Overview: Hygrophila pinnatifida is a beautiful, visually striking and unique aquatic plant commonly used in aquariums. Originating from India, the plant hails from Acanthaceae family. The presence of distinctive feather-like leaves makes it look alike from other aquatic plants. It has gained popularity among aquarists for its ability to add a touch of vibrant greenery to underwater landscapes.
Appearance: Hygrophila pinnatifida features finely dissected leaves that resemble fern fronds that is what give it a unique appearance. The leaves grow in a pinnate pattern, creating an intricate and delicate appearance. Its creeping, horizontally growing stems can form dense clusters, making it an attractive foreground or midground plant in aquarium layouts. Hygrophila pinnatifida grows around 15 to 40 cm tall, making it suitable to grow as a background plant.
Hard/Soft Plant: Considered a moderately hardy plant, Hygrophila pinnatifida can adapt to a range of aquarium conditions. However, it thrives best in environments where water parameters are stable, and nutrient levels are well-maintained.
Ideal Water Temperature: It is advised to maintain temperature between 22-28°C for optimal growth of Hygrophila pinnatifida. This plant can tolerate a slightly broad temperature range but prefers warmer conditions typical of tropical aquariums.
Lighting Conditions: Hygrophila pinnatifida benefits from moderate to high lighting levels. Provide it with a consistent light source of 2 to 3 watts per gallon to support robust growth and vibrant coloration. High-quality aquarium LED lights are commonly used to meet its lighting requirements. Under proper lighting the Hygrophila pinnatifida develops vibrant colors on the leaves.
Ideal pH Level: Maintain a slightly acidic to neutral pH level, ideally between 6.0 and 7.5. Consistent water chemistry is essential for the well-being of Hygrophila pinnatifida.
Other Requirements: Hygrophila pinnatifida requires a nutrient-rich substrate to support its growth. A regular use of aquarium fertilizers will supplement all the necessary nutrients to the plant and ensure its growth. As far as carbon dioxide is concerned, even though it is not needed, a supplementation will enhance growth and promote lush foliage. Additionally, provide moderate water circulation to ensure nutrients reach all parts of the plant.
Propagation: Hygrophila pinnatifida can be propagated by cutting and replanting its stems. Ensure that each cutting has a portion of the rhizome to encourage root development. Regular pruning helps maintain a neat and compact appearance in the aquarium.
Do You Know: Hygrophila pinnatifida is known for its adaptability and can thrive in both low-tech and high-tech aquarium setups. In optimal conditions, this plant can develop vibrant red or pink hues along its stems and leaves. It serves as an excellent foreground or midground plant, contributing to the overall aesthetics of freshwater aquariums.