Care Guide: Rotala Bonsai

Care Guide: Rotala Bonsai

Welcome to our care guide for Rotala Bonsai, a beautiful and unique plant that can add a touch of elegance to any aquarium. In this guide, we will provide you with all the information you need to know to ensure the health and vitality of your Rotala Bonsai. Let's dive in!

What is Rotala Bonsai?

Rotala Bonsai, scientifically known as Rotala rotundifolia 'Bonsai,' is a popular aquatic plant that belongs to the Lythraceae family. It is native to Southeast Asia and is highly sought after for its compact size and vibrant red coloration. Rotala Bonsai is a versatile plant that can be used as a foreground or midground plant in aquariums.

Lighting Requirements

Proper lighting is crucial for the growth and coloration of Rotala Bonsai. It requires moderate to high lighting levels of at least 2 to 3 watts per gallon. LED lights are highly recommended as they provide the necessary intensity and spectrum for optimal growth. Ensure that the lighting is evenly distributed throughout the aquarium to prevent shading and promote uniform growth.

Water Parameters

Rotala Bonsai thrives in a well-maintained aquarium with stable water parameters. Here are the ideal conditions:

  • Temperature: 72-82°F (22-28°C)
  • pH: 6.0-7.5
  • Hardness: 2-10 dKH
  • CO2: 20-30 ppm

Substrate and Fertilization

A nutrient-rich substrate is essential for the healthy growth of Rotala Bonsai. Use a fine-grained substrate like aquasoil or a nutrient-rich gravel. Additionally, supplement the substrate with root tabs or liquid fertilizers to provide essential nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Regular fertilization will promote vibrant coloration and robust growth.

Water Flow and Circulation

Rotala Bonsai prefers moderate water flow and circulation. A gentle flow will prevent debris from settling on the leaves and promote nutrient uptake. Consider using a quality aquarium filter and adjust the flow rate to ensure proper circulation without causing excessive agitation.

Pruning and Propagation

Regular pruning is necessary to maintain the compact shape of Rotala Bonsai. Trim any overgrown or damaged leaves using sharp scissors or aquascaping tools. Pruning also encourages lateral shoots, resulting in a bushier appearance. Rotala Bonsai can be easily propagated by taking cuttings and replanting them in the substrate. Ensure that each cutting has at least two nodes for successful propagation.

Compatibility and Tankmates

Rotala Bonsai is a peaceful plant that can coexist with a variety of fish and invertebrates. It provides excellent cover and hiding spots for small fish and fry. However, avoid keeping it with herbivorous fish species that may nibble on the delicate leaves. Good tankmates for Rotala Bonsai include tetras, rasboras, shrimp, and snails.


Rotala Bonsai is a stunning aquatic plant that can elevate the visual appeal of any aquarium. By following the care guidelines outlined in this article, you can ensure the health and vitality of your Rotala Bonsai. Remember to provide adequate lighting, maintain stable water parameters, and regularly prune and fertilize the plant. With proper care, your Rotala Bonsai will thrive and become the centerpiece of your aquascape.

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