Home Plants Bacopa Salzmannii – Bacopa Salzmannii SP ‘Araguaia’

Bacopa Salzmannii – Bacopa Salzmannii SP ‘Araguaia’

by gardeningit
Bacopa Salzmannii

Found on the river banks of Brazil, Bacopa Salzmannii has become a popular aquarium plant due to its stunning deep green-red foliage. Bacopa Salzmannii and its variety Bacopa Salzmannii SP ‘Araguaia’ can be grown in tanks and aquariums to form a backdrop for fish and other plants. You can also plant this plant in the middle of an aquarium to give it a fuller appearance.

So if you are planning on decorating your aquarium with some gorgeous easy-maintenance plants, Bacopa Salzmannii is an excellent choice for you. Let’s learn the basic care routine for this attractive aquatic plant.

Common Names

  • Bacopa Salzmannii ‘Purple’
  • Bacopa Salzmannii SP. ‘Araguaia’

Bacopa Salzmannii Classification

  • Family: Plantaginaceae
  • Tribe: Gratioleae
  • Genus: Bacopa

Origin and Distribution

This plant was introduced and cultivated for the first time in Brazil in Rio Araguaia. This plant is found abundantly in Central and South America, Mexico, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Colombia, Venezuela, Panama, Guyana, Bolivia, Brazil, Peru, Paraguay, and Honduras.

Bacopa Salzmannii Appearance


This plant has deep green foliage with a tint of red on its blades. The reddish color of the leaves is visible in bright light. If the plant is grown in low light conditions, all the leaves turn green. The leaves grow on alternate sides on long stems. There are just 2 to 3 stems on each plant.


This plant produces pale violet-colored, beautiful flowers. These tiny flowers bloom in summer and spring.


It is a small-sized plant that is only several inches tall. Each of its stems is 2 inches in width. Its size is just fine for a medium-sized aquarium.

Bacopa Salzmannii Care

Quick Guide 

  • Watering: Reverse osmosis or deionized water.
  • Substrate and pH: Gravel or coarse sand, pH 5.5-7.5.
  • Light: High
  • Temperature: 17-30°C.
  • Carbon dioxide: Helpful in growth but not necessary.
  • Fertilizer: Weekly doses.

Let’s get into the detailed care guide.

Bacopa Salzmannii Watering Requirements

You should use deionized water in your aquarium if you are keeping Bacopa Salzmannii in it. This water is much better to use than tap water as it does not contain any minerals, neither excellent nor harmful.

Reverse osmosis or deionized water is also safe for the fish or other plants in your tank (if you are keeping any). You should also change the water in small proportions. Every week, you should change 30% of water. It will prevent any waste build-up in the tank and keep your other plants and fish healthy.

Substrate Requirements

This aquatic plant needs a substrate to which it can anchor and root. At the base of your aquarium, spread a layer of coarse sand or gravel at the back and plant your Bacopa Salzmannii in it. The height of the substrate should be 2 to 3 inches, and make a slope out of it.

The pH of the substrate should be between 5.5 and 7.5. Avoid using oyster shells, dolomite, crushed coral, or any calcium-carbonate-based substrate. These will change the pH of the soil and make it more alkaline, which is not preferable for this plant.


This appealing plant species thrive in medium light. Even inside water, it needs proper light exposure to carry out photosynthesis and stay alive. The fluorescent lights that are used for aquariums are measured in watts per gallon. Bacopa Salzmannii Purple needs a fluorescent light which is two to four watts per gallon. Its growth rate slows down if it does not receive enough light exposure. You should switch the lights off for 12 hours a day. This way, this plant will be under a circadian rhythm of day and night.

Temperature Tolerance

You should maintain the temperature in the aquarium between 17°C and 30°C. The temperature and warmth also affect the growth rate of this plant. The warmer the temperature, the faster it grows. However, too much heat will kill this beautiful variety.

You should set a separate thermometer in the aquarium to track the temperature. This way, the temperature will never rise or fall unchecked.

Carbon Dioxide

Plants consume carbon dioxide and release oxygen in the day and do the opposite at night. This carbon dioxide supply under the water boosts the growth of Bacopa Salzmannii, and it is why you should set up a system to supply carbon dioxide to your plant.

Carbon dioxide can be supplied to this plant through tablets, yeast generators, or injections. The best method is the injection method.


Just like other houseplants, aquarium plants also need regular fertilizer to thrive and grow. These plants need nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, iron, magnesium, and other minerals to keep their foliage fresh and healthy. These minerals also fall on the plant from waste material and fishes’ food, but the amount is not sufficient.

Bacopa Salzmannii should be fertilized weekly with nutrient doses. The easiest way to fertilize this plant is to insert fertilizer tablets into the substrate near the base of the plant.

How to Propagate Bacopa Salzmannii?

Bacopa Salzmannii SP Araguaia is one of the most beautiful and colorful plants that you can plant in your aquarium. This plant acts as an excellent background in aquariums. So if you want to cover most of the backside of your aquarium, you should propagate this plant to produce more of it. Its propagation is as easy as propagating other houseplants. It is propagated through stem cuttings. The best time to take the cuttings is late summer.

This plant produces lateral stems. These stems are separated from the main plant body and planted in a different place; the other care requirements are similar to the mother plant.

Bacopa Salzmannii Basic Features

Growth Rate

This plant has a fast growth rate. It quickly reaches its mature height when planted. If its leaves are removed, new growth takes place in less than a month. It is why it is preferred for aquariums.


This plant is not toxic to any water creatures. You can keep your fish in the same tank as this plant without any worry.


This small-sized aquarium plant is easy to care for. It is a low-maintenance plant that requires no special treatment. If you do not have any experience growing aquatic plants, this plant can be a good start for you as it is a beginner-friendly plant.


If your plant is not growing or has dull foliage, it does not mean that the plant has died. Bacopa Salzmannii goes dormant in the dry season or winters. During these days, its growth rate slows down to almost zero. Cease its nutrients supply in those days as it does not need any minerals to grow in dormancy.

Common Problems and Their Solutions

If any pests or diseases attack this plant, you cannot treat them with pesticides or fungicides. It is because these chemicals will also kill the fish. This is why treating problems of aquatic plants need more comprehensive solutions.


Black alga is a dangerous disease of this plant. When too much fertilizer is added to an aquarium, the growth of algae increases. The black algae grow over the foliage of the plant and cover its leaves. So if you notice your plant turning black, it is due to increased algal growth. The best way to treat this problem is by changing the water and decreasing its fertilizing schedule.


The six common pests of Bacopa Salzmannii are detritus worms, planaria, limpets, copepods, hydria, and snails. Some of these pests are eaten by the fish and will be no problem, while others need to be removed. These pests affect the health of the plant and damage the leaves. You can get rid of these pests through the following easy ways:

  1. Keep your aquarium clean.
  2. Decrease fertilization for some time.
  3. Stop adding powdered food.
  4. Manually remove the pests.
  5. Add predators, such as corydoras and loaches.

Frequently Asked Questions about Bacopa Salzmannii

Can I Grow My Bacopa Salzmannii in a Glass Bottle?

Yes, you can grow this plant immersed in water in a glass bottle. However, if the plant is getting bigger and matured, it must be moved to a spacious tank. The small stems of this aquatic plant can grow pretty well in a glass bottle.

Can I Use Clay as a Substrate for This Plant?

Yes, clay works just fine as a substrate for this plant. Clay can hold the nutrients and the plant so well. You can use it either in a glass bottle or in a tank.

Why Are the Leaves of My Plant Turning Yellow?

It can be due to nitrogen deficiency. If the plant is not receiving enough nitrogen through its fertilizer, its metabolism rate slows down. And its leaves also start to turn yellow.

Is Bacopa Salzmannii a Rare Plant?

This plant is not available easily in the stores. It is a rare plant that is hardly available commercially. So if you get your hands on this plant, consider yourself lucky and never miss the opportunity to propagate this gorgeous aquatic plant species.


Bacopa Salzmannii is an aquatic plant that grows semi-immersed on the sides of rivers in Mexico and Brazil. It is a common aquarium plant because it is easy to maintain. It is also loved as an aquarium plant for its striking foliage. This plant has deep green leaves that look almost black; these leaves have a shade of red on their edges and blades. This plant will not only adorn your fish tank but will also keep it oxygenated and lively. It is a great statement plant for your aquarium that serves as a beautiful and aesthetic background.

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