Bacopa caroliana (Common names: mint bacopa, lemon bacopa, blue water hyssop)
Overview: Originating from the South-eastern United States of America, Bacopa caroliana is one of the most popular and readily available aquatic plants for aquariums. The undemanding nature of these plants and slow grow rate makes it a preferred choice among aquarium hobbyists. Bacopa caroliana grows well in bogs or partially submerged in it’s natural habitat. Its leaf arrangement can be customized and hence serves as a great option in aquascaping.
Appearance: The stems of Bacopa caroliana grows about 10 to 50 cm long and 3 to 4 cm wide. The leaves are thick and succulent, and emit a citrus smell when crushed. The coloration ranges from greenish yellow to pinkish copper- brown depending on the intensity of light it is exposed to. In immersed state, it produces small purple flowers, but in aquariums, the flowers tend to decompose.
Hard or Soft plant: Hard plant
Ideal water temperature: Bacopa caroliana prefers water temperatures between 21 and 27 degree Celsius.
Lighting: Bacopa caroliana grows well in ample lighting conditions, but manages to grow under moderate lighting too.
Ideal pH conditions: Bacopa caroliana thrives in pH levels between 6.5 and 7.5 and water hardness between 71.43 and 142.86 ppm.
Functions and advantages:
- Bioluminescence: Bacopa caroliana produces reddish light from chlorophyll when gold nanoparticles are introduced to it, causing the cell to promote photosynthesis. Taiwanese scientists are doing R&D on this natural phenomenon to find out how Bacopa caroliana can be used to reduce global warming and reduce energy costs substantially.
- The leaves of Bacopa caroliana have a characteristic lemony fragrance, are edible and used as a garnishing herb.
- The leaf infusion can be used for medicinal purposes to cure respiratory issues like chronic cough and breathing problems.
- Used for aqua-scapes in aquariums because of its beautiful coloration and bluish purple flowers.
Did you know? Bacopa caroliana produces lateral shoots and propagates by removing the side shoots from the parent plant and planting the bare stem into the substrate. Care must be taken to remove the bottom leaves to remove the bare stem without crushing it. New shoots soon develop that grows into new plants. When being planted to a new tank for the first time, use of fertilizers and nitrates are strongly recommended.