Common Name: Giant Mint Long Leaf
Plant Use: Background
Difficulty Level: Medium
Light Demand: Medium
Co2 Demand: Low
Fertilizer Demand: Low
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Description: Hygrophila angustifolia, also known as Willow Hygrophila, is a graceful stem plant that adds a touch of elegance to freshwater aquariums. Native to Southeast Asia, this aquatic plant is characterized by its slender, willow-shaped leaves and the ability to develop a vibrant green hue under optimal conditions. It is a popular choice among aquarists for its versatility, ease of care, and its ability to contribute to lush and natural aquascapes.
- Scientific Name: Hygrophila angustifolia
- Family: Acanthaceae
- Origin: Southeast Asia
- Difficulty Level: Easy
- Lighting Requirements: Low to High
- CO2 Requirement: Low to Medium
- Temperature Range: 68-82°F (20-28°C)
- pH Range: 6.0-7.5
- Propagation: Cuttings, Side Shoots
1. Lighting: Willow Hygrophila is adaptable to a wide range of lighting conditions, from low to high. Higher light levels encourage more compact growth and intensify the green coloration of the leaves.
2. Substrate: Plant in a nutrient-rich substrate to provide essential nutrients for healthy growth. Additionally, the use of root tabs or liquid fertilizers can enhance the nutrient content in the substrate.
3. CO2 and Nutrients: While it can thrive in low to medium CO2 environments, supplementing with CO2 can boost growth and coloration. Regular dosing of a complete liquid fertilizer ensures the plant receives necessary nutrients.
4. Pruning: Regular pruning helps maintain the desired shape and prevents the plant from becoming too leggy. Trimming the top portions encourages lateral growth and creates a bushier appearance.
5. Water Parameters: Maintain stable water parameters with a temperature range of 68-82°F (20-28°C), a slightly acidic to neutral pH between 6.0-7.5, and soft to moderately hard water.
6. Placement: Hygrophila angustifolia is suitable for midground or background placement in aquariums. Its tall, slender stems make it an excellent choice for adding vertical interest to aquascapes.
7. Propagation: Propagate Willow Hygrophila through cuttings or side shoots. Cut healthy stems and replant them in the substrate, or allow the plant to produce side shoots that can be separated and replanted.
8. Challenges: Considered an easy-to-care-for plant, Hygrophila angustifolia is well-suited for beginners. It can adapt to various conditions, making it a versatile choice for different aquarium setups.
Willow Hygrophila, with its slender and graceful appearance, provides a dynamic element to aquariums. Whether used to create a lush background or as a midground accent, this plant contributes to the overall beauty and natural feel of freshwater aquatic environments.