Hydrocotyle tripartita and Hydrocotyle tripartita 'Mini' are two closely related plant varieties that are often compared in the context of aquarium plants. While they share similarities, there are distinct differences between the two:
Size: The most noticeable difference between Hydrocotyle tripartita and Hydrocotyle tripartita 'Mini' is their size. Hydrocotyle tripartita typically grows taller and larger, with longer stems and larger leaves. In contrast, Hydrocotyle tripartita 'Mini' has a more compact growth habit, with shorter stems and smaller leaves. 'Mini' is often preferred for creating a dense and low-lying carpet effect in aquariums.
Growth Rate: Hydrocotyle tripartita has a relatively faster growth rate compared to Hydrocotyle tripartita 'Mini.' It can grow and spread more quickly, requiring regular trimming and maintenance to prevent it from overtaking the aquarium. On the other hand, Hydrocotyle tripartita 'Mini' has a slower growth rate, making it easier to manage and maintain the desired carpeted look.
Leaf Shape: Another notable difference lies in the shape of the leaves. Hydrocotyle tripartita has round, slightly wavy leaves with lobes, resembling a three-leaf clover. In contrast, Hydrocotyle tripartita 'Mini' has smaller, compact leaves that are often more rounded and less lobed. The leaf shape of 'Mini' contributes to its carpeting effect and gives it a more uniform appearance.
Preferred Aquascape Use: Hydrocotyle tripartita is often used as a mid-ground or background plant in aquariums due to its larger size and faster growth. It can provide a vertical element and add depth to the aquascape. Hydrocotyle tripartita 'Mini' is primarily used as a foreground plant or for creating carpeted areas in the aquarium. Its compact size and slower growth make it ideal for achieving a lush carpet effect.
In summary, Hydrocotyle tripartita and Hydrocotyle tripartita 'Mini' differ in size, growth rate, leaf shape, and preferred use in aquascaping. Hydrocotyle tripartita is larger, grows faster, and is suited for mid-ground or background placement, while Hydrocotyle tripartita 'Mini' is smaller, has a slower growth rate, and is commonly used for creating foreground carpets in aquariums.