Temple Compacta – the Ultimate Care Guide

Temple compacta with its flourishing leaves are considered the best addition to your Aquarium. We shall discuss Temple compacta -the ultimate guide in this article. Temple compacta is a fast-growing plant with its bright green leaves and tall stem. In this diversified nature, choosing the best plant for your Aquarium is a challenging task. Submerged plants provide habitat and natural terrain for the fish and other organisms living in the Aquarium.

There is a need to provide natural plants in the Aquarium for the well-being of fish. Placing artificial plants in your Aquarium serves no purpose and rather be harmful to them. It is essential to opt for a living and natural source for the healthy growth of your fish.

Planting Temple compacta in your Aquarium provide numerous benefits to the fishes that thrive in water. Here is an ultimate guide that enlightens the physiology and advantages of Temple compacta.


The scientific name of Temple compacta is Hygrophilia corymbosa. Many other local or common names know this plant, such as Temple plant, Star horn, and Giant Hygro. Temple compacta is a freshwater aquatic plant that is native to Southeast Asia.

Temple Compacta - The Ultimate Care Guide

It is abundantly found in countries like Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand. However, it can be grown in various habitats and countries, including the United States of America. Recently it has been well established in every country due to its beneficial qualities.

Let us look at the physiology and characteristics of Temple compacta..,

 Family – Acanthaceae

Genus – Hygrophilia

Species – corymbosa

Origin – Southeast Asia

Care level –easy

Lighting – low to medium

Growth Rate – fast

Height – 12 to 24inches

Colour – shades of green

The family Acanthaceae consists of more than 3000 species of plants that are spread all over the world. This plant is amphibious in nature, which requires water for its development. When they are taken away from water, their leaves turn dark and wilt eventually.

Purchase healthier plants and avoid the plants with faded leaves and damaged stems, as these may disrupt the easy propagation in the Aquarium.

It is a Beginner friendly plant as it can survive through some minor mistakes we make, and it tolerates a good amount of stress. Temple compacta is a noticeable feature that makes it a successful plant.  

You can find this plant in your nearest aquarium stores or nursery retailing for about $5-$10. Buying a small stem would also suffice. Due to its rapid growth rate, even a tiny stem could spread into several branches and makes it a fully grown plant.

This species is an appreciable option for home aquarium and paludarium. It is advised to plant a sapling in your Aquarium.

However, it takes time to provide you with the expected results. This step might require a lot of patience. Temple Compacta makes a great starter plant. Side shoots of the plant make it appear bushier.

Oxygen evolved by this plant supports the life of fish in the Aquarium. It also provides shelter to many other micro-organisms that thrive in this aquatic environment.

This plant reduces the Nitrate levels in the Aquarium and prevents the spread of algal bloom caused by brown algae.


The color of leaves in Hygrophila corymbosa ranges between vibrant shades of green. The more it grows, the vibrant color of the leaf intensifies.

Anubias und Hygrophila corymbosa

The leaves of this plant are long, broad, and the stem is thick. The color of the stem is much darker as compared to the leaves. It is often in the shades of bronze.

A good amount of sunlight is required to maintain the actual color of the leaves and is required to carry out photosynthesis.

You will notice fading of the color in the leaves if a suitable environment is not established. Because of its long and vibrant leaves, it acts as a beautiful background for the Aquarium.

It gets adapted to the new environment quickly and makes its way through the water. Many other species of plants can be used in the foreground and midground of the Aquarium.

During its growth, some of the stems emerge apically, i . e from the side shoot, making it look fuller and bushier. If it is allowed to grow, it can reach up to a maximum height of 24 inches.

This tall plant can consume a lot of room in the Aquarium. So, It is preferred to trim the leaves and stem to the desired length. The wild varieties of this plant which grow on the land, produce purple-colored flowers.

Habitat and Tank Conditions

Temple compacta ( Hygrophila corymbosa) is naturally found in Southeast Asia. Specifically, in countries like Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand, it is abundantly found.

It is sold across many other countries in the form of the aquarium trade. It has higher sales in countries like the USA.

This plant could grow in various habitats, such as shallow rivers and streams in which the water current tends to be minimum. The temperature and the pH of the water play a significant role in the propagation of this plant.

The temperature in the Aquarium should not be more than 74 degrees Fahrenheit. The pH should be less than seven on a pH scale which tends to be slightly acidic. To correctly check the parameters of the water, use a water testing kit every week.

Changes in water conditions can start a wilting process; routine water testing means you can respond before any wilting process happens. A sudden change in the environmental conditions makes a plant frail, and it may start shedding leaves.

This plant can grow both on land and water. When it grows on land, the plant bears flowers and leaves. But when the same plant is introduced in water, it only bears leaves. This plant is considered as a versatile option a paludarium.

When you replicate the plant’s natural environment in the tank, it propagates at a faster rate without any disruptions.

However, Temple compacta require low light intensities; it can be kept in a closed environment with minimal light access. Planting Temple compacta is easy and will yield a bountiful harvest. Your Aquarium looks natural when you introduce this plant.

The condition of the water is the utmost concern of these plants. The tank should be designed so that it should meet the needs of both plants and tank mates ( fishes).


An aquarium fish tank full of water, plant, pebbles stones and air pump but without a fish in it.
  • Temple compacta are placed on a soft sandy substrate with refined grains which do not damage the delicate root hairs of the plant. This soft sandy substrate is spread over the bottom of the tank or Aquarium. The sandy substrate should be preferably 1 meter thick. Gently place the plant at the bottom of the tank.
  • You can use the heater to maintain the water temperature between 72 to 84 degrees Fahrenheit. This average temperature should be maintained all along and should not exceed the limit. If this situation prevails, it threatens the life of both the plant and the tank mates.
  • Low to medium light intensities should be maintained to establish photosynthesis which supports the life of the plant and fish in the tank. Avoid plants that cast a shadow over the Temple Compacta.
  • Adding additional fertilizer to the plant is purely optional as there will be abundant nitrogen in the soil. This fertilizer comes from the excreta of the fishes and supplements the soil nutrient. If the additional fertilizer is added, it speeds up the growth of the plant. Adding iron, potassium, and nutrients will prevent the plants from wilting.

What Size Aquarium Does Temple Compacta Need?

There are no specifications on the particular size of the Aquarium. You can always trim the leaves and stems of the plant to the desired length that fits in the Aquarium.

If the plant is placed in a smaller aquarium, you need to trim it down frequently. This problem is due to its fast growth character.

A tank smaller than 10 to 20 gallons makes it unmanageable. It is advised to go for an aquarium bigger than 20 gallons.

It is always convenient if the size of the Aquarium is more significant as it provides much space for the tank mates to swim around. Trimming temple compacta plant to a desirable size ensures its balance in the Aquarium.

Is Temple Compacta Suitable for Your Aquarium?

The crucial point is the increase in sales of Temple Compacta is due to its easy propagation. It happens to be one of the challenging species which anyone can manage without an issue. Temple compacta have a wide range of tolerance to environmental stresses.

green plant in clear glass fish tank

This plant is very adaptive to various climates and conditions. So, It can be kept in many different types of setups. It fits nicely into a community aquarium and provides advantages to the life in it.

Temple compacta add its beautiful vibrance to the Aquarium by the color and shape of its leaves. You can extend the life of the fishes and organisms in your Aquarium by supplementing your tank with this plant.

It naturally provides enough oxygen to the fish and drains off the excess Carbon dioxide from the water. Hygrophila corymbosa serves as an excellent option for beginners.

It doesn’t require a lot of attention and work like many other aquatic plants. You could just introduce this plant in the Aquarium and be indeterminate about it.


Propagation is a mode in which a plant reproduces to multiply and develop new stems and propagules. Propagation can be done sexually or asexually.

Asexual reproduction in these plants is commonly known as vegetative propagation. The propagation may be in the form of runners, suckers, stolon, and bulbils.

Stolon is the mode of propagation in Temple compacta. The shoot grows indefinitely, giving rise to apical branches and stems. The stem grows aerially, and then it bends to touch the soil. Roots arise at the point of contact of the stem.

The new plant propagates and repeats the same. This type of propagation ensures the plant’s continuity and leads to the production of new species.

Another mode of propagation in this plant is by decapitation. In this process, the tip of the shoot is cut off to a considerable length, and it is planted in the soil to acquire a new species.

This process might be time-consuming and requires some patience. The gap period for this plant is two to three months. So, you could expect your results in this period.

Having a single Temple compacta plant in your Aquarium could give you numerous plants as it is one of the fast-growing plants known. It reduces your time and money for investing in new plants.

By looking at the above conditions, we could say that this plant can propagate to a wide range of numbers and gives you a good yield within a brief period.

Even beginners can be able to manage and propagate this plant without any issue. The ability to propagate is exceptional in this plant.

Tank Mates

Temple compacta can be put together with many tank mates. It is a versatile plant that goes well with many other species.

Before Pairing your Temple compacta with another tank, mates need to do extensive research and add them with care. This step is crucial to avoid compatibility problems later on.

The most prioritized tank mates to pair with temple compacta is the fish. Fishes can be better tank mates to this plant instead of all other aquatic species. However, not all the fishes may serve as great tank mates.

Goldfish, aquarium, a fish on the background of aquatic plants

Few species are somewhat infamous for this plant. These notorious species can affect the physiology of the plant. They might be too hard to tolerate due to their harsh behavior. Oscars are a few of them which cause undesirable damage to the plant by uprooting it.

They harm the plants and have a more significant effect on the surrounding appliances in the Aquarium. Freshwater crabs and Cray Fish are kind of disastrous towards the plant species.

Mollusks such as mystery snail and snail, and Ghost Shrimp are known to be the best tank mates when paired with this plant. Since the tank enemies for this plant are comparatively low, this could be a great option to pair with many other tank mates. 

Hygrophila croymbosa can be planted together with many other species of plants. This plant doesn’t harm its plant mates and could be a viable option for your Aquarium.


Temple compacta can be considered worthy among all other aquatic plants available in the stores. It has greater viability and can last for many years. Hygrophila corymbosa plant is a versatile species with lesser complications and issues.

There isn’t much labor involved in handling this plant, as it doesn’t cause many complications in the long run. You can take increase the viability of your Aquarium and the fishes by introducing this species.

This plant provides a natural environment and supports life in the Aquarium. Instead of investing your dollars in artificial plants and commodities, you could invest in this plant that retails for less than 10 dollars.

Introducing this one plant could lead to several benefits such as providing fresh oxygen to the tank mates, clearing out the water by reducing carbon dioxide, breaking down the nutrients in the soil.

When these services are provided by just one plant, what is we need to go with other alternative options? This plant provides end-to-end services required for the activities of the Aquarium.

It is always advantageous to go for a natural mode than an artificial way. It provides shelter and supports the life of the Aquarium. We always look for readymade options in our lives but, investing very little time in this process would create a big difference in your aquariums environment.

Follow the guidelines provided mentioned above to create a new friend for your tank mates. Always make sure to look after your plant and fish to prolong both of their lifespans. It can be propagated easily without any barrier. 


How do you propagate Temple Compacta?

Temple compacta can be propagated by cutting an inch of the stem from the tip of the plants and replanting it to produce a new propagule. Naturally, Temple compacta propagate at a faster rate. So, there is no requirement of extra effort by cutting and replanting it.

What Size Aquarium Does Temple Compacta Need?

Temple compacta consume a lot of room in the Aquarium. The preferable size of 10 to 20 gallons aquarium is required for the plant. A bigger space ensures a more excellent supply of all the nutrients and oxygen in the water without any compaction. It also enables the fishes to swim lavishly.

Is Temple Compacta Suitable for Your Aquarium?

It is a beginner-friendly species and can be managed efficiently by anyone without an issue. It is a resilient species and can tolerate a wide range of environmental stress.

About the author

I'm Gulshan, a passionate pet enthusiast. Dive into my world where I share tips, stories, and snapshots of my animal adventures. Here, pets are more than just animals; they're heartbeats that enrich our lives. Join our journey!