Brazilian Pennywort: The Perfect Aquatic Plant

Brazilian Pennywort

Aquarium enthusiasts will be familiar with the gorgeous qualities of Hydrocotyle leucocephala; commonly named Brazilian pennywort. It’s an excellent addition for underwater settings given features such as striking aesthetics, easy-to-manage care characteristics along with enhancing overall water health. Our exploration of Brazilian pennywort covers key elements from identifying size specifications to how you can introduce it into your tank while considering handy strategies such as using it hanging float-like above your setup too!

Brazilian Pennywort

Brazilian Pennywort: Size and Appearance

Brazilian pennywort is a versatile plant that can adapt to different environments. It features small, round leaves that resemble a penny, hence its common name. The size of Brazilian pennywort can vary depending on the conditions it grows in. Under optimal conditions, it can reach a height of 6 to 8 inches, making it an excellent choice for midground or background placement in aquariums.

Brazilian Pennywort Care

Light Requirements

The plant is a moderate light-demanding plant that can thrive in both low and high-light conditions. However, to achieve optimal growth and vibrant foliage, providing moderate to high lighting is recommended. If placed in low light conditions, the plant may exhibit slower growth and elongated stems.

Water Conditions

Choosing an adaptable aquatic plant is essential when creating different aquarium environments, which is why we can’t recommend this one enough! Able to withstand pH levels between 6 to 7.5 and varying degrees of hardness (2-15 dKH) you’re spoilt for choice when using this versatile species in your aquarium’s design plans! A word of caution though: proper care must be taken with adequate circulation mechanisms and filtration systems in place to prevent debris accumulation around the plant, which could potentially affect its growth and overall health.


The plant prefers tropical temperatures in the range of 72 to 82°F (22 to 28°C). It can withstand slight temperature fluctuations but should be kept within this optimal range for healthy growth.

Substrate and Planting

While the plant can be planted on a substrate, it can also be left floating. If planted, it benefits from a nutrient-rich substrate like aqua soil or a nutrient substrate layer beneath a gravel or sand substrate. Plant the stems gently into the substrate, ensuring that the crown remains above the surface to prevent rotting.

Brazilian Pennywort in the Aquarium

Benefits for Aquariums

Brazilian pennywort offers numerous benefits for aquariums. It helps to oxygenate the water by facilitating the exchange of gases, which is especially crucial in densely stocked aquariums where oxygen levels may be lower. The plant also provides hiding spots and shade for fish, reducing stress and creating a more natural environment. Additionally, Brazilian pennywort absorbs excess nutrients such as nitrates, helping to prevent algae overgrowth.

Placement and Arrangement

When placing them in the aquarium, consider their growth habit and size. Due to its potential height, it is best suited for midground or background placement. Create a visually appealing arrangement by planting taller specimens at the back of the aquarium and gradually decreasing their height towards the front. This technique adds depth and creates a natural-looking aquascape.

Compatibility with Other Plants and Fish

Brazilian pennywort is a peaceful plant that generally coexists well with other aquatic plants. However, it may require regular trimming to prevent it from overshadowing smaller or slower-growing plants. As for fish, most species will not disturb or consume Brazilian pennywort, making it a suitable choice for community aquariums. However, it’s always important to research the specific compatibility of your fish species with live plants.

Propagation of Brazilian Pennywort

Methods of Propagation

Brazilian pennywort can be easily propagated through stem cuttings or by using its runners.

Propagation through Stem Cuttings

To propagate Brazilian pennywort through stem cuttings, simply trim a healthy stem with several leaves from the parent plant. Remove the lower leaves and plant the cutting into the substrate, ensuring that the crown remains above the surface. Over time, the cutting will develop roots and grow into a new plant.

Propagation through Runners

Brazilian pennywort also produces runners, which are horizontal stems that grow along the substrate surface. These runners develop new plantlets that can be separated and replanted in different areas of the aquarium. Gently detach the plantlets from the runners and plant them in the desired locations.

Brazilian Pennywort as a Floating Plant

Brazilian Pennywort float

Advantages of Floating Brazilian Pennywort

One of the unique features of Brazilian pennywort is its ability to thrive as a floating plant. Floating Brazilian pennywort has several advantages. Firstly, it requires no substrate planting, making it a suitable choice for aquariums without a planted substrate or for those who prefer a more flexible setup. Additionally, it provides excellent coverage and shade for fish and helps to diffuse intense lighting, preventing algae growth.

Floating Technique and Maintenance

To use Brazilian pennywort as a floating plant, simply allow it to float freely on the water’s surface. The plant will develop roots that hang down into the water column, absorbing nutrients and contributing to water filtration. Maintain the floating plants by trimming any excessive growth to prevent them from overshadowing other plants or blocking out too much light.


A simple yet effective way to enhance both the aesthetic appeal and functionality of your aquarium is with Brazilian pennywort. This adaptable aquatic plant is recognized by novices and experts alike for its manageable dimensions, easy maintenance routine, and capacity for rapid reproduction. Regardless if put in place as a rooted or drifting variation, Brazilian pennywort lends vibrancy to any submerged space while also imparting important environmental benefits.


1: Can Brazilian pennywort survive in low light conditions?

Yes, they can survive in low-light conditions. However, to promote optimal growth and vibrant foliage, moderate to high lighting is recommended.

2: Can Brazilian pennywort be planted in gravel substrate?

Yes, they can be planted on a gravel substrate. However, it benefits from a nutrient-rich substrate such as aqua soil or a nutrient substrate layer beneath the gravel to provide the plant with essential nutrients.

3. Is Brazilian pennywort suitable for beginners?

Beginner aquarists often struggle with identifying low-maintenance plants that will flourish in their tanks. Luckily, The plant satisfies both criteria with ease. This aquatic species boasts durability and versatility as key features that enable it to thrive regardless of external factors.

5: Does Brazilian pennywort require CO2 supplementation?

No, the plant does not require CO2 supplementation. It can thrive without additional CO2 injection, especially in low to moderate-light setups.

Recommended Reading: Marsilea hirsuta: A Guide to Care and Cultivation

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