submerged and emersed conditions.
Appearance: Marsilea is a small, lush green aquatic plant. Usually, its height does not go beyond 4 inches; that’s why it is often used as a carpet plant. This plant is suitable if the tank has bottom-dwelling fish. However, if the lighting is given for longer hours, it may grow slightly taller. The bright green color gives a stunning contrast to the tank.
Thin stems with round leaves that grow slightly over 0.2 to 0.4 inches look amazing. Since leaves grow dense, they form a carpet along the substrate, blocking light from reaching there.
Hard/Soft Plant: Marsilea is a hardy plant; therefore, it is suitable for beginners. It can be used for aquascaping to create a lush green tank.
Ideal water temperature: The ideal temperature range is between 20 and 28 degrees Celsius. Since it is a hardy plant, it can thrive well even when the temperature fluctuates a bit.
Lightening conditions: Marsilea requires bright light to thrive well and develop a lush green color on leaves. Even though it will survive under low light, bright light will always give it better growth.
Other Requirements: Partial change of water to get rid of algae is essential after every 15 days. Additional fertilizers, especially carbon dioxide supplementation, will help improve the plant's growth and make it greener.
Ideal pH level: The pH for Marsilea should remain between 5 and 7.5, and the water hardness should not go beyond 20 dH.
Propagation: Marsilea propagates through rhizome division. Over time, new leaves and branches emerge, forming a completely new plant.
Do you know: One of the problems that aquarists face while having Marsilea is melting. It usually occurs when a plant is subjected to a new water environment without acclimatization. Therefore, try not to get Marsilea into stress to ensure no melting.