Turned this into a well-spent 2-3 hours of reading at work
I can't remember if you've addressed this in previous posts, but how do you maintain the riccia carpet looking at a long-term tank? I'm thinking of starting a mini riccia carpet held down with SS mesh, but from what I've heard, it's a high maintenance plant that requires a lot of trimming and retying. Any way around all of this?
Regardless, thanks for all the info, it was a wonderful read and I'm glad that you took out the time to do this for all of us. Beautiful pictures!
Hopefully there was nothing pressing to do at work! If there was, I'm glad to do my part in internet non-productivity rates. I would submit the argument that it's much more valuable than random YouTube surfing.
1. Mini Riccia - after a long time looking into it, I'm not sure this plant exists as Riccia Fluitans. There is a Riccardia, Mini Pellia, which is sometimes called Mini Riccia, but is a totally different plant (dark green, doesn't pearl like Riccia).
After messing with the plant for a long time, The "miniature" stature of Riccia can be gained by repeated trimming and light intensity. Riccia splits just like stem plants.
2. Riccia Maintenance: Riccia is a fairly high-maintenance plant. The reason is, due to it's high growth rate it will inevitably grow so well that the bottom is blocked from light and dies off, causing the portion that's tied to stone to float to the top.
Once Riccia Gets going it's a trim thing every 10-14 days. That being said, this is also the reason why this plant is perhaps the best aquatic plant for truly sculpting a layout.
Frank's Techniques for keeping Riccia long-term:
1.) In a multiple carpet scenario, plant HC, glosso etc around Riccia. Inevitably, the HC and Glosso will spread runners through the Riccia and form a second layer to "tie it down" and hold it together. The roots of the other carpet plants serve as a binding source and seldom get seen.
2.) in a single, Riccia carpet only scenario use either Eleocharis Belem or Eleocharis Parvula, both very very small hair grass varieties which will grow and spread roots into Riccia without ever being noticed. Eleocharis Belem's curved growth creates a scenario where it blends completely in with Riccia.
3.) Trim every 10-14 days to keep it going well and healthy. After repeated trimmings Riccia gets smaller and smaller and smaller. Due to the easy nature of trimming Riccia, it's a great plant to learn trimming on other plants with.
4.) Over longer periods of time you can of course take the stones out and re-tie them. Alternatively, take more stones tied with Riccia and plop them on top of the Riccia.
I'm not such a huge fan of placing more stones on top of the Riccia, but it does work.
5.) Riccia takes the shape of whatever object you tie it to - so make sure to select a flat stone for tying.
6.) Always use a product like Riccia line to tie the Riccia done on objects - you need this fine line to thoroughly tie the original batch down it requires some technique to get use to but gets much easier over time.
Using hair net / bath sponge things is not really a great way to do it. While initially it may be easier, long-term it just doesn't hold the Riccia done as well as a product like Riccia Line.