Joined: May 29, 2007 Posts: 2173 Location: Hyderabad
Posted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 2:24 pm Post subject: Re: Nice looking & Less Demanding Carpet plants
Here are a few plants you can try...
marsilea hirsuta - needs lower temperatures and some time to settle in, after that its a steady grower in low light as well.
lileopsis - another slow growing nice plant, you need to get it in nice quantity if you intend to see a lawn filling up quickly.
micro tenelus - This low growing and thing form of e.tenellus. Its sometimes rare to find but costs the same as normal tenellus and it grows like a weed if conditions are fine.
hydrocotyle tripartita - very robust plant, Its a weed in highlight tank and grows very fast. It does qute well in low light conditions too. Just that it grows a bit loose in low light conditions, but grows fairly well even in most undemanding conditions were you dont expect many plants to survive.
crypt parva - Another great plant, but its fairly expensive compared to other carpet plants, grows painfully slow(slower than anubias) even in best of conditions and you need quite a lot to plant initially.
Moss carpet - take any moss, except the ones that stand erect (like flame), tie them on flat pieces of stones and lay down a cm apart, you'll achieve a nice carpet in a couple of months time. You can try same thing with other livewort like pelia and riccia, both are fairly undemanding too.
hairgrass(parvula/acicularis) - yes they can be grown in low light, if you have good flow of water supplemented with CO2. Planting might be diffiult for beginners, but if you do it patiently and evenly it will be rewarding.
HC - Its not at all a high light/very demanding plant. Its just difficult to plant initially, once you do it well and evenly it will grow with decent amount of lighting. Water flow and consistent co2 are more important than high lighting for most plants. Both HC and HG can be grown in inert substrate as they can easily adapt to taking nutrients from water column.
P.S.Some people say HC requires very soft water,ADA substrate, etc at low temperatures, but I have personally grown it in fairly hard water and temperature upto 32deg in every kind of fine substrate.
Replace your CFLs with a couple of PLLs(2x36w), they give you quality light for a longer time and light distribution is better than CFLs.
Also, try to maintain temperatures around 28deg or less and dont let it go beyond 30deg. Put a multiple fans, switch on lights in evening time or do whatever you can to reduce temperature. Maintain steady water flow and consistent amounts of CO2. You can grow every plant out there.
Hamza : very informative. Will moss carpet attract lots of detritus?
You are absolutely right about detritus, you cannot avoid it. For that you must use an extended gravel vacuum over moss carpet and it'll pick out every bit of muck. Also steady water flow over moss will minimize detritus build up.
But this is not only for the moss. no matter what carpet plant you have, you need to vaccum it regularly to maintain pristine health. Detritus build-up chokes the plants and also causes a number of problems.
First tie moss very evenly and thinly(single layer) where ever you intend to grow it. Tie it firmly.
Have a good steady flow of water(this is generally applicable to all planted tanks, but we tend to forget ths).
Maintain low temperatures, a range of 25-28 is good enough. Lower than that might not be good for most tropical fishes.
As I mentioned before keep the moss tidy by vacuuming it and dusting it frequently.
And most important of all, dont ever forget to trim it. Many of us make this mistake, if it grows too much lower portion dies off and top portion goes afloat. Again you'll have to repeat the tedious process of tieing and growing on the same surface again.
Its best to have pressurized co2 for vigorous growth, but if you dont supplement the tank with liquid form of carbon(excel/glut) and dose nutrients in little quantities on a regular basis.
Despite all this you might find bits of algae here and there, its very normal as littl bit of algae exists in all tanks, just pick out as much as you can or nuke excel over it, it'll subside in a couple of days.
sorry for hazy shot, thats the best I could manage, I had an algae bloom(green water) sometime back, tank is taking some good long time to settle...thanks to long powercuts here some days back.
diy substrate and EI dosing
HC has been a very forgiving plant for me, it did good in all conditions I had it, never disappointed me.
I have some elatine triandra too, that seems to be struggling with the light, planning to add some more light over ET now.
Joined: Oct 09, 2011 Posts: 1854 Location: hebbal,banglore
Posted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 11:23 am Post subject: Re: Nice looking & Less Demanding Carpet plants
Abhis9: In my experience We don't have to light up the entire tank with the heavy light to grow HC.
In my tank I have 144 watts for 250 liter tank but I have done the following
1. kept the light hood just above the portion where I have HC.
2. I don't have any stem plants at that area to block the light from reaching the HC carpet
3. The place where I have HC is little elevated, so the distance between HC and the surface of water is just under 15 inches.
My HC cuba is doing good now.
So High light for a plant doesn't mean High light for the entire tank. Just that you have to arrange the high light plants together and the low light plants separate.
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