Also known as Willow Hygro, Hygrophila Angustifolia is a popular and robust aquarium plant originating in Southeast Asia. It can grow fast and absorb excess waste and nutrients from aquarium water. This is a tall plant with long narrow leaves growing from a tall stem. It’s best suited for background placement in most aquariums. In high-tech tank setups with high-intensity lighting, fertilization, and CO2 injection, Hygrophila Angustifolia can grow rapidly and will need frequent trimming. Trimmed pieces can be planted back into the substrate where they will easily root and produce new plants. If you’re planning on adding this fast-growing plant to your collection, there are some facts you’ll need to know first. We’ve put together this guide to show you everything needed for success with this great aquarium background plant!
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Hygrophila Angustifolia Care
Hygrophila Angustifolia has simple care needs and can grow in various tank setups. This species doesn’t need added CO2 or bright lighting, but these will greatly enhance its growth. Trimming and pruning are a big part of successfully caring for this plant. A fast grower, Hygrophila Angustifolia will need frequent care to prevent it from taking over your tank. Particularly in high-tech tank setups, plan for weekly trimming.
Eventually, this plant may need heavy trimming. You may be tempted to uproot portions to thin out growth. This should be done with care as disturbing large quantities of aquarium soil can release built-up ammonia which may kill your fish. A possible solution is growing Hygrophila Angustifolia as a potted plant. Growing in pots can prevent it from taking over your aquarium and make removal easier and safer for your fish.
Are Hygrophila Angustifolia easy to care for in an aquarium?
Hygrophila Angustifolia is simple to care for in an aquarium, and is a good choice for beginning aquascape enthusiasts. While it benefits from high intensity lighting and CO2 injection these aren’t necessary for its growth. This plant can survive and thrive in low tech tank setups.
Is Substrate Needed to Grow Hygrophila Angustifolia?
Hygrophila Angustifolia needs substrate, but is a robust plant which can tolerate a wide range of substrate types. It isn’t necessary to use a nutrient enriched substrate to grow this plant successfully, but doing so can help this plant thrive.
Lighting Requirement for Hygrophila Angustifolia
Hygrophila Angustifolia needs moderate to high intensity lighting. This isn’t a good choice for dimly lit aquariums.
Temperature for Hygrophila Angustifolia
Hygrophila Angustifolia can live at a wide range of common freshwater aquarium temperatures, and does best between 68° and 82° F.
Water pH for Hygrophila Angustifolia
Hygrophila Angustifolia needs water which is close to neutral: a pH range between 6.3 and 7.5 is best.
Growth Rate for Hygrophila Angustifolia
Hygrophila Angustifolia can grow quickly when given bright lighting. Plan for frequent pruning and trimming to control this plant’s growth.
Growth Height for Hygrophila Angustifolia
In aquariums, Hygrophila Angustifolia can reach between 6 to 12 inches in height. When grown emersed this plant can grow to 3 feet or more! Because of its fast growth and height, Hygrophila Angustifolia is an excellent choice for background planting in most aquariums.
CO2 Requirement for Hygrophila Angustifolia
Hygrophila Angustifolia doesn’t require CO2 injection but can result in more robust growth. A combination of high intensity lighting and added CO2 is the best way to ensure fast and healthy growth.
Hygrophila Angustifolia Propagation
Hygrophila Angustifolia is easily propagated with cuttings. These cuttings can be individual stems or even a single fully grown leaf. Growing a new plant is a simple as placing a cutting in substrate and waiting for new roots to form.
Can you grow Hygrophila Angustifolia emersed?
Hygrophila Angustifolia can be grown emersed. When this plant’s leaves are grown in the open air it can reach heights of 3 feet! In fact, emersed growth is used by many commercial plant breeders to produce plants for the aquarium hobbyist market rapidly. One downside to emersed growth is the tendency to melt when submerged: melting is where leaves grown in the open air die back to allow new growth to form. As long as the stems don’t melt the plant should survive and begin growing in its submersed environment. Melting can worry new aquarium hobbyists, but it’s a normal process that won’t kill the plant in most cases.
Where can I find Hygrophila Angustifolia for sale?
Hygrophila Angustifolia is a common aquarium plant that’s easily bought from local fish stores and online suppliers. Expect to pay around $6 USD per plant in most cases.
Hygrophila Angustifolia Types
Hygrophila Angustifolia doesn’t have many different varieties like other aquarium plant species. When shopping for this plant online, you may see some different names. Not all of them represent distinct plant varieties. Here are a few different names you might run into.
Hygrophila Angustifolia Rubra
Hygrophila Angustifolia Rubra features reddish brown hues on stem and foliage. This variety is still mostly green, but high intensity lighting can help bring out the red color. Providing enough light is important for developing it’s unique colors.
Hygrophila Angustifolia Red
Hygrophila Angustifolia Red isn’t a true Angustifolia, but is a variety of Hygrophila cordata. Although a different species it has similar care needs, but needs bright lighting to bring out its brightest red coloration.
Hygrophila Angustifolia Medusa
Hygrophila Angustifolia Medusa is a marketing name used in some international regions. It isn’t clear that this represents a unique variety of Hygrophila Angustifolia.
Hygrophila Angustifolia vs Hygrophila Pinnatifida
Hygrophila Angustifolia and Hygrophila Pinnatifida are tall plants suited for background placement in most aquariums. However, H. Pinnatifida is an epiphyte which doesn’t need soil to grow. In addition, H. Pinnatifida has differently shaped leaves and greater need for CO2 injection and fertilization.
Hygrophila Angustifolia vs Hygrophila Corymbosa
Hygrophila Angustifolia and Hygrophila Corymbosa have similar foliage and growth height. The two species are easily confused. H. Corymbosa benefits from CO2 and fertilization including trace minerals. H. Angustifolia is slightly more tolerant of lower light and nutrients, but both plants benefit from CO2, bright lighting, and fertilization.