How to Plant Ludwigia Repens – Care Guide and Tank Mates

Not all aquarium plants are easy to maintain, but all of them are beautiful. Some have strict requirements and if not followed, you will not be able to grow the plant successfully. Ludwigia Repens is, luckily, fairly easy to maintain, but it is one of the most beautiful plants. It is extremely versatile and it will look good in any tank, no matter what kind of decoration you want to use.

Plant Ludwigia Repens

How To Plant Ludwigia Repens

To plant Ludwigia Repens, start by choosing a well-lit area of your tank with a substrate that will allow the roots to easily grow. Next, prepare the plant by trimming off any dead or damaged leaves and dividing the plant if necessary. Then, create a small hole in the substrate and gently place the plant in the hole, making sure to cover the roots completely.

Finally, firm the substrate around the plant and add some fertilizers to help it thrive.

Ludwigia Repens

The Ludwigia Repens originally comes from Mexico and the United States and is extremely common, especially among beginners. This is because you don’t have to follow strict rules to grow it, quite the opposite.

It is a medium plant, so it is better to grow it in medium to large aquariums. Putting it in a small tank might occupy too much space and you will not have room. In general, it grows up to 20 inches and each stem has about 2 inches in width. Naturally, it can take months or even years for it to reach its maximum size, so you have plenty of time to enjoy your decorations before you have to change the landscape.

When you first buy the plant, make sure it has a reddish color and the leaves are not damaged in any way. It is well known that parasites or diseases can infect a plant that looks “broken” or damaged and this is something you don’t want to place in your tank. It is recommended to get the plant as early as possible, when it’s still young, to give it time to adapt properly to the conditions in your tank.

The Ludwigia Repens has very strong roots, so you can use almost any kind of substrate. However, it is better not to use sand, as this can suffocate the roots. Also, if your substrate does not have nutrients you have to consider using chemicals to “feed” the plant, at least in the first few months. This will help it create a strong root system and you will not have to struggle with its maintenance in the future.

Buying more than a few stems, in the beginning, can be a mistake, especially if you do not have a large aquarium. This plant will propagate very quickly, so from a few stems, you can grow dozens of small plants with patience and good conditions. To plant it, simply put the roots in the substrate and make sure more than one inch from the root is in the substrate. If the plant is already mature, you can also trim it to encourage producing new stems.

The red coloration of the plant is probably what attracts most people. To encourage and keep this, you have to be extremely careful with the lighting system. The more light this plant has, the more intense its color will be. Therefore, to keep it healthy and growing you should provide at least 2.5 watts of light per gallon and make sure the plant does not stay in the shade. To take things even further, you can keep the nitrate levels at approximately 5 ppm and high phosphate levels. This will help with the pigmentation of the plant and it will grow much faster.

While the color of the plant is what makes it attractive for aquascapers, this is also what makes it attractive for fish. Very often small, aggressive fish will try to eat from the plant and after a while, the leaves will be destroyed. You have to put them in tanks where the fish will not have the chance to eat them.

Ludwigia Repens Overview

Ludwigia Repens is an aquatic plant that can live partially and fully submerged in a freshwater tank. It generally grows up to 12-20 inches. Its height is highly dependent on your care. Ludwigia has surpassed the popularity and its low-maintenance properties among various aquatic tank keepers. Its versatility allows you to plant it anywhere. However, the best place to grow is in the middle of the tank. Its vivid color and lush leaves will provide your tank with a fantastic look.

Facts About Ludwigia Repens

Beauty of Ludwigia Repens: One of the most beautiful and highly demanding aquatic plants is the Ludwigia Repens. Adding this plant in the middle of your tank enhances its beauty. They reveal their hundred percent beauty when grown under favorable conditions that make them feel like natural habitats.

Super Red: If the aquarium of Ludwigia Repens is well maintained and provided with the proper lighting system, they can illuminate your aquarium with red color. Ludwigia Repen is the most versatile super red species. It can flourish in standard water parameters. In addition, the red contrast with other green plants gives your aquarium a great look.

Common Names: Ludwigia Repen belongs to the Onagraceae family, commonly known as creeping primrose-willow and creeping water purslane. The Ludwigia Repen was in America, and currently, it is found worldwide. 

Wider Plants: Ludwigia Repens spread wider than growing tall. They are denser due to their dense red-colored flowers. Their height can rise to 20 inches along with the number of stems. The new stems are formed near their roots.

Ludwigia Repens Care: Ludwigia Repens is easy to care for compared to other common aquarium plants. Once your tank is set up according to the Repen’s requirements, it’s very easy to take care of them. Ludwigia’s essential care includes a temperature range between 75-79 degrees Fahrenheit, using an enriched substrate, and keeping it away from herbivore predators.

Ludwigia Repens Care And Tank Setup

Tank Size

The freshwater tank must be large. The minimum tank size required is 20 gallons for Ludwigia Repens. Tanks adhering to true density and height provide the best outcome for the tank. The tank size determines the health of your Repen as well as the beauty of the tank. 


A substrate is the most important element of all types of aquariums, irrespective of their sizes. You cannot simply use sand and gravel. But using gravel alone affects plant growth as Ludwigia Repens need nutrient-rich substrate to grow better. In addition, sand tends to suffocate the plant’s roots; hence avoid using only sand as a substrate. Instead, use gravel with a mixture of peat, volcanic rock, and baked clay to better the Repen.


The high lighting level is an important factor behind healthy Ludwigia Repens. These plants prefer high light levels and can grow in a moderate light level as well, but with slower growth rates. In poor light levels, the plant encounters health issues and discoloration. Therefore, you need a high-level light system for brightly colored and healthy Ludwigia Repens.

Water Parameters

Ludwigia Repens require standard water parameters such as a balanced pH level and lukewarm Lukewarm water to bloom.  This plant can live in hard water, but decent soft water is highly recommended.

Here are some of the water parameters given below:

  • pH level: 6.0 to 8.0 (try to make it neutral 7.0)
  • Water temperature: 68°F to 82°F
  • Water hardness: 3 to 8 KH (decent soft water)

Ludwigia Repens Compatibility And Tank Mates

Choosing compatible tank mates for Ludwigia Repens can be challenging. However, the famous greenish aquatic plants such as Java Fern, Amazon Sword, and the Rotala Rotundifolia complement deeper red-colored Ludwigia enhancing the overall look of your tank. 

Fish can hide and play with Ludwigia Repens. Some fishes can damage your Ludwigia Repen by uprooting them from the substrate. Therefore, add shrimps and snails that are carnivores. 

Are Ludwigia Repens Right For You?

Are you searching for a plant with colorful flowers? Then, Ludwigia Repens is the right choice! It stands out because of its beautiful red-colored flowers. Adding Ludwigia Repens to your tank will beautify your aquarium. However, beware of adding fish in that tank, especially those that prey on Ludwigia Repen.   

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is Ludwigia A Root Feeder?

Yes, they are root-feeder plants that do not require excess fertilizers. They utilize the necessary nutrients from the substrate through their roots. If you want Ludwigia Repens super red, you can use root tabs as root feeders. If you notice that your plant is not healthy even after adding fertilizers into the tank, then add fertilizers on the substrate near the plant roots.

How To Plant Ludwigia Super Red?

To plant Ludwigia super red, you’ll require a rich nutrient substrate and a proper lighting system to enhance the plant’s vividness. Another important factor to consider is how you propagate your plant. Propagation is done by cutting stems. After cutting the stems, plant the stem in the substrate. You’ll reap a good number of plants from these small single stems. Hence, the more the stems, the more the red color in your tank.    

What Are Ludwigia Repens Light Requirements?

These aquatic plants have vivid colors hence need high-level lights for their bright- colorful appearance. The same applies to Ludwigia Repens; they also require bright light for their bright color and beautiful appearance. The plant survives in moderate light but is less bright and colorful than how it blooms glooms under full-bright light.  Therefore, it’s highly recommended to set up high lights in the aquarium.    


A very interesting thing that many people don’t know is this plant can also grow on the surface of the water. Of course, it will not be as luxurious and it will take more time for it to reach its maximum size. On the other hand, it will create many side shoots that will create a very interesting look in your tank. If you have small plants on the bottom, you might want to think about growing Ludwigia Repens on the surface, while still providing the others with natural light.

Once you put this plant in your tank, you will not have to take care of it unless you want to trim it or change the water. It is a great addition to your aquarium and your fish will love it!

4 thoughts on “How to Plant Ludwigia Repens – Care Guide and Tank Mates”

  1. Read your description of Ludwigia Repens earlier but this sentence does not make sense.
    “The Ludwigia Repens has very strong roots, so you can use almost any kind of substrate. However, it is better to recommend sand, as this can suffocate the roots.”
    Is it recommending sand or is it not recommending sand .
    Stuart ( Scotland)

  2. I have a tank with Silica Sand and initially bought a sample group if plants and one was Ludwigia Repens and I really liked it so bought some more which are growing very well and look good with colour. As I wasnt sure where their final placement was to be I bunches tw or three together and wrapped some foam round them at the base and added some weight strip and just sat them on the sand behind rocks and they are growing very well.

  3. can you help me on how many lumens per gallon do I need?
    most of the time people mentions watts per gallon, but not all the lights have similar efficiency, could you help me on that?


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