Bacopa caroliniana
Bacopa caroliniana

Bacopa caroliniana is a super easy stem plant that does very well in the Fireplace Aquarium.  Grown by Tropica and purchased from Pro Shrimp in May 2023, the bacopa transitioned smoothly to submersed growth.

Attractive branching stem plant

I like the bacopa vs. for example ludwigia because the bacopa fills out laterally rather than just growing stems straight up.  The bacopa is an attractive bright green although it does bronze up a little when the lighting is intense such as at the top of the tank.  The claim is that “its slow growth rate makes it one of the few stem plants that do not need much attention” but at least for me it grows pretty vigorously – around 10 cm per month. Fortunately maintenance is straightforward:  uproot the entire plant and cut off and replant just the tops.  The tops take root readily.  With a number of bacopa stems you can do a rotating trim and replant so as to always have a variety of heights.  The bacopa does seem to enjoy bright light.  When initially planted it got shaded/crowded by some vallis and seems to have benefited from being given some bright space of its own.

Bacopa bushes out as it grows up

The gallery above illustrates how the bacopa fills out as it grows.  As an added bonus, in the left foreground of the photos you can see Cryptocoryne nurii transitioning from the newly planted emersed growth form to the mature mottled rose/green submersed form.

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