Brazilian Pennywort In An Aquarium? Roots, Stems & Leaves

If you are a beginner aquarium, Brazilian Pennywort is a perfect choice. It is one of the most common aquarium plants, which will look adorable in your tank or aquarium. Brazilian Pennywort is known for its low maintenance as it serves as the best option if you are looking for new additions to your tank or aquarium. 

Don’t be confused if you visit your nearby plant shop and find Brazilian water ivy mentioned as Brazilian Pennywort. They both are the same things. The scientific name for Brazillian Pennywort is Hydrocotyle leucocephala, and it is very easy to grow. If you wish to get the Brazilian Pennywort for your tank, you will easily find it in your local plant shop at a very affordable price. 

Brazilian Pennywort

These plants are very easy to keep; they grow fast and are cheap. It is a recommendable freshwater plant for beginners, and we’ll discuss the planting process, the care, and everything related to Brazilian Pennywort. But first, let us take a quick look over the Brazillian pennywort’s overview.

How to Grow Pennywort in Aquarium?

The Brazilian Pennywort requires a capacity of 10 to 20 gallons aquarium. Plant a bundle of stems by gathering them together. Repeat and spread out bunches to ensure that the stems have plenty of light. The growth rate of pennyworts is fast. Once you’ve added these plant species to your aquarium, it won’t be long until they take up a significant amount of space there.

Brazilian Pennywort: Overview

Hydrocotyle leucocephala, also known as Brazilian Pennywort or more commonly as Pennywort, is native to South America, Mexico, and Argentina. 

Information ChartBrazilian Pennywort
Scientific Name: Hydrocotyle leucocephala
Family: Umbelliferae
Care Level: easy
Growth Rate: Fast
Maximum Size: 24 Inches
Minimum Tank Size: 10 Gallons
Water Conditions: Warm
Lighting: Low to high
Propagation: Cuttings
Placement: Floating or in the substrate,

Brazilian Pennywort is a fast-growing plant and will suit your tank well. The best thing about placing it in your tank is that you don’t have to spend hours caring for these species. They are very easy to maintain. 

If you’re interested in knowing what the Brazilian Pennywort looks like, we will tell you about it in the next section. 

Brazilian Pennywort Appearance

If you see a plant with kidney-shaped leaves, you can confidently tell it is the Brazilian Pennywort. You can find these leaves growing on the slender stalks of the plants. These slender stalks are attached to a flexible and sturdy stem. 

Brazilian Pennywort Appearance

This plant is smaller than other aquatic plants but has lush green leaves. This feature makes it easy to identify the plant. 

Its leaves are round, and it has a single stem system. You may find joint stems in some Brazilian Pennyworts. Don’t be concerned when you see the joints in the plant’s stems because it is not something extraordinary. 

Often, it can be found in wetlands, in slow-moving rivers, and during the wet season, you can find it in flooded areas.

When kept in a tank, these plants can grow up to 15 cm (6 inches) in width and 60 cm (24 inches) in height. When Brazilian Pennywort grows above the water’s surface, it grows small white flowers. The leaves of these plants are pretty unique and are very different from the leaves of other aquarium plants. 

The leaves grow from the stem, and right from that connection, some veins grow along with the leaves. These veins then give branches to smaller veins, and this way, they serve as a supporter for the leaf.

Also, the stems of these plants are unique. They grow in segments, and the joint of each segment can be seen. The stems of these plants are strong enough to keep the leaves in the water.

An interesting fact about these plants is that they have been used as a medical herb in the tropics. Also, as this is an edible plant, it has been used as a spice. It is said to taste like pepper. 

If you look at the Brazilian Pennywort closely, you will also find its roots have bunches. These bunches are strangely similar to those on the bean sprouts. Its roots have immense power to anchor Brazilian Pennywort in the substrate. They also help them absorb all the minerals and nutrients from the water. However, Brazilian Pennywort’s leaves stay afloat on the water surface.

Brazilian Pennywort: Size

A Brazilian Pennywort typically grows up to 24 inches in size. 

It is yet another thing that the aquarists concern themselves with when buying a plant for their aquarium. You don’t want your aquarium to be crowded with plants. Or, you don’t want the plants to fall out of the aquarium. 

Therefore, the Brazilian Pennywort is the perfect choice because it does not grow much in length. It is a small plant that requires minimal caring.

However, Brazilian Pennyworts are fast-growing plants and require trimming occasionally. Trimming the Pennyworts is a part of caring for your aquarium. 

Brazilian Pennywort: Care And Tank Setup

As said above, caring for Brazilian Pennywort is not a tough job. However, you should be aware of the tank requirements for Brazilian Pennyworts. It will ensure that your plants grow well and lead a healthy life. Here are a few details regarding the required care and tank setup for the Brazillian Pennywort.

Brazilian Pennywort: Care And Tank Setup

Brazilian Pennywort: Tank Size And Specifications

For the Brazilian Pennyworts to grow without any hindrance, you must ensure that you get a tank of the perfect size. A tank of less than the specified size can act as a deterrent to their growth. 

Optimum Tank Size For Brazilian Pennywort

The recommended tank size for the Brazilian Pennywort is about 10 to 20 gallons. Before you step out of your house to get these plants for your tank, make sure you have a tank of at least 10 to 20 gallons. We recommend you buy a bigger tank to promote the healthy life of the pennyworts.

You need a bigger tank because pennyworts have a fast-growing rate. Once you put these plant species into your tank, it is only a matter of time before they occupy a lot of space in the tank. 

Tank Shape For Brazilian Pennywort

You don’t have to worry about the tank shape in which you want to place the Brazilian Pennyworts. A tank of any shape will do the job. However, you must take note that the tank has an adequate size. 

Filter Type

Many experiments have shown that the Brazilian Pennywort grows best with a HOB filter. However, it is not mandatory to put in a filter for growing these plants. Though, if you do wish to maintain the health of your filter, it is in your best interest that you put a HOB filter in your tank or aquarium.


You can grow the Brazilian Pennywort as a background or middle layer fauna in your aquarium. Therefore, it is not crucial to add a substrate to your aquarium. If you wish, you can add any substrate of your choice. You can also plant the Brazilian Pennyworts with the substrate you already have in your tank. 

You should take care of only one thing while planting the Brazilian Pennyworts in your aquarium. They should remain in touch with the substrate but not get buried under them. 

How Many Brazilian Pennyworts can be kept in a 10 Gallon Tank?

The number of Brazilian Pennyworts that you can put into a 10-gallon tank can be a debatable discussion. The quantity of Brazilian Pennyworts that a tank can hold is, of course, in direct proportion to the size of the tank.

Water Parameters For Brazilian Pennyworts

To ensure the healthy development of the Brazilian Pennyworts, you should maintain the required water parameters. It will ensure that your plants grow fast and stay in their best condition. Let us go through some critical information about the water parameters of the Brazilian Pennyworts. 

Water Parameters For Brazilian Pennyworts

Water Temperature,

The ideal water temperature for the Brazilian Pennyworts is 78 to 83 degrees Fahrenheit. You will witness the Brazilian Pennyworts grow rapidly if you place them in a warmer temperature. 

You should consider adding Brazilian Pennyworts to your tank only if the fishes and other creatures in the tank can bear a warmer temperature. 

Usually, it is not a problem if you have tropical or freshwater fish in your tank. These fishes like to stay in warmer temperatures. 

If you maintain a low temperature in your tank, you might see comparatively slow growth in these plants.

Water Flow Rate

The water flow should be low to moderate if you don’t wish to damage these plants. Maintaining a high water flow might put Brazilian Pennyworts in jeopardy. It might also affect their health. 

pH Level

The perfect water pH for the Brazilian Pennyworts is 6.0-8.0. Maintaining this pH level will ensure the optimum growth of your plants. 

Water Hardness

The good news is that your Brazilian Pennyworts can adapt to a range of water hardness levels. However, you will find that they grow the best with water hardness levels of about 4 – 18 GH.

The freshwater has a water hardness of about 4-18 GH. It is the reason why the Brazilian Pennyworts grow the best in freshwater.

How To Plant Brazilian Pennywort?

Planting Brazilian Pennywort is as easy as ABC.

How To Plant Brazilian Pennywort

Simply put the stems into the substrate, and they start to grow very fast. These plants do not need much time to adapt to a new environment. Usually, people plant these aquarium plants in the back of the tank as a background. But if you do not mind a bit less light inside, you can leave them floating.

When kept floating, these plants can be a hiding place for fry and a place for infusoria to develop. These are unique aquarium plants that can even grow outside, so you can leave them to grow above the water’s surface. They can also do well for terrariums.

The Brazilian Pennywort can be used in aquariums as a bog plant if provided with enough humidity. It will grow above the water with small beautiful white flowers.

Brazilian Pennywort Tank Landscape

So, after getting a tank of at least 10 gallons or 40 litres, you can place the Brazilian Pennyworts in them. Setting up your aquarium or tank is not a challenge. 

Brazilian Pennywort Tank Landscape

You have two options while planting the Brazilian Pennyworts in your tank; you can either leave it afloat on the water surface or plant the Brazilian Pennyworts in the substrate. 

Once you plant these plants in your tank, they will add an attractive look to your tank. To do this, you can trail it across the driftwood. 

You can also grow it in different heights and separate bunches to help you create a perfect aquascape. You should ensure that you select a nutrient-rich soil for the substrate so that these plants get the maximum nutrients from the soil. After doing so, you can place the roots of the plants in the substrate by making a hole. 

You will find that the roots of these plants start budding after a few days. Within a blink of an eye, you will see these plants grow at a pacing rate. Slowly, these plants will start reaching the surface of the water. With time, they will also develop white flowers. 

Worst Plants For Brazilian Pennywort Tanks

As such, there are no specific plants that you should avoid keeping with the Brazilian Pennyworts. However, we recommend that you avoid putting the plants that lower the nitrate content in the soil. These plants can reduce the growth speed of the Brazilian Pennyworts. 

Decorations For Brazilian Pennywort Tanks

You can add the items of decoration that add to the beauty of your tank and the health of Brazilian Pennyworts. There is no must-follow rule about adding a particular decorative item to your tank. 

Lighting For Brazilian Pennywort Tanks

Lighting plays an important role in the growth of any plant, not just in the case of the Brazilian Pennyworts. You should be cautious about the kind of light in which you place your plants. These plants can grow well even in dim light. However, if you wish to maintain rapid growth, you can put them in bright light. 

You can provide your Brazilian Pennyworts in moderate to high lighting to have a robust appearance. 

Nutrients For Brazilian Pennywort Tanks

All plants and animals require enough nutrients to maintain their speed of growth. The same holds for the Brazilian Pennyworts. Though these plants can grow even without additional nutrients, adding nutrients will benefit their growth and health. 

If you witness your Brazilian Pennyworts having a deficiency of nutrients, you can use substrate fertilisers and C02 to enrich them. Spending a little money on these nutrients will ensure that your fish tank stays adequately oxygenated. It will also promote a better and longer life for your fish.

Brazilian Pennywort Compatibility And Tank Mates 

Brazilian Pennywort Compatibility And Tank Mates

Ideal Brazilian Pennywort Tank Mates

The Brazilian Pennyworts are compatible with the following tank mates 

  • Tetras
  • Cherry Barbs
  • Platies
  • Corydoras
  • Guppies

You can also add snails and dwarf shrimps in the tank with the Brazilian Pennyworts. 

Bad Tank Mates For Brazilian Pennywort

It might sound tempting to add Brazilian Pennyworts to your aquarium. However, you should be aware of the creatures that are not compatible with these plants. You should avoid placing Brazilian Pennyworts if in case you have the following in the same tank:

  • Goldfish
  • Silver dollars
  • Oscars, 
  • Jack Dempsey
  • Koi fish, 
  • and Buenos Aires Tetra

The abovementioned species won’t bode well with Brazilian Pennyworts as they won’t hesitate to feed on its foliage. 

You should also avoid keeping them with Cichlids as they are of an aggressive temperament. These fishes might feed on, tear and damage the leaves of Brazilian Pennywort. 

Requirements For Brazilian Pennywort

These plants are easy to grow in an aquarium. Even beginners can handle this task. When the plant is growing well, you should prune them from time to time. When they grow too much, the leaves can get tangled and cover all the light. Also, you can keep the prunes and put them back in the substrate or let them float, and they will grow back again. 

Requirements For Brazilian Pennywort

These plants can grow in medium lighting. But the more the light, the better is the growth. When the light is not enough for Brazilian Pennyworth, they do not grow properly and do not have the required appearance. When choosing a light, getting an LED light bulb is recommended. Although this is not a must, you can add Co2 and regular plant feeding for these plants to the mix.

As for its compatibility, this plant can be used in tanks with any type of fish except for goldfish and cichlids as they can damage the plant.

The Issue With Brazilian Pennywort

Even though these are very easy growing plants, there sometimes may be some issues that may incur. If your plant is not growing as it should, it probably lacks something. You should check the nutrients, the Co2 level, and the lighting inside the tank. If you notice that your plant is not growing properly and is losing leaves, this can be because of the lack of light. Also, pruning can help to boost the growth of Brazilian Pennyworth. If your plant’s leaves turn yellow or fall, this can be because of the lack of iron. Try adding more iron to the water to keep your plant healthy.

Where Can You Buy Brazilian Pennywort?

As we’ve already mentioned, these aquarium plants are easily available. So you can buy Brazilian Pennywort in any aquarium store. You can also buy these plants online. Another way that you can get hold of these plants is by buying from other hobbyists who are willing to sell the plants that they have grown.

Specifications of Brazilian Pennywort

  • Tank size: Minimum 19 L
  • Location in the tank: Anywhere, be it mid, back, or floating
  • Care: Very easy
  • The temperature of the water: 68 – 82 F
  • The ph level of the water: 6-8
  • Propagation method: Cutting
  • Can grow outside of the water: Yes

The above now concludes all the basic information regarding the Brazilian Pennywort. Overall if you have decided to decorate your tank with this plant, it is highly recommended because it is easy to grow and maintain.

You just need to make sure that it gets enough lighting and nutrients and that soon the leaves of the Brazilian Pennyworth will fill your entire tank. Also, do not forget to prune it from time to time.

Facts About Brazilian Pennywort

  • Here are some facts about Brazilian Pennywort that will help you know about the species.
  • Brazilian Pennyworts are native to South America, Mexico, And Argentina
  • Hydrocotyle leucocephala is the scientific name of the Brazilian Pennyworts
  • They are among the fastest-growing aquatic plants.
  • Brazilian Pennyworts grow the best in warm temperatures. 
  • These plants require adequate lighting to help them grow fast. 
  • You can place the Brazilian Pennyworts in your tank or aquarium as floating plants or attach them to the substrate. 
  • These plants are perfect for enhancing the look of your tank or for aqua-scaping. 
  • These plants are friendly to beginners since they don’t require much care. 
  • It has round leaves and a single stem, but you may also find its stems branched. 
  • You can add more fertilizers to grow your Brazilian Pennyworts faster. 
  • Brazilian Pennyworts are highly versatile. 
Facts About Brazilian Pennywort

Are Brazilian Pennyworts Right For you?

If you are a beginner aquarium, Brazilian Pennywort is a perfect choice. As we discussed above, these plants do not require much care. If you pick up these plants to decorate your tank, you might thank yourselves later. These lush green plants are highly versatile and low maintenance.

You need not go through any trouble of getting additional things for Brazilian Pennyworts. All you need to do is provide them with enough light and maintain the pH of the water. You can use the LED bulbs for lighting purposes. 

Brazilian Pennywort

You can add fertilisers and CO2 to the substrate for more sustainable growth. When this plant grows, its long green leaves add beauty to your tank. The fishes, shrimps, etc., in your tank also enjoy the company of these plants. There is no solid reason for you not to adore your tank or aquarium with these plants. 


Should I Add The Brazilian Pennywort To My Tank?

If you do not have any aggressive fishes in your tank, you can place Brazilian Pennywort in your tank. You should avoid placing these plants in the tank having Goldfish, Cichlids, and other rowdy fishes. 

What Are The Favorable Water Conditions For Placing The Brazilian Pennyworts?

You can maintain a temperature of 78-83 degrees Fahrenheit. These plants generally prefer warm climatic conditions and are mostly found in the tropics and freshwaters. If you maintain these climatic conditions, you can be sure that they will grow fast. However, if you lower the temperature, their growth may slow down. 

What are the Best Tank Mates For Brazilian Pennywort?

You can add Brazilian Pennywort to the tanks with ettas, Swordtails, Tetras, Pearl Gourami, Honey Gourami, Harlequin Rasbora, Danios, Cherry Barbs, Platies, Guppies, Endlers, Mollies, Otocinclus Catfish, Pygmy Cory Catfish. You can also consider putting snails like Japanese trapdoor snails, Ramshorn snails, Nerite snails, etc., into the tank with Brazilian Pennywort.

What Should Be The Ideal pH Of The Water for Brazilian Pennywort?

You should try maintaining the pH of the water between 6.0-8.0.

You can also consider adding baking soda to the water if the pH decreases.

On the other hand, if the water becomes more basic, you can add some lemon juice or vinegar to the tank. 


After all this discussion, we hope that we have made you believe that Brazilian Pennywort is more than just a beautiful plant. If you provide this plant with all the essential nutrients, it will make your tank more fetching. It will also provide a layer of functionality to your tank. 

You can find this freshwater tank in the streams and forests of Brazil. Brazilian Ivy, Pennywort, or Brazilian Pennywort is a beautiful addition to any tank and a great companion for the fish in your tank.

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