Native to Central and South America, Ludwigia Inclinata is an attractive and popular aquarium plant with specific care needs. Best suited to high tech tank setups, this plant needs bright lighting, CO2 injection, and added nutrients for best growth. Many varieties are available with different colors and growth patterns. When grown in ideal environments, Ludwigia shows robust growth and many varieties have multi-colored foliage, with crowns displaying orange to reddish leafs. If you’re an advanced hobbyist, or a planted tank beginner looking for a challenge, Ludwigia Inclinata is an excellent choice. We’ve put together this guide with all you’ll need to know the get the best results from this beautiful, but finicky, aquarium plant.
Ludwigia Inclinata Care
For best growth and coloration, Ludwigia Inclinata needs bright lighting, CO2 injection added fertilizer. Adding liquid fertilizer to the water column is a good choice, but root tabs are popular alternatives. With proper support this plant is a fast grower which can display green, brown, and red colors. In the right environment, Ludwigia is a fast growing plant. Plan for frequent trimming to keep its growth in check. Any trimming or handling should be done carefully as this species has brittle stems which are easy to break. This also must be kept in mind when choosing tank mates: large or aggressive fish may damage this plant’s stems and may even uproot them entirely.
Are Ludwigia Inclinata easy to care for in an aquarium?
Ludwigia Inclinata can be a challenging plant to care for and is best suited to high tech tanks. Because of its demanding care needs this isn’t the best plant for beginning hobbyists. Those with tanks which include bright lighting and CO2 injection will get the best results from this popular and attractive aquarium plant.
Lighting for Ludwigia Inclinata
For best growth and color Ludwigia Inclinata needs bright light. With dim or medium lighting growth will be slow and thin with greener and paler colors. Adding high intensity lighting will also boost algae growth. Added CO2 can help keep algae in check as will adding algae eating tank inhabitants such as the Amano Shrimp.
Temperature for Ludwigia Inclinata
Ludwigia Inclinata grows best in temperatures between 64° and 78° F.
Water pH for Ludwigia Inclinata
Slightly acidic water between 6.5 and 7.4 pH is the healthiest environment for Ludwigia Inclinata. Use a planted tank substrate which buffers acidity. Good choices would include ADA Aquasoil and Caribsea Eco Complete. Avoid any substrates which include crushed coral or aragonite sand as these will dissolve over time, increasing water pH.
Growth Rate for Ludwigia Inclinata
With bright light and CO2 injection, Ludwigia Inclinata is capable of fast growth. In ideal environments this plant can need trimming every few days. Ludwigia Inclinata is easy to propagate, and any trimmings can be placed back into substrate where they will often root, creating new plants. Doing this is a great way to get shorter, bushy growth from this species.
Growth Height for Ludwigia Inclinata
Depending on variety, Ludwigia Inclinata can grow between 15 and 20 inches tall. This plant is best suited to background placement in most aquariums.
CO2 Requirement for Ludwigia Inclinata
Ludwigia Inclinata needs CO2 injection for best growth. While it’s possible to grow this species without added CO2, growth will be slow and colors may be pale and subdued. It’s important to closely watch water parameters when using CO2 injection. Additional dissolved CO2 can change water pH, taking it outside the range this plant will tolerate. Adding CO2 will also displace oxygen, which is a problem for any fish in your aquarium. Too much CO2 can make your fish rise to the surface in an effort to catch a breath. Serious CO2 adjustment problems can even result in suffocated fish.
How to Propagate Ludwigia Inclinata
Ludwigia Inclinata is easily propagated through cuttings. The best method is to cut growing tops and replant these in substrate. Be careful when making cuttings as this species has brittle stems which are easy to snap.
Can you grow Ludwigia Inclinata emersed?
Ludwigia Inclinata can be grown emersed, but leaves and growth pattern will be different. If you’re moving Ludwigia from emersed to submerged growing, expect foliage to die back before new growth forms. This process is known as “melting,” and can be a shock to beginning aquarium hobbyists.
Where can I find Ludwigia Inclinata for sale?
Ludwigia Inclinata is easily found in most local fish stores and online sources. Expect to pay between $6 USD and $9 USD per plant. Certain special varieties can be more expensive.
Ludwigia Inclinata Types
Ludwigia Inclinata is available in a wide array of varieties with different growth profiles and color variations. Let’s take a look as some of the more common types you can add to your aquarium.
Ludwigia Inclinata Green
Ludwigia Inclinata Green is a Ludwigia Inclinata variety with pale green foliage. This variety won’t take on orange or red color even under bright light.
Ludwigia Inclinata Red
Boasting pink to red foliage, Ludwigia Inclinata Red is a flashy variety that can add a burst of color to you tank’s aquascaping.
Ludwigia Inclinata White
Also known as Ludwigia sp. Pink, Ludwigia Inclinata White has light pink to nearly white foliage. This variety benefits from strong lighting and CO2 injection.
Ludwigia Inclinata Brown
A rare and hard to obtain variety, Ludwigia Inclinata Brown has gold to brown foliage.
Ludwigia Inclinata Pantanal
When growing emersed, Ludwigia Inclinata Pantanal is an unremarkable plant. When grown submerged, it surprises with bright pink to red leafs.
Ludwigia Inclinata Cuba
Ludwigia Inclinata Cuba is a tall and robust variety with yellow, orange, and red colors. If you need a strong growing Ludwigia variety for your aquarium, the Cuba variety may be a great fit.
Ludwigia Inclinata Twister
Ludwigia Inclinata Twister leafs have a unique spiral growing pattern. Mostly light green, leaf tips will turn reddish as they near the water’s surface.
Ludwigia Inclinata Crystal
Ludwigia Inclinata Crystal is a fast growing variety best suited to high tech tanks. This variety has pale green leafs which take on brown to red colors as they get closer to bright light in upper tank regions.