Hydrocotyle Tripartita is not known to be a foreground plant but this does not mean it will not act that way if provided with sufficient light. Its vine-like growth pattern will readily and quickly work like a carpeting plant in the aquarium. It will quickly fill up every inch of the aquarium if conditions are right. Considered as an easy plant, its adaptability is unmatched. Aquascapers have glued it to rocks and wood, planted it in the substrate as an accent plant, used it as a carpeting plant and even let it float around. It does not have a problem growing without substrate. For the aquarist who does not have a problem with regular trimming and is looking for foreground alternatives, this plant is perfect.
Lighting requirements should be around medium to high if it is to be used as a carpeting plant. Sufficient light will result in lighter green foliage. Be careful not to put it under too intense lighting though. Intense lighting does not harm the plant but it could start an algae bloom. Hair algae would spell disaster for Hydrocotyle Tripartita as the algae get in between the vine-like stems and foliage and would prove very difficult if not impossible to remove.
Hydrocotyle Tripartita is not very demanding when it comes to CO2 supplementation but it does require it if it were to grow a dense carpet. Keep CO2 levels at an optimum to avoid CO2-related deficiencies. Yellowing of leaves would not look pleasant and noticeable on a Hydrocotyle Tripartita carpet since the foliage is bigger than most carpeting plants. This plant is also susceptible to melting leaves if it does not receive sufficient CO2.
Keep Hydrocotyle Tripartita at temperatures of around 20 to 28 degrees Celsius. I can tolerate a slightly higher temperature but to keep it looking pristine make 28 degrees Celsius the maximum. This is the type of plant where each foliage should be considered important as any defects become very visible. TDS should be around 80-150 for better dissolution of nutrients and CO2. To be on the safe side, maintain a neutral PH but anywhere from 6.9-7.5 should be acceptable.
Planting and Placement
Hydrocotyle Tripartita can be placed anywhere in the aquarium. It can oftentimes be found trying to take over the entire tank if regulator trimming is not followed. This plant would work perfectly as a foreground plant for a large aquarium. But as mentioned it can also be used to cover driftwood and rocks and be made to dangle.
This plant grows really fast. It could spread in a matter of weeks. Pressing it down every once in a while is advisable as this plant does not have a rigid structure and would sometimes rise up especially if left untrimmed. Pressing it down lightly would ensure it will be kept low and compact. Regulator light trimming is a good practice to follow. Do heavy trimming once every three months or so. Do not trim it like trimming Monte Carlo or Hemianthus Callictrichoides. Care must be given not to damage the leaves. Trim individual stems and leaves. Heavy trimming is not a problem as this plant would bounce right back.