Hygrophila Polysperma is one of the easiest and hardiest aquarium plants. It is not
fussy with growth requirements and tends to exhibit strong growth whatever the water
conditions. It is also very easy to propagate. For these reasons, Hygrophila Polysperma
has been in the aquarium trade since the end of World War Two under many names such
as oriental Ludwigia, dwarf Hygrophila, Indian waterweed or just Hygro. It is cheap
and widely available.
Its use in aquascaping (creating planted aquarium tanks) is often as a relatively
large background plant, easily and quickly forming tall and attractive stems. Hygrophila
Polysperma has great potential in any planted aquarium, not only for taking up plenty
of midground and background space, but also in creating large and impressive areas
of tall stems. Hygrophila Polysperma leaves can turn a pink shade in high light,
often once they reach a higher part of the aquarium.
Hygrophila Polysperma doesn’t require any specific attention or care. Lighting needn’t
be particularly intense and no fertilisers or co2 injection is necessary to maintain
very fast growth. This plant can grow roughly an inch per day in good growing conditions.
Specialised substrate is surplus to requirements with most Hygrophila plants which
will happily root in fine gravel or sand.
Some maintenance is required and it is best to prune Hygrophila Polysperma once it
reaches the top of the tank. It will not stop growing and will happily spread right
the way across the water’s surface, becoming both leggy and blocking light for other
plants. Hygrophila Polysperma will remain a very attractive and useful plant in the
aquarium provided regular pruning takes place. Stems can easily be replanted into
the substrate once they have been removed to propagate a new stem.