Hydrocotyle Tripartita Care: Ultimate Guide


Common Name(s)Dwarf Pennywort
Scientific NameHydrocotyle Tripartita, Hydrocotyle Tripartita japan
OriginSoutheast Asia and Australia
Ease of GrowingEasy
AquacapeForeground and midground plant that can used to create a carpet.
Height2-4 inches (5-10 cm)
pH6.0-7.7
Temperature72-82°F (22-28°C)
Growth RateFast Growing
PropagationTrimming and re-planting runners
Light RequirementMedium
CO2 RequirementCO2 injection is not required, but recommended for faster growth.
Hydrocotyle Tripartita
Hydrocotyle Tripartita

Hydrocotyle Tripartita Care

Hydrocotyle Tripartita is a fast growing aquarium plant that is easy to care for. It is great for growing lush carpets on aquarium substrates, making it a popular plant for many freshwater aquariums. This fast-growing foreground plant is an great choice for new and experienced hobbyist.

In the aquarium trade, it is often known as Hydrocotyle tripartita ‘Japan.’ It originates in the warmer climate of Southeast Asia and Australia.

The lush green growth can bring any aquascape to life. The small leaf form makes this plant especially useful in nano tanks, but it can be planted in larger aquariums as well. In larger tanks, they are often used as a foreground plant or a carpet plant. In the right conditions, it will quickly spread across the substrate.

One of the best thing about Hydrocotyle Tripartita is its versatility. It grows in moderately low to medium light. It can be used in both fish and shrimp tanks. It can be planted in substrate or allowed to float. Many breeders keep this plant in fry grow out tanks as well. Since it grows beautiful foliage, it’s incredibly popular with aquascapers as well. It’s popularity in Asia has lead to its introduction to Europe and the U.S. as well.

Growing Hydrocotyle Tripartita

Hydrocotyle Tripartita is best for growing as a carpeting plant as it hugs the foreground and sends out runners on a regular basis.

If the lighting in the tank is low, the plant may increase its vertical growth. Medium to high light conditions will result in lush growth. If the plant is growing more vertically than desired, gently pushing the plant down will help promote horizontal growth. This is especially useful if you wish to grow a carpet. When new growth is starting to get out of control, pruning will ensure healthy and managed growth.

Injecting C02 will result in faster and more vibrant growth. Without the CO2 injection, the leaves become smaller, and the clumps tend to be less dense. They will grow without CO2, but it won’t be as much.

Hydrocotyle Tripartita is not picky when it comes to water parameters, but optimal growth can be observed at 72-82°F (22-28°C) and pH level of 6.0 to 7.7. If the conditions are optimal, Hydrocotyle Tripartita will grow to a height of 2-4 inches (5-10 cm). While it is not a large plant, it is capable of and giving the tank a rich dimension.

Planting Hydrocotyle Tripartita

Hydrocotyle Tripartita is a versatile plant that can be planted in various ways. This is one of the reasons why this plant is great for aquascapes.

Hydrocotyle Tripartita Carpet

Hydrocotyle Tripartita is most commonly used as a carpeting plant. It grows fast, so it will cover the aquarium floor rather quickly. To grow a carpet, it is important to keep the plant pruned and compressed regularly. Once this plant is established, it will create a beautiful ground cover.

Hydrocotyle Tripartita on Driftwood

Hydrocotyle Tripartita can be attached to driftwood and other hardscape as well. They can be secured on or in between hardscapes within the aquarium. This is a great way of creating a natural aquascape. This style of planting can be achieved even with a small portion of the plant.

Hydrocotyle Tripartita Emersed

Hydrocotyle Tripartita can be grown as an emersed plant if the humidity is maintained. The humidity level is especially important after the initial planting. Once they are rooted, they will grow aggressively. This is true especially when they are planted in substrate that is rich in nutrients.

Hydrocotyle Tripartita Floating

Hydrocotyle Tripartita can be grown as a floating plant. If the plant is still getting established, or it hasn’t been decided where to place the plant, it can be left to float. When it is allowed to float, it may get more access to CO2 and light, resulting in fast growth.

Hydrocotyle tripartita

Hydrocotyle Tripartita ‘Mini’ vs. Hydrocotyle Tripartita

Both Hydrocotyle Tripartita ‘Mini’ and Hydrocotyle Tripartita are similar plants, and they are both incredibly easy to care for. They both have similar requirements and grow very fast.

Hydrocotyle Tripartita ‘mini’ is approximately half the size of the Hydrocotyle Tripartita. Due to their smaller size, they are better suited for nano tanks. Their vertical stems are shorter and they will thrive in smaller spaces. Similar to Hydrocotyle Tripartita, it needs regular pruning, sufficient light, and similar water parameters. The plant does well as a mid-ground plant or a foreground plant. It is a popular aquarium plant since it helps give a sense of depth to the aquascape.

Hydrocotyle Tripartita Melting & Dying

Hydrocotyle Tripartita is a hardy aquarium plant, but it can melt or die just like any other plant. Sometimes the leaves may seem to turn yellow or brown out of nowhere. Even if the plant is surviving, it may appear unhealthy and it might not be growing. These issues could be caused by various reasons, including a lack of nutrients such as iron and potassium.

Plants can melt for various reasons, and this is true for Hydrocotyle Tripartita as well. Even though they are hardy, transplanting can be a major cause of distress and melting for the plant. Like many other aquarium plants, Hydrocotyle Tripartita is often grown emersed, and transplanting as a submersed plant can cause the plant to melt. The transition from an emersed plant to a submersed plant is very drastic, and the leaves may melt as a result of this. However, as long as the root system is still alive, they will grow back. While this transition period may be concerning, the plant will survive and regrow its leaves once they are established.

If the plant is melting, even though the plant was not transplanted, investigating the root cause of the issue may be necessary. In addition to checking the water parameters, checking the temperature and light is important as well.

Some aquarists have reported their Hydrocotyle Tripartita melting as a result of a light bulb that wasn’t replaced. In the particular case, the plant suffered from insufficient light.

Hydrocotyle Tripartita & Fish

Hydrocotyle Tripartita is a suitable plant for almost any aquarium. They will be great for planting in tanks with various fish and shrimp species. Their growing requirements will match the habitat requirements of many fish and shrimp species as well.

When the plant is added to an aquarium, they will be appreciated especially by small fish since it provides cover. Shrimps often congregate near the plant as well. Some snail species may eat the plant, but most snail species will leave it alone. They will only eat the deteriorating parts of the plant.

Characteristics of Hydrocotyle Tripartita

Hydrocotyle Tripartita is an interesting plant for various reasons.

It’s a hardy plant that has a unique appearance, making it a highly desirable plant for aquascapers.

However, this plant is relatively new to the hobby, at least in comparison to other aquarium plants. It was first popularized in Japan and Thailand as an aquarium plant. Then it was imported Italy in 2008 under the name Hydrocotyle sp. “Japan.” It was imported to Germany as well in 2010. Therefore, the plant was hardly known to most aquarists in Europe until recently. In the U.S., the plant still remain relatively uncommon, especially in local fish stores.

Hydrocotyle Tripartita bears a similarity to Hydrocotyle Sibthopiodes, although there are some minor differences. Unlike Hydrocotyle Sibthopiodes, Hydrocotyle Tripartita is not as demanding and delivers a pretty clover-like leaf. It also has a faster growth rate.

Since Hydrocotyle Tripartita is a fast growing plant, it can compete with other plants in the aquarium. Therefore, it is important to manage the plant. It can be pruned regularly to maintain the desired shape and growth pattern. The plant can also be pressed down to increase its fullness.

Hydrocotyle Tripartita is easy to care for, even for people who are just starting in the aquarium hobby. However, it is an unique plant that is great for experienced aquarists as well. Its lush look is truly a remarkable addition to almost any aquarium. It is a versatile plant that is aesthetic and beneficial for the fish.

Hydrocotyle Tripartita will most likely continue to increase in popularity in both Europe and the U.S.

Fish Laboratory

With decades of collective fishkeeping experience, we are happy to share the fish care tips that we've picked up along the way. Our goal at Fish Laboratory is to keep publishing accurate content to help fishkeepers keep their fish and aquarium healthy.

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