Moneywort (Bacopa monnieri) is a popular type of freshwater plant that has been in the hobby for a long time. It’s a sturdy stem plant that develops deep green leaf coloration and can grow to a manageable size. Its ease of care and hardy nature make this plant a good fit for most aquarists.
Moneywort requires special tank conditions to be able to thrive. In this article, we will teach you how to care for this plant as well as some other tips and tricks to make keeping Moneywort as easy for you as possible. So let’s get to it!
Moneywort is a perennial creeping plant that grows densely. They grow natively in the wetlands of southern and Eastern India, Africa, Australia, and North and South America. In the United States, they are commonly found in Texas, Florida, and Hawaii.
They are commonly known as Bacopa monnieri, water hyssop, waterhyssop, herb of grace, brahmi, thyme-leafed gratiola, and Indian pennywort.
Moneywort (Bacopa monnieri) is often mistaken for Creeping Jenny (Lysimachia nummularia). They both share the name “Moneywort” but they are completely different species. Creeping Jenny has a different leaf structure and the flowers are usually yellow.
Moneywort is also a flowering plant that can grow submerged or emersed. They can tolerate a wide range of water parameters and can absorb nutrients from the substrate as well as the water column.
Unlike Bacopa caroliniana, Bacopa monnieri (Moneywort) is a non-aromatic herb and crushing leaves will not release a lemon scent. But their lush green succulent leaves can make any tank look more natural and alive.
Because they can grow emersed, you can turn your aquarium into a beautiful paludarium by letting this plant growing out of the water. Many nurseries grow moneywort emersed and then introduce it into the water. This is because moneywort grows faster above water than in the water.
Moneywort is a creeping stem plant that produces beautiful succulent leaves. The leaves are only a few millimeters long and have an oval shape. They grow in pairs on opposite sides of the stem. This plant usually produces leaves every half an inch to an inch which gives the plant a unique look.
The stems of this plant are thick but fragile and can break if not handled with care. Leaves and roots usually grow at the nodes on the stem. This is how they continue to creep and grow horizontally. Roots are thin and white and can absorb nutrients from water and substrate.
Moneywort is a flowering plant that produces white flowers. The flowers usually last for a few days and will eventually melt. They rarely flower in the water but if you let them grow out of the water they will produce beautiful white flowers for you.
Size & Growth Rate
Moneywort grows slowly in the water. This can be a good thing if you are looking for a plant that is easy to maintain. However, moneyworts grow very large and will eventually grow out of the water if not pruned. This is actually a good thing as it can hide filters and other equipment that might make your tank look ugly.
Under the right conditions, Moneywort can reach up to 3 feet. But they usually stay around 1 – 2 feet. In taller tanks, this plant will grow tall as it tries to reach the light source. But under strong lighting, they tend to stay slightly smaller.
Moneywort is super easy to care for as it is a low-maintenance plant. They grow relatively slowly which makes maintaining this plant easier. However, it is important to make sure your tank has the ideal parameters otherwise your moneywort can melt and die.
This plant will creep and spread horizontally which you will need to prune at some point. When pruning, you should use sharp aquascaping scissors to prevent damaging the stems.
Moneywort can grow in 10 gallon tanks and larger. Because it grows tall you will need to place them in taller tanks. So we recommend planting them in larger tanks as it makes maintaining this plant much easier for you. In short tanks, you will need to perform more trimming and pruning but in tall tanks, you can set and forget about this plant.
The Moneywort plant is a hardy species of aquarium plant that can live in most aquarium conditions. They however need a good source of light and fertilizer to develop beautiful green leaves. They can thrive much better in aquariums with moderate and slow water flow. Fast water movements can break the stems and cause the plant to slowly melt over time.
The ideal range of water parameters for Moneywort:
- Temperature: 72 – 82 Degrees Fahrenheit
- PH: 6.5 – 7.5
- TDS: 100 – 200 PPM
Moneywort does not need CO2 injection. However, like all other species of plants, this plant can grow faster if more carbon dioxide is available.
In a low-tech aquarium, the amount of CO2 produced by your fish will be enough for this plant to grow. But if you have strong lights and they are on for longer periods of time, you can inject carbon dioxide to speed up the growth rates of your moneywort.
Moneywort needs medium to strong lighting. If they do not receive enough light they will slowly start to melt and die. The source of light has to be a 50000k – 6700k full spectrum. This amount of light can easily cause algae growth if you do not monitor your nitrate and ammonia levels. Under the right water parameters, the light should be on for 8 – 10 hours per day.
When planted underwater, the Moneywort can grow with or without planted substrate. The roots of this plant are evolved to be able to absorb nutrients from water and mud. So if you have sand or other types of substrates that do not provide any nutrients to your plants you can still grow moneyworts.
However, having them in a planted substrate will provide all the nutrients they need and your plants will grow better. To keep them in place, you will need to add about 2 inches of the substrate so they can grow deep roots and stay in place.
Planting & Placement
Moneywort can easily reach the top of your tank and even cross it. This means this plant should be placed in the background to prevent blocking your tank’s view. You can also plant them in strategic places to hide equipment like filters and heaters.
The succulent leaf structure of this plant will cause them to float on the surface. So it is important to have them planted deep in the substrate to prevent them from moving around. When planting, simply grab the end of the plant with aquarium tweezers and push them down the substrate. To further strengthen them you can also add decorations like rocks to hold your moneywort in place.
When planting, make sure to leave sufficient space between each stem. This will give your plants enough room to grow new stems and create a dense jungle. At the same time, with enough space, the plants can get better light and water circulation. This will help them establish faster and start growing.
Propagating Moneywort is very easy and simple. In the wild, they often propagate by producing and spreading seeds and creeping. However, in a tank, the ideal way of propagating them is by cutting stems into smaller pieces.
Taller stems are ideal for propagation purposes. Depending on the size of the original stem you can cut it into two or 3 smaller stems and plant them each individually. Just make sure each cutting is at least 3 – 4 inches and has a good number of leaves.
Make sure to plant the new cuttings in places where they get enough light and the water flow is slower. This will ensure maximum growth for the cuttings. You will still need to follow the recommendations we made above in the “Planting & Placement” and treat each cutting as a new plant.
Maintenance & Fertilization
Because of the slow growth rate of the Moneywort plant, you will not need to worry that much about its maintenance. As long as your tank parameters are stable and in balance, this plant will not need any special care or maintenance. All you will need to do is to cut the outgrown stems to keep your plants in shape.
This low-demanding species can grow with or without any fertilizer in the tank. They are able to adapt and adjust their growth rate to the number of nutrients available in the tank. Most of the time the fish waste is just fine to grow Moneywort but in rare cases, you might need to add fertilizer to the tank.
If you have a heavily planted tank or you want your Moneywort to grow faster then you will need to add fertilizers to your tank. Fertilizers can be added to a tank by placing root tabs in the substrate for root-feeding plants or adding liquid fertilizers to the water for plants that absorb nutrients from the water column.
Never add too much fertilizer to your tank all at once. Doing this will cause algae growth as your plants can not be able to absorb all the fertilizer. The best approach is to add very low amounts of liquid fertilizer weekly and only increase the amount if your plants are not showing any signs of better growth.
Performing weekly water changes will help your tank to maintain stable water parameters and prevent many problems for this plant. If you do not follow the best practices of fishkeeping, your Moneywort might melt and lose its lower leaves.
Moneywort’s succulent leaves give them the advantage of being able to live with many fish and invertebrates in a tank. As long as you have plant-safe species in your tank this plant can thrive and make your tank more beautiful. We do not recommend keeping this plant with fish like Koi, goldfish, and most African cichlids as they are known to disturb live plants.
Here are our top choices of tank mates for Moneywort:
- Guppy Fish
- Ghost Shrimp
- Cherry Shrimp
- Amano Shrimp
- Bamboo Shrimp
- Molly Fish
- Platy Fish
- Zebra Pleco
- Bristlenose Pleco
- Clown Pleco
- Leopard Frog Pleco
- Gold Nugget Pleco
- Freshwater Snails
Benefits and Uses of Moneywort
Because of its height, moneywort is a great plant to hide in unappealing areas of your aquarium. You can easily hide the filter intakes, heaters, and other components of your tank that can take away some of the tank’s beauty.
Your fish will also have plenty of places to hide when they are under stress. Moneywort can create dense jungles that are safe havens for both adult fish and their offspring.
The other benefit of this plant is that they remove nitrates and fish waste from the tank. As a result, your tank will become more stable and healthy. This will give your fish a better chance of living a better life.
And last but not least, the aesthetic! Your tank will look more natural and beautiful by adding Moneywort to your tank.
Moneywort is a great choice of plant for beginner aquarists as it can grow in most tank conditions. This beautiful plant can grow on the substrate or float on the surface of the water. This makes them versatile species that are also easy to care for. It provides a lot of benefits to your tank, so we can’t find any reason for you not to try this plant.