Nature Aquarium

Rotala rotundifolia reddish (Vietnam)

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Rotala rotundifolia 'Reddish' or often referred to as Rotala rotundifolia 'Vietnam' is a distinct variety of the well-loved Rotala rotundifolia species, which is native to Southeast Asia. This particular variant is highly sought after in the aquarium hobby for its unique coloration and growth patterns. It has been identified with various names depending on its coloration and the specific conditions under which it has been grown, but "Vietnam" often denotes plants with a strong red or pink hue, believed to have been originally collected or selected from populations in Vietnam.


  • Appearance: Rotala rotundifolia 'Reddish' has fine, needle-like leaves that wrap closely around its delicate stems. Under optimal lighting and nutrient conditions, the leaves and stems take on a pronounced reddish-pink hue that is more intense and vibrant than the standard green forms of Rotala rotundifolia.
  • Growth Habit: This plant exhibits a robust and upward growth pattern, capable of reaching towards the light in search of optimal conditions. It can become quite tall, making it suitable for background placement in aquarium landscapes.

Care Requirements:

  • Lighting: High lighting is crucial for promoting the intense red coloration that Rotala rotundifolia 'Reddish' is known for. Under lower light conditions, the plant may exhibit more green or bronze tones.
  • CO2 Supplementation: CO2 addition is recommended to facilitate robust growth and the development of the vibrant red hues. While the plant can grow without CO2, supplementation will significantly enhance its overall health and coloration.
  • Nutrients: Regular dosing of macro and micronutrients is important, with a particular emphasis on iron, which helps in intensifying the red coloration of the leaves.
  • Water Conditions: Prefers water temperatures between 22°C and 28°C (72°F to 82°F), with a pH of 5.5 to 7.5. Like most aquatic plants, it benefits from stable water conditions and regular maintenance.


Rotala rotundifolia 'Reddish' is easily propagated by cutting the top portion of a stem and replanting it in the substrate. This not only helps in managing the plant's height but also encourages a fuller, bushier growth as the plant branches out from the cut points.

Aquascaping Uses:

  • Background Planting: Due to its potential height and striking color, it is often used in the background of aquariums, where it can form a vibrant backdrop that contrasts beautifully against green plants.
  • Accent Plant: Smaller groupings can be used as accent points in the midground of the aquarium, especially in layouts where a splash of color is desired to draw the eye.