Marsilea Hirsuta Care Guide & How to Grow a Carpet

Plants are one of the easiest and most efficient ways to achieve a specific look or theme in your tank. When setting up a tank, most people tend to use fish or different substrates to achieve the look they desire. Because of this, some people tend to overlook the potential of foliage in their tanks. Many fish also like to have their native environment emulated in their tank, and foliage is a very important part of that. If you’re looking for a truly unique and easy-to-care-for plant to add to your tank, then look no further than Marsilea Hirsuta.

Marsilea Hirsuta is a freshwater plant species native to the banks of rivers and lakes in Australia. It is a freshwater fern that is part of the Marsileacaeae family, but they are more commonly known as the Pepperwort or Water-Clover family. Marsilea Hirsuta is frequently used as a carpet in tank setups. Their dark green coloring and extremely hardy nature make them a perfect choice for any tank. Marsilea Hirsuta is also very easy to care for, which means that aquarists of any level can have this unique clover-like plant growing in their tank.

Are Marsilea Hirsuta easy to grow in an aquarium?

It is not difficult to grow Marsilea Hirsuta in a tank setting. These unique plants do not have any outlandish tank requirements, which makes growing them a breeze. Marsilea Hirsuta can thrive in a wide variety of tank conditions. Marsilea Hirsuta prefers a tank with slightly warm water and a somewhat neutral pH level. Other than that, there are no specific requirements for growing Marsilea Hirsuta in a tank setting. With just a bit of research, anyone can add this carpeting species of flora to their tank.

Marsilea Hirsuta
Marsilea Hirsuta. Edited. belgianchocolate, CC BY-NC 2.0

Lighting Requirement for Marsilea Hirsuta

The best lighting for Marsilea Hirsuta is a moderate amount of light. The amount of light Marsilea Hirsuta gets significantly affects its growth. If you want your Marsilea Hirsuta to grow small and start as a carpet, you must ensure it gets plenty of light. If you give it less light than it ideally needs, the Marsilea Hirsuta plant will grow taller and looser, like it’s trying to get closer to the light. The taller, more loose version of the Marsilea Hirsuta won’t look as good as a carpet. Most aquarists want Marsilea Hirsuta as a carpet, which is why they tend to give it plenty of light.

Temperature for Marsilea Hirsuta

When setting up a tank, you always want to emulate the native habitat of the species contained within; that is even true of the plants. Marsilea Hirsuta is endemic to Australia; Australia is a somewhat tropical environment. With Australia being a tropical environment, that means your tank should lean a bit tropical. If you’re setting up a tank that will include Marsilea Hirsuta, you must ensure the temperature stays between 68 – 77 degrees Fahrenheit. A heater will likely be necessary to achieve and maintain the temperature range required for optimal growth of your Marsilea Hirsuta.

pH for Marsilea Hirsuta

pH is an extremely necessary and sometimes overlooked parameter in many tanks. When kept in a tank, a neutral pH level is recommended for Marsilea Hirsuta. On average, most experts recommend a pH level between 6.0 to 7.5 for Marsilea Hirsuta. You need to be sure to routinely check the pH level of your tank. Fluctuations can and will occur; if you don’t remedy the cause of the instability, it will only get worse and negatively affect everything inside of your tank.

Growth Rate for Marsilea Hirsuta

Marsilea Hirsuta is not a fast-growing plant; they actually grow quite slowly compared to some other plants. Some people may even believe that their plant has stopped growly completely after first being planted. They are actually growing, but the growth rate is so slow that some aquarists don’t even notice it. The slow rate of growth of Marsilea Hirsuta can actually be considered a good thing; this is because you won’t have to prune it as often. However, there are ways to speed up the growth of Marsilea Hirsuta. Injections of CO2 and some plant fertilizers can help the Marsilea Hirsuta with its growth rate.

Growth Height for Marsilea Hirsuta

The height of your Marsilea Hirsuta is directly proportional to the amount of light it gets. If you give it plenty of light, the Marsilea Hirsuta plant will stay small and carpet and like. However, if you don’t provide your Marsilea Hirsuta enough light, they will begin to grow taller in an effort to get closer to the light. If given an adequate amount of light, Marsilea Hirsuta plants will grow to about 10 centimeters or 4 inches. That number will quickly increase if they are not given enough light.

Marsilea Hirsuta
Marsilea Hirsuta

CO2 Requirement for Marsilea Hirsuta

Marsilea Hirsuta does not require any CO2 Injections. However, they can be beneficial. An injection of CO2 into your tank helps with the growth rate of your Marsilea Hirsuta. You must be careful if you plan on injecting CO2 into your tank because CO2 can be dangerous and deadly to any shrimp in your tank.

Marsilea Hirsuta Propagation

Propagating Marsilea Hirsuta is actually extremely easy. All you really need to do is cut off around 1 to inches of a branch and then plant that branch elsewhere. You need to ensure that the cutting has some leaves on it. Otherwise, it won’t be able to photosynthesize.

How to grow a Marsilea Hirsuta carpet?

The most important part of growing a Marsilea Hirsuta carpet is lighting. If the lighting isn’t strong enough, the Marsilea Hirsuta will grow too tall and no longer be a carpet. CO2 injections can also help your Marsilea Hirsuta grow into a carpet.

Do Marsilea Hirsuta need aquarium soil?

Marsilea Hirsuta grows best if it is planted in nutrient-rich, high-quality soil. However, it does not need to be planted in soil in order to grow. Marsilea Hirsuta can be planted in other substrates, such as sand or gravel, but it will require frequent doses of high-quality fertilizer.

Where can I find Marsilea Hirsuta for Sale?

Marsilea Hirsuta is a somewhat popular plant for aquariums. This means that it should be carried by local aquarium specialty stores. They can certainly be purchased online if you can’t find them locally. On average, Marsilea Hirsuta sells for around $10. If you plan to buy them online, make sure that you only use trusted sources.