Growing Rotala Plant Without Co2, Is It Possible?

This article will discuss how to grow the Rotala plants like Rotala Indica, Rotundifolia, or Wallichii without using Co2. It is possible to grow without the use of Co2, but it comes with some restrictions. For starters, you will need a lot of space for your plants to grow. You also need a lot of light in order for them to be able to thrive and live well without Co2. This means you will have to water your plants more often and check them regularly every day.

It is possible to grow them without Co2, and with some care, you can do a good job!

Rotala plants are commonly found in freshwater aquariums, they add green and red coloration to your water without requiring additional Co2. They can thrive at most water parameters except for extremely high levels of nitrate and phosphate levels.

How do you maintain a planted aquarium without CO2?

If you want to grow Rotala in freshwater tanks but do not have Co2 injection, it is best that you start with low levels of nitrate and phosphate. This will ensure healthy growth for your plants.

This also means you will need to keep up with the removal of ammonia and nitrite. Ammonia is produced from fish waste, decaying food, and uneaten feeder fish. Nitrites are produced when ammonia combines with another chemical in the water, it forms nitrites which pollute the water through algae growth.

As these chemicals build in your water, it becomes very toxic for your fish and plants. This is why you need to have a good filtration system as well as a high water turnover rate (this means you will have to clean the waste regularly).

In order for this to work, you will need to change about 20-30% of the water in your aquarium once a week. This will flush out the nitrites and ammonia from your water. You need to do this at least every week, but that also depends on how many fish you have in your tank.

By changing about 20% of the water each time, it is possible for you to keep the levels of these chemicals away from your fish and plants. This will ensure that they are not affected by these chemicals, creating a healthy environment for them to grow in.

Add a filter with activated carbon

In order to establish a healthy cycle in your planted aquarium, you need to have a good filter system with the ability to remove both nitrites and ammonia. You can make do with just using activated carbon to remove the toxins from your aquarium.

Maintaining a clean environment for your plants is important. This includes giving them a good amount of space and sunlight with just the right amount of water changes from time to time. Following these guidelines will ensure that you grow your Rotala plants without the use of Co2 in an aquarium.


As for the lighting, you will need strong lighting in order for your plants to thrive and grow well. Choose lights with high intensity, 10 watts per gallon of water should be more than enough. The stronger the light is, the faster it will grow.

Ensuring that your plants get enough sunlight is important to their growth. You can increase the number of hours they are exposed to light by adjusting the location of your tank closer or further from a sunlit area.

Rotala plants, like most aquarium plants, prefer medium lighting conditions with some shade from direct sunlight. Strong lights will help your plants grow faster, but it will cause their leaves to turn red. You can choose to provide shade for them if they start turning red when you add strong lighting.

Do not use Co2 fertilizers

When growing Rotala in a planted aquarium without co2, do not use Co2 fertilizers. These are unnecessary because the Rotala plant itself produces its own food through photosynthesis. The more light you give them, the more they will grow and produce their own food for themselves.

If you use Co2 fertilizers as most hobbyists do with other plants, your Rotala plant will not be able to cope with it as the chemical is heavier than what they usually need to produce their own food. This added chemical can negatively affect them and even cause your plant to die if they are not used to it.

Using Co2 fertilizers will also increase the growth of algae in your tank. Doing this without a good filtration system is asking for an algae outbreak that can suffocate your plants and fish alike. The best way to ensure that your plants do not clash with algae is by keeping up with the water changes.

Do not use nitrate or phosphate-based fertilizers

As mentioned above, you will need to have a filtration system and maintain low levels of nitrates and phosphates in your tank. If these levels become too high, it will encourage the growth of algae and trigger other chemical reactions.

Nitrates and phosphates will also encourage the fast growth of your plants, but at the same time, they can’t be controlled well enough to prevent you from overfeeding them. You don’t want to do this because when this happens, your fish may end up getting poisoned by these chemicals.

This is why you should choose fertilizers like Iron, Potassium, and Magnesium instead. These will be less likely to affect your fish or plants, giving them time to grow properly.

In Conclusion

Let’s recap, it is possible to grow Rotala without Co2, but it requires more work than usual. You need a strong filter system with the ability to remove both nitrites and ammonia. The higher the intensity of light you use, the faster they will grow.

Your plants also prefer medium lighting conditions with some shade from direct sunlight. Strong lights may cause their leaves to turn red if needed though so be careful when using them on your plant’s tank or aquarium.

Do NOT use Co2 fertilizers because this can negatively affect your fish in addition to killing off your plant altogether. Nitrates and phosphates are not recommended either as these encourage algae growth which then suffocates other living things like plants and fish alike! Iron, Potassium, and Magnesium fertilizer are your best choice for promoting plant growth without causing problems to other living things.

If you use these guidelines, you will be able to grow Rotala plants without the use of Co2 in an aquarium! Rotala grows fast under light conditions so it’s a good idea to remove any dead leaves as often as possible. The beauty about the plant is that it’s so easy to grow and propagate. While growing Rotala without Co2 takes more work, the end result is guaranteed!

Good luck!