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Moneywort: Plant, Grow & Care Guide

Moneywort: Plant, Grow & Care Guide

Moneywort (Bacopa monnieri) is one of the most widely used aquarium plants. So, If you’re considering getting one, you need to know how to care for it.

A moneywort requires clean water, temperature levels between 70-80 °F (or 21-26 °C), and a water pH of 6.5- 7.5. To propagate this plant, you will need to remove your fish from its tank and plant stem cuttings below the side shoots near your existing moneywort.

In the rest of this article, I’ll tell you everything you need to know about the care of a moneywort- including its propagation method. So, if you’re interested in growing the plant, keep reading!

Moneywort Propagation Methods

Moneywort is one of the easiest plants to propagate; the steps are so simple that it’s hard to go wrong. 

Here’s what you’ll need to do to propagate this plant in your aquarium:

  1. You’ll need to get a fishless tank to propagate your moneywort. This prevents your fish from nibbling or eating the growing plant before it establishes its root. So, transport your fish into a different water tank before you begin this process. 
  2. Additionally, you’ll need a mature moneywort plant for this.
  3. Start by clipping off a piece of its stem (with its leaf nodes still intact). 
  4. Ideally, you’d want to wait until your plant shows side shoots. Once these shoots are at least an inch long, clip them off and plant them near your existing moneywort plant.
  5. The reason why it’s ideal to keep the growing stem in the same tank is that the tank will already have all of the ideal conditions necessary for your plant’s proper growth. 
  6. Once the new plant has established roots, you may transfer your fish back to the tank.

In these steps, I’ve mentioned that your growing plant will require some “ideal conditions” to grow properly. In the next section, let’s take a look at what is needed to grow your moneywort plant.

Moneywort Care and Growth Guide

Generally speaking, moneyworts are very low-maintenance plants – even their propagation methods are extremely simple. This is partly why so many aquarium owners opt for moneywort. 

If you’re a plant enthusiast or want your moneywort to look great in your aquarium, you’ll need to ensure that your plant is kept under ideal conditions. 

Here’s everything you need to know about taking care of your moneywort properly.

Tank Requirements

A mature moneywort can grow up to twelve inches (30.48cm) tall, so you’re going to need an appropriately sized tank for your plant. Ideally, any tank that can hold at least 10 gallons (3.7 liters) of water should do the trick. 

But If your tank is slightly smaller than this, that’s ok; you can periodically prune your moneywort to keep it contained within your tank.

If however, your tank is much smaller than this, I strongly recommend getting a bigger tank. This has two benefits:

  • It’ll leave more space for your plant to grow
  • It’ll create more space for your fish and other plants (meaning they’ll be able to breathe better).

If you’re a fan of aquatic plants, though, and plan on planting many more other plants in your aquarium, consider investing in a much larger tank. You’ll be able to grow multiple species of aquatic plants this way without having to choose between favorites.

Water Requirements

Since your plant will be mainly submerged underwater, water is one of the most important facets of a moneywort’s care. Moneywort plants are typically found in swamps in nature, meaning that the plant isn’t highly sensitive to unclean water. 

However, if you want your plant to grow to its full potential, you’ll need to ensure that the plant is kept in clean water. This especially goes in the case of fish tanks where water generally remains stagnant, and the waste of fish and other plants begins polluting the water.

If you have fish in your tank, you’ll already have a water filter to clean the tank so you have this step covered. A water filter is enough to keep your moneywort’s surrounding water clean.

The ideal level of nitrate content of the water when you don’t have fish in the tank should be forty parts per million. However, if you are keeping fish in the same tank (which you likely are), ensure that the water’s nitrate levels don’t exceed twenty parts per million – that’s what’s ideal for fish.

Moneyworts are native to Africa and Asia, so they like slightly warmer environmental temperatures. The ideal water temperature for your moneywort lies within the 70-80 °F (21.11-26.67 °C) range. 

That being said, keep in mind the temperature requirements of the fish you keep in your tank, moneyworts are hardy plants that can be flexible with their environment. 

During winter, you’ll need to take extra measures to ensure that your plant’s surrounding temperature stays within the ideal range mentioned above. 

The extent of the measures you’ll have to take will depend on how cold it gets in your home, but here are a few ideas to help you keep the temperature of your plant’s water tank from dropping too low:

  • Keep your water tank near a heater (or any other source of heat).
  • Raise the temperature of the room it’s in. 
  • Keep bright lamps near your water tank to keep the water’s temperature steady.

A factor you must consider when getting the water right for your moneywort is its pH level. Moneywort plants thrive when the pH levels hover between the 6.7 and 7.5 range. If you can, consider investing in a pH meter/monitor so that you can be alerted if the water’s pH level falls below this range.

A few things you can do to ensure steady pH levels include

  • Filtering the water properly.
  • Add liquid fertilizers with appropriate pH levels.
  • Use substrates with appropriate pH levels.
  • Use Carbon dioxide injections.

Lastly, if you’re wondering whether you need to add any extra carbon dioxide to the water, you don’t. The moneywort plant doesn’t have any strict CO2 requirements, but if you ever need to increase your tank water’s pH, carbon dioxide injections can be a great way of doing so. 

Lighting Requirements

As mentioned earlier, moneywort plants are capable of surviving in different conditions – that’s why the plant is naturally found in so many countries across the globe. 

When it comes to lighting, your moneywort can survive low-light conditions, but it’s likely that its growth will be hindered. If you want your plant to thrive, ensure that it receives at least 10 hours of moderate light a day

Since you’ll probably plant your moneywort in an aquarium tank, it’s likely you won’t be able to provide it with direct sunlight. To compensate, you can use bright LED lights

Specialized warm lights are an option, too (they’ll also help keep your plant warm during winters), but there’s no need to invest your money in them; your plant can do well in adequate LED lighting alone.

Note that while moneywort is a hardy plant, if you neglect its lighting needs too much, it will start to discolor. It’s tough all right, but not invincible!

Substrate & Fertilizer Requirements

Moneywort plants are versatile; they don’t require any specific substrate to grow. However, they grow their best when planted in aquarium soil. 

This doesn’t mean other options are bad; for example, sand and gravel are common substrate choices with this plant, and moneyworts usually grow perfectly fine with them. If however, you want to provide ideal conditions for your plant, go with aquarium soil.

You can always choose a combination of different substrates if you want – all you need to do is make sure the substrate doesn’t alter the tank’s pH too much. 

Additionally, make sure your plant’s roots are at least an inch deep inside the substrate, this will help give your plant a strong foundation.

As far as the plant’s fertilizer needs go, it can grow perfectly well without them. Fertilizing your moneywort once or twice a season though will help boost its growth. 

If you do decide to use a fertilizer, you’ll need to use liquid fertilizers. If you’re not familiar with any good brands, I personally recommend getting NilocG Aquatics Liquid Fertilizer (available on Amazon.com). It’s a bit pricey, but it’s one of the best ones out there for Moneywort plants.

How To Prune Your Moneywort

When properly cared for, moneywort plants grow an inch every month until they reach their maximum height of about 11-13 inches (27.94-33.02 cm). This is not a very fast growth rate compared to most other plants, so you won’t have to prune your plant very frequently.

Generally, pruning once every 3-4 weeks will work for most people. 

However, the actual frequency with which you should prune your plant will depend on conditions specific to your plant. 

For example, the size of your tank can determine how frequently you’ll need to prune your plant; if your tank is smaller in size, your moneywort will reach the surface of the water quickly. 

When moneywort plants do so, the plant stems bend and grow horizontally covering the surface of the water. If you want to prevent this from happening, simply cut the plant so that it’s always just below the surface of the water.

Check out this video to see what I mean.

How To Plant Your Moneywort

As with any other plant, one of the biggest aspects of taking care of your moneywort is ensuring that you plant it the right way, and in the right conditions. 

Luckily though, planting a moneywort is fairly simple; as explained below:

  1. Start by getting an aquarium that has at least a 12-inch (30.48 cm) height dimension and the capacity to hold at least 10 gallons (25.4 cm) of water. 
  2. Ensure that you have a water filter set up in your water tank and, ideally, a temperature and pH monitor as well. 
  3. Use aquarium soil to form the base of the aquarium- this is where you’ll be planting your moneywort. (You may also use sand or gravel for this step- moneywort plants can grow in both).
  4. You can choose to add other substrates as well, so long as it doesn’t end up drastically altering the tank’s pH.
  5. Plant your moneywort into the soil base. If you’re planting a young moneywort, handle the plant with a lot of care. Young moneyworts are sensitive to touch, and you can easily break off their leaves or stem if you don’t take adequate care. 
  6. Slowly fill the tank with water and ensure that water isn’t directly being poured onto the newly planted moneywort, as it can easily get uprooted. 
  7. Ensure all other environmental requirements of the plant are met, i.eThe tank’s pH is between 6.5-7.5 and that its temperature remains between 21-26 °C (69.8-78.8 °F).
  8. If you want, you can also add some liquid fertilizer to the tank at this stage, as it will help the plant grow faster. Just make sure it doesn’t take the tank’s pH outside of the ideal range.
  9. Finally, if you’re planting multiple moneyworts in your aquarium (which you likely are), ensure that you leave at least a two-inch gap between each stem planted. This ensures all your plants have enough room to grow properly and that they don’t end up competing for nutrients.

Moneywort Tankmates

An important part of caring for your moneywort is carefully choosing appropriate tank mates. If you let plant-shredding fish share a tank with your moneywort, all of your effort to care for the plant will go to waste.

Here’s a table that can help guide your decision:

Good Tank Mates:

  • Cherry Barbs
  • Danios
  • Freshwater Shrimp
  • Goldfish
  • Guppy Fish
  • Molly Fish
  • Neon Tetra
  • Pearl Gourami
  • Platy Fish
  • Ram Cichlids

Tanks Mates To Avoid

  • Buenos Aires
  • Flowerhorn Fish
  • Tetras

FAQs

Is Moneywort the Same As Creeping Jenny?

Moneywort (Bacopa monnieri) is often confused with the Creeping Jenny (Lysimachia nummularia), but they’re two entirely different plants. Creeping Jenny has larger flowers (usually yellow), while Moneywort has white, tiny flowers. 

Will My Fish Eat Moneywort?

Most fish will be perfectly compatible with this plant; they won’t deal much damage to it, only nibble at it once in a while. However, there are some fish that you shouldn’t let your plant share a tank with. These include plant-shredding fish like Flowerhorns. 

Although even in their case, you don’t have much to worry about. As long as your plant’s stems are left intact, they’ll likely grow back.

How Fast Does Moneywort Grow?

Moneywort plants typically grow about an inch every month (if kept under ideal conditions). 

However, this rate may vary depending on the conditions in which they’re kept, the plant itself, and what season it is (moneywort grows slower during winters). 

Your plant will continue to grow until it reaches its maximum height of around 11-13 inches (27.94-33.02 cm).

How Big Can Moneywort Grow?

A fully mature moneywort plant will reach a maximum height of around 11-13 inches (27.94-33.02 cm) if kept under ideal conditions. However, if light, PH, and temperature requirements aren’t met, your plant won’t reach its full growth potential. 

Does Moneywort Require Carbon Dioxide?

No, there’s generally no need to add any additional carbon dioxide to your plant’s water. However, once in a while, carbon dioxide injections can help boost your plant’s growth and help raise the water’s pH.

Conclusion 

Moneywort (Bacopa Monnieri) is a beautiful aquatic plant that adds texture and color to any freshwater aquarium. It is easy to care for and its low-maintenance and fast-growing nature make it a popular choice among beginner and seasoned aquarists.

With the right conditions, this plant will thrive and provide a stunning environment. Here’s a summary table regarding its care:

CategoryIdeal Requirements
Water10 gallons (37.85 l) of fresh water.
Tank Should be at least 12 inches (30.48 cm) in height and have space for
at least 10 gallons (37.85 l) of water.
Temperature70- 80°F (or 21- 26°C).
LightingModerately bright (at least 10 hours/ day).
pH7.5- 8.5.
FertilizersFertilizers are not necessary, but they help boost growth.
PruningOnce every 3-4 weeks (keep the plant below the water’s surface).
Carbon dioxide No additional need.
PropagationStem cuttings.
I’m Elle, the founder of FishHQ. I created this website to share knowledge, tips, and inspiration for beginner hobbyists to help them create a healthy, happy, and vibrant environment for their fish to thrive. Read more...