Beginner’s Guide to Staurogyne Repens Care: A Step-by-Step Approach

Staurogyne repens is one of the most fascinating and enduring aquarium plants. It has thick coarse leaves of saturated green color. This is a small plant, so it will perfectly do for decoration of the tank front side and its middle as well as to create some focus points to draw the observer’s attention. Staurogyne repens is appreciated for its vibrant green color, compact growth habit, and ease of cultivation, making it a favored choice for aquascaping and creating lush underwater landscapes.

Plant Habitat in the wild

Brazil is the staurogyne repens habitat. Staurogyne repens is native to the Amazon River basin. It is primarily found in the states of Amazonas, Pará, and Rondônia.

This plant is typically found growing submerged in streams, rivers, and small water bodies within its native range. It often grows on the banks of water bodies where it can be partially submerged or emerge slightly above the waterline.

As an understory plant in its natural habitat, Staurogyne repens is adapted to moderate light conditions. It can tolerate both lower light levels and brighter light, but excessive light can cause it to become leggy and less compact.

The plant has become popular as a tank one since 2005. Nowadays it continues gaining popularity due to its high decorative features and care simplicity.


The leaves of Staurogyne repens are small and oval-shaped. They grow in pairs along creeping stems, arranged in an alternate pattern. The leaves are typically bright green, giving the plant a vibrant and fresh look. Under certain lighting conditions, the plant may exhibit some reddish hues, adding further visual interest.

The staurogyne repens shoots are green and they grow up to 10 cm high and 5-10 cm wide. The lamina is 4.5 cm large, it has oval shape. The stem is coarse and very branchy; up to 10 cm long; it trails along the tank bottom.

When provided with optimal conditions, Staurogyne repens forms a dense carpet-like mat. Its stems grow laterally, spreading horizontally across the substrate. This compact growth habit makes it an excellent choice for foreground or midground planting, as it can create a lush and visually appealing carpet effect in the aquarium.

Scientific NameStaurogyne repens
Common NameStaurogyne, repens plant
Native RangeBrazil, Amazon River basin
Growth HabitSubmerged aquatic plant
Leaf ShapeSmall, oval-shaped
Leaf ColorBright green with potential reddish hues
Growth RateSlow to moderate
Height5-10 cm (2-4 inches)
SpreadLateral spreading to form a carpet
Lighting RequirementModerate to high intensity
Temperature Range22-28°C (72-82°F)
pH PreferenceSlightly acidic to neutral (pH 6.0-7.5)
Water HardnessAdaptable to a range of water hardness
SubstrateNutrient-rich substrate or inert substrates
CO2 RequirementNot mandatory but beneficial for growth
Propagation MethodsStem cutting or replanting, individual stems
Ideal PlacementForeground or midground in aquascapes
CompatibilitySuitable for various tankmates
MaintenanceRegular trimming and control of growth
Ecological RoleProvides shelter and contributes to water quality
Aquascaping UseCreating lush carpeting in underwater landscapes

Difficulties in keeping

This plant is rather new in aquarium hobby. It has thickly growing green leaves and a coarse brown stem. The plant growth rate is lower than average one, that’s why it won’t need frequent trimming.

Staurogyne repens grows horizontal stems and tends to strike roots all the time, this way it forms a thick and not tall green carpet.

Staurogyne repens is also an enduring plant capable of growing even provided with low lighting level for quite long period of time. However, in case of lack of lighting, nutrients and CO2 supply the plant looses its decorative features.

How to plant staurogyne repens

Staurogyne repens is used in tanks, first of all, as a ground-covering plant. In aquascaping this plant is used in the front side and in the middle of a tank. In nano tanks it can be used in the back as well. It is recommended to put this plant in small groups between the snags or roots. To make sure that the plant keeps its decorative shape, you should trim it often and remove the stem tips.

To create a green carpet in the front side of the tank, you should follow this process. When putting the plant into the tank, cut off the long stems and then cut each of them into 2-4 pieces more, after this plant them close to each other forming small groups over the whole tank bottom.

Some time later, after adaptation period, the plant stats to grow horizontal stems and they will create an effect of a thick green carpet. The peculiarity of this plant is, that yet it looks much better in the front side of the tank.

The plant grows very slowly, that’s why you can trim it once in 2-3 month. The plant’s low growth rate is more like an advantage in this case. Since due to this fact the plant preserves its initial decorative appearance and shape longer.

As for the keeping conditions, they are very much alike to those of Hemianthus callitrichoides cuba, which means that these plants can be good tank mates in one tank. However, don’t forget that minimal distance between the plant shoots should be about 15-20 cm.

Care In A Tank

Lighting requirements

Staurogyne repens has versatile lighting requirements and can adapt to a range of light intensities. While Staurogyne repens can adapt to lower light levels, it may exhibit more elongated growth and reduced color intensity. If you have low light conditions in your aquarium, you can still grow Staurogyne repens, but it may not form as compact of a carpet and may require more frequent trimming to control its growth.

The tank lighting level should vary from medium to high. Staurogyne repens generally benefits from a photoperiod of 8 to 10 hours of light per day. This duration allows the plant to undergo photosynthesis and also ensures it receives enough rest time to prevent excessive algae growth.

If you notice that Staurogyne repens is exhibiting leggy growth or stretching towards the light source, it may be an indication of inadequate light intensity. In such cases, you can consider increasing the light intensity or adjusting the positioning of the light fixture to ensure sufficient illumination reaches the plant.

Water parameters

Staurogyne repens can adapt to a wide range of water parameters, making it a relatively forgiving plant to keep in an aquarium.

Staurogyne repens thrives in tropical freshwater aquariums with temperatures ranging from 22-28°C (72-82°F). It can tolerate slight fluctuations in temperature but prefers a stable and consistent environment. Optimal tank water temperature is considered to be equal 24 – 26 °C. In case of abrupt temperature decrease, staurogyne repens slows down its growth rate which it rather slow itself.

taurogyne repens can adapt to a wide range of water hardness. It can tolerate both soft and moderately hard water conditions. Aim for a general water hardness (GH) level of 4-12 dGH for healthy growth. Optimal level of tank water hardness is 6 – 8° KH. The plant can grow up to 3-10 cm tall and 5-10 cm wide.


Staurogyne repens is rather strong and enduring plant, but like most of plants it demonstrates positive response to CO2 supply. Staurogyne repens can grow well without CO2 injection, especially in low to moderate light setups. However, in high light setups or when aiming for more intense coloration and growth, supplementing with CO2 can be beneficial. CO2 injection enhances photosynthesis, promoting faster growth and more vibrant coloration in the plant.


Provided with frequent supply of fertilizers the growth rate of the stem increases, the leaves become greener, brighter and sometimes glossy. Don’t forget about mineral substances and nutrients. It requires a sufficient supply of macronutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium) as well as micronutrients (iron, magnesium, etc.) for healthy growth. These nutrients can be provided through regular fertilization using liquid or substrate fertilizers, or through nutrient-rich substrates like aquasoil.