Rotala Rotundifolia: Care, Light, Growth & Varieties


Common Name(s)Dwarf Rotala, Roundleaf Toothcup
Scientific NameRotala Rotundifolia
OriginIndia and Southeast Asia
Ease of GrowingEasy
AquacapeMidground or background plant
HeightUp to 6 inches
pH4.0 to 8.0
Temperature62-82°F (17-28°C)
Growth RateFast growth
PropagationCutting stems
Light RequirementHigh
CO2 RequirementNot required, but recommended for better growth and color
Rotala Rotundifolia

Rotala Rotundifolia Facts

  • There are many types of Rotala Rotundifolia. The types include many different colors, and leaf shapes.
  • Rotala Rotundifolia is considered a hardy plant because it can grow in a wide range of water parameters and lighting, however providing it with optimal care will reward you with a more brightly colored, more dense plant.
  • Rotala Rotundifolia has a rather fast growth rate. It can grow up to 1 inch per week if kept in the right conditions, and you will have to do regular trimmings of the plant to keep it at your desired shape.
  • Rotala Rotundifolia is a plant that can grow on land, submerged in water, or simply immersed in water. The plant will flower, but only if it is not completely underwater.

Rotala Rotundifolia Varieties

There is certainly a lot of different types of Rotala Rotundifolia that is available to aquascapers today. Some are more popular than others.

Here are some different types and varieties of Rotala Rotundifolia:

Rotala Rotundifolia Red

It has long stems with vertical leaves shooting up from the sides of the stem.

Rotala Rotundifolia Green

The leaves remain bright green, even with intense lighting in your aquarium.

Rotala Rotundifolia Orange Juice

The leaves are an orange color. This is caused by a mutation. It takes certain conditions to achieve this coloration.

Rotala Rotundifolia h’ra

A newer variant of Rotala Rotundifolia, it has darker orange-red leaves that grow downward rather than upward.

Rotala Rotundifolia Indica

This plant has more rounded leaves that remain a greenish color, while the stem may be in either red or pink.

Rotala Rotundifolia Colorata

This variant has longer leaves, and is a more colorful plant. It also has more noticeable veins.

Rotala Rotundifolia Ceylon

The stems are thinner, and the leaves are a green color with a pinkish underside to them. The leaves tend to grow in spirals.

Rotala Rotundifolia Care

Rotala Rotundifolia is an easy plants to grow because they are adaptable to a wide range of water conditions and lighting environments. It is popular amongst aquascapers because it is easy to propagate and has vibrant coloration. In fact, you will want to make sure that you are keeping an eye on your Rotala Rotundifolia and trimming it down to the desired length and shape as it can grow too much and overtake the aquarium once it is well established.

rotala rotundifolia
Rotala Rotundifolia

Lighting Requirements for Rotala Rotundifolia

Rotala Rotundifolia is a plant that appreciates lots of light. Give it 8 hours of light per day or more with a full spectrum light (5000-7000K). Allow approximately 3.5 to 5 watts of power per gallon of water.

It can tolerate a lower light level, but to get this plant to really show off, you will want to provide it with a higher level of light. Rotala Rotundifolia plants can grow in low level light, but you will not see the plant develop its signature bright colors in low light.

Rotala Rotundifolia Temperature

Rotala Rotundifolia can live in a water temperature of 62-82°F (17-28°C). This makes it an easy plant to add to your aquarium setup.

Rotala Rotundifolia pH

Rotala Rotundifolia requires a pH of 4.0 to 8.0. This wider range of pH makes it easier to add the Rotala Rotundifolia to your aquarium with a wider variety of fish.

Rotala Rotundifolia Growth Rate

Rotala Rotundifolia have a rather fast growth rate, and will require you to keep them trimmed to the desired length. They can grow as fast as 1 inch per week in the right lighting and conditions.

Rotala Rotundifolia Height

Rotala Rotundifolia can grow up to 6 inches tall at full height. You will want to trim it regularly to keep it at your desired length and shape.

Do You Need to Use Aquarium CO2 for Rotala Rotundifolia?

Rotala Rotundifolia is considered an easy plant to care for as it will grow in a wider range of aquarium conditions. It can grow without CO2, but you will not see the plants full potential. When you use CO2 with your Rotala Rotundifolia you will see your plant become more vibrant and fuller.

Can You Grow Rotala Rotundifolia in a Low Tech Aquarium?

Rotala Rotundifolia is an easy plant to grow because it can grow in a wide range of water conditions. It can survive in a low tech aquarium, you just will not see your plant grow to its full potential. To see your Rotala Rotundifolia grow to its full potential, you will want to provide your plant with optimum conditions.

Are Rotala Rotundifolia considered invasive plants?

Due to the easy propagation of the Rotala Rotundifolia and how it spreads, it can be an invasive plant for certain countries. It grows quickly in the wild to cover large areas, and grows thick along the surface of the water. It is often targeted for removal in the wild because it can choke up waterways, and block out light for other plants and fish in the environment.

How Do You Grow Rotala Rotundifolia in an Aquarium?

Rotala Rotundifolia can be grown by trimming the leaves from the stem, and planting the stem in the aquarium substrate. Since it is an easy plant to please when it comes to conditions and water parameters, you will just want to monitor the plant for a while after planting to make sure that it is doing well.

How to Use Rotala Rotundifolia in Aquascaping

Rotala Rotundifolia of any color are a great addition to any aquarium. They are often chosen as a midground or background plants for their bright coloration, and how easy they are to care for. The bright colorations of Rotala Rotundifolia plants can be used to add color to your tank, and can help the fish that you have in your aquarium stand out.

Do Rotala Rotundifolia Grow Immersed?

Rotala Rotundifolia can grow submerged and immersed in water. If you submerge your plant completely in the water to grow, you will notice that the plant has roughly 1 inch long leaves, and grows in a grouping of 2 to 3 stems. Submerged, the Rotala Rotundifolia will become a darker color, and the leaves are thinner. If you immerse your plant in water to grow, you will notice that as it grows, its leaves have a brighter coloration and are more rounded.

Can Rotala Rotundifolia Grow Floating?

Rotala Rotundifolia has no problem growing while floating, and in fact, if you are planning on rooting this plant into your substrate, you will want to float it for a while till it grows roots that you can plant.

Do Rotala Rotundifolia Flower?

Rotala Rotundifolia plants do flower, but they only will flower if the plant is not fully submerged in water. The flowers on the Rotala Rotundifolia grow from the tips of the plant’s stem if exposed to air. When the Rotala Rotundifolia flowers, its flowers are light purple or pink in color, and grow along the stem of the plant. This is one great benefit of growing your plant immersed, but not fully submerged in the water.

Do Rotala Rotundifolia Root?

Rotala Rotundifolia have vine-like roots that can run along the surface and cling to it, as well as grow under the substrate. These roots will then grow new offshoots of the plant and grow. They do still have healthy white roots in the soil, and if you pull up your Rotala Rotundifolia, you should be able to see them.

Rotala Rotundifolia Propagation

Propagation of the Rotala Rotundifolia is rather easy. When you are ready to start another plant, you simply cut off the top half of a strong stem of your Rotala Rotundifolia and plant it into the substrate to grow. Before you plant the stem into the substrate you will want to remove any leaves it has from its last node. If you are wanting to anchor it into the soil, you can float the plant in your aquarium until you see the white roots begin to grow. Once they are long enough, place your Rotala Rotundifolia in your aquarium where you want it, and then plant it into the substrate carefully.

How to Get Rotala Rotundifolia to Grow Red

If you are wanting your Rotala Rotundifolia to turn red, you will want to start with making sure that you have the right plant. It is possible that you may have a plant that will never achieve the red coloration that you are after. After you have selected the right plant, you will want to provide it with intense lighting. The Rotala Rotundifolia can live and grow under a wide variety of conditions, but you will want to make sure that you are giving it the correct lighting to help it turn the shade of red you are after. Make sure that you have clean water in your planted aquarium with a low level of nitrates in the water, and you will want to provide fertilizer to help nourish your Rotala Rotundifolia. You will also want to add CO2 to the water for your plant. It will help the plant to become fuller, bushier, and more vibrant.

Fish Laboratory

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

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