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Rotala rotundifolia

Rotala rotundifolia

Scientific name: Rotala rotundifolia

Family: Lythraceae

Usual maximum size in aquariums: 40 - 60 cm (15.75 - 23.62 inch)


Recommended pH range for the species: 5.8 - 7.9

Recommended water hardness (dGH): 4 - 18°N (71.43 - 321.43ppm)

0°C 32°F30°C 86°F

Recommended temperature: 18 - 30 °C (64.4 - 86°F)

Reproduction of the plant: Runners

Origin (in the wild): South Asia

How fast these plants grow: Fast

Recommended substrate: Gravel

Demands on lighting: Bright

Ideal placement in a fish tank: Background



Planting Area

Midground to Background depending on the size of your aquarium.


can easily be propagated by placing the tops back into the substrate while trimming. This will help achieve a dense, bushy look. Be sure to be careful when (re)planting: the stems can be quite fragile and are easily broken. Using aquarium plant tweezers can help prevent damage.

When established, this plant will also propagate on its own by sending out runners. Once these have had some time to grow and develop their own root systems, they can be cut and moved or sold if desired.


Easy, suitable for planted tank beginners and will adapt to most water values and temperatures. A great option if you’re looking for a red plant that’s not too demanding.

Short Description

This is one of the easier species of Rotala to grow successfully. It’s a highly decorative plant appreciated by many aquascapers. To get the best from this plant slightly higher lighting levels are ideal. It will grow with medium lighting levels, but may not do as well and will usually revert back to a green color and narrow leaves. With stronger lighting, the red will come out and leaves will become larger and rounder.

Rotala rotundifolia will grow in ponds in warmer areas and will even do well when grown emersed as it often naturally appears in swamps and marshes.


This plant is not too demanding on most aspects but they should be supplied with normal amounts of nutrients. The addition of a CO2 system will bring out the best colouration from the plant, although playing around with different amounts of light, nutrients and CO2 reveals many different shades. Low nitrate and high phosphate levels are recommended for a bright red colour. Rotala rotundifolia is a plant that grows very quickly and you should be prepared for regular trimming if you want to grow it. Neglecting to trim frequently enough can lead to the bottom leaves becoming deprived of light, although if the plant reaches the surface it may also allow tiny purple flowers to grow. Don’t be afraid to remove large portions of this plant: they will grow back in no time.

Note: This plant is an invasive species. Any leftover trimmings should be responsibly disposed of to prevent them from entering native waterways and potentially damaging local ecosystems.

Final note and Credit

When it comes to propagation, trimmings can also be replanted.

Generally medium demands on lighting, however the more light is supplied the brighter the colours will be. For a bright red colour, make sure there is plenty of light.

Page was updated on 10th January 2016 thanks to

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