26. Jul 2020
History and origins
The fascinating and unique Hygrophila ‘Compact’ is a variety of the widespread Southeast Asian, Hygrophila corymbosa. This compact variety is said to be a cultivar from Hygrophila corymbosa and developed in a nursery. It is also known as Hygrophila corymbosa ‘Mini’ and Nomaphila siamensis ‘Parvifolia’.
Hygrophila ‘Compact’ is characterised by the very short gaps between the leaves, known as internodes, and it forms a large number of lateral shoots, which enhances it compact appearance. When grown in the nursery the leaves are a dark brown-green colour but it turns a paler green when adapted to aquarium conditions. With more intense light new leaves may turn a reddish brown and in lower lighting levels the oldest leaves can die off, with new shoots forming afterwards. It is an easy category plant that’s supplied by Tropica in pots and can survive low light with no CO2 injection. As with other aquarium plants stronger lighting and CO2 addition will promote healthier and more robust, compact growth.
Preparing the plant
- Remove the plant from the pot then split apart the two halves of rock wool
- Remove as much of the rock wool as possible.
- Split the plant into several portions
- Plant into your substrate with aquascaping tweezers.
Where to use the plant
Hygrophila ‘Compact’ is an ideal foreground plant for larger aquariums and suitable for the midground in smaller tanks. It’s bright green and relatively broad leaves can look very effective contrasting against finer textured and different colour plants. It does best with moderate lighting to stronger lighting so ensure it is not overshadowed excessively by any adjacent plants. Planting it next to your aquarium decor can offer a great contrast in colour and texture. Due to its compact growth characteristic, it looks best when planted in groups to gain the most attractive visual impact.
Maintaining the plant
Hygrophila ‘Compact’ is a relatively slow grower when compared with other Hygrophila species but it should be trimmed regularly in order to maintain its attractive compact appearance. Cuttings can be re-planted or disposed of responsibly. It does best in moderate to strong lighting in order to maintain a compact growth form but should remain healthy in lower energy conditions. As discussed, CO2 injection will improve growth considerably but it isn’t essential. Planting into a nutrient-rich substrate such as Tropica Aquarium Soil or Tropica Plant Growth Substrate with Nutrition Capsules will give the best results in combination with a liquid fertiliser such as Tropica Premium or Specialised Nutrition to feed the plant leaves.
Hygrophila ‘Compact’ is a beautiful and unique plant suitable for wide range of aquarium sizes and growing conditions. With its bright green and broad leaves it provides a great contrast to many other plant species and will look great as a high impact group in a smaller aquarium, or an attractive accent in a larger tank. So if you’re interested in trying out something that’s easy to care for and a little different then give Hygrophila ‘Compact’ a go!
More details about the plant
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