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Hydrocotyle leucocephala
Brazilian Pennywort

 Age of Aquariums > Aquarium Plants

Photos & Comments

hleuco2.jpg (35kb)
Photo Credit: Raquel & Marcos

Name: Hydrocotyle leucocephala
Care GravelLight
Origin: South America
Easy Plain Average


One of the most interesting aquarium plants I've ever seen. It needs bright light, but for some reason it grows just fine in my low-light tank. I've never had a problem with it. One thing I love about it is how under every circular leaf, there is a tiny root system there. Under good tank conditions, this plant will take off for the surface of the tank. Blink, and before you know it, you'll have to cut the plant down so the plants on the bottom of the tank can receive light.

Contributed by Shawna

This is my favorite plant. It grows extremely fast in my tank, a 200 L with 80 W of light and DIY CO2. When you buy it, it may appear straggly and patient; in a month it became the most prominent bunch plant in my tank. I bought 15 cm plants and they have become 50 cm plants in a month's time. Their light yellow-green color forms a beautiful contrast to many of the darker green aquarium plants, and their round leaves make a nice rest stop for oto cats.

Contributed by Chuck MacNaughton

This is one very pretty plant with lily shaped leaves, as the name implies. If you have a large tank and some empty space then this is the plant for you. This plant will grow roots at all the leave junctions if the water chemistry is OK. Overall it is an easy plant to take care and fast grower. Do expect to prune monthly and if you can propagate it. The plant provides a very serene and surreal viewing experience. It is ideal for schools of small fishes to hide and chase each other around.

Contributed by Karl Chen

I bought two of these, and in two weeks time both plants had grown about 10 cm longer! I don't know about its requirements, but it does fine in my (fairly low-light) tank. The roots underneath each leaf grow really long, which provides small fish with a place to shelter. I've heard that you can use them as floating plant, but I planted mine.

Contributed by Esther

I am a big fan of this plant also. I use it as floating cover for my liverbearer fry. It is a fast grower that will branch when floating. I prune it about every two weeks or it would be a solid mass across the top of the water.

Contributed by Gary Kee

This is a gorgeous light-green plant, but if I'm not mistaken, it's also used as an herb and is sometimes put in salads. If you smell it, you'll notice that it has a very nice herby smell. For that reason, certain fish who like to eat plants, will be all over this one. Mine is constantly ravaged by my mollies. But I keep it in there, because it's also a great plant for otos to hide in. You can plant it into substrate if you like, but it seems that most people prefer to let it float. I prefer to plant it or let it suspend in one corner of the tank (the filter current pushes it there) because it can and will block a lot of light if you let it cover the surface of your water. If you plant it, be careful about how you do it, because the stems can break easily.

Contributed by Karen Heiby

I've always had this plant in my low light, non CO2 tanks. A fast grower, especially since the addition of some Flourish Excel. I'm sure this plant would explode with the addition of some CO2! Although a little prone to algae on the lower leaves, it is a very beautiful plant with a really interesting structure and great pale green colour. I root mine to the substrate rather than float it. Very similar to Cardamine lyrata (which I thought it was until recently) but the leaves of Cardamine are much smaller and more delicate than pennywort. Highly recommended.

Contributed by Michael Conaghan

This plant grows pretty fast in my 150 L, 140 W tank. I need to prune it monthly so it won't take over the tank. Otos like to rest on the heart-shape leaf and sometimes swim through it. A beautiful plant indeed.

Contributed by Karl Kwong

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