Hygrophila Polysperma

lljdma06

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Scientific name - Hygrophila polysperma

Common terms - Dwarf hygrophila, East Indian hygrophila, Indian swampweed, Miramar weed, hygro

Geographic origin - India

Type (stem, bulb, rhizome, floating, etc.) - Stem

Max. size (height, width) - Maximum height 50cm, Width 10cm, leaf length 4cm, leaf width 1cm

Lighting required - Moderate to High (I have had mine with success from between 1.5-3.7 WPG)

Temperature - 20-30C

Water chemistry requirements (pH, hardness) - Can be kept under various conditions

Growth rates - Fast

Demands - Low, see below

Additional info - Hygrophila polysperma is an ideal beginner's plan to help with algae in the aquarium. It thrives with the addition of iron supplements, adaquate light 1.5WPG+, CO2 injection, and a nutrient-rich substrate like flourite or laterite. This plant needs to be pruned regularly to maintain its health. It reproduces from both cuttings and side shoots. The cuttings can even be as small as a single leaf in nutrient-rich environments. There are several man-made varieties of this plant, including the red varigated cultivar pictured below, known as "tropical sunset". The wild variety has light green leaves that can acquire a reddish tinge and more compact form as the plant pushes toward the surface. It can also flower if allowed to grow past the water's surface. A word of warning, make sure you check your states noxious weeds list before investing in this plant. Several states, FL included, will not import or export this plant and it is illegal to own it. This plant is so successful, it has established itself in several wild ecosystems and is proving difficult to remove. I have enjoyed my hygrophila polysperma. It has proven to be a true survivor (It survived and thrived for 6 weeks without adaquate light, filtration, CO2, or fertilization). A truely difficult plant to kill, and a lovely addition to the aquarium.




Sources: Encyclopedia of Aquarium Plants (specific numerical statistics and exact region)
Practical experience
 

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