Building a hairgrass/glosso carpet - to sand or not to sand?
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Old 01-30-2004, 12:53 PM   #1
unirdna
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Hello all,

In my new tank (photos to come as soon as I get water in the thing) I would like a carpet of hairgrass/glosso intermixed. The tank will have 3 inches of eco complete. I've been picking through many threads involving folks using black tahitian moon sand along side the eco. Most of what I read suggested that it was used primarily for asthetics, but a few mentioned that small-rooted (ie carpet) plants do better in sand or eco mixed with sand, than they do in 100% eco.

Then there was the mention that if you lay the sand over top of the eco, the sand would eventually find its way to the bottom. No big surprise there, since the bag of eco itself shows how it is 'designed' to allow the smaller particles to settle through the larger ones.

I'd prefer to exclusively use eco complete. But that carpet is pretty important to me, and if the sand is the way to go, then I'll take one for the team.

Any thoughts

Ted
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Old 02-03-2004, 03:31 AM   #2
all4funwfish
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I dont think the sand is so much a necessity as an asthetic addition. If you mix the sand in thoroughly enough with the eco, i dont think it will settle very quickly, should actually take quite a while. Although i dont have eco, or sand, im using flourite, which is similar in grain size to eco. (mine is mixed with rock) I have no problem holding down the smaller rooted plants, but logically it would make sense that sand may fare better. I would suggest try the substrate mixture you prefer as far as asthetics. If that doesnt seem to be working to the effect you want, run to Home Depot, buy some sand, and mix it in after the fact, until the desitred effects are acheived. just my 2 cents.
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Old 02-03-2004, 12:33 PM   #3
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You can get a carpet of hairgrass established in a coarse gravel, if it has some mulm in it, and it will spread quite happily. If you like glosso and want to mix the two together, get the hairgrass established then try planting the glosso. The hairgrass root system helps keep the glosso in place. Most people donít like the mixed stand of foreground plants, the Ďpuristsí will tell you to stick to one or the other. I think a mixed stand has a nice texture that you canít get from a single species carpet.

The sand mixed into the ECO-Complete might help if you are in a rush, but it is not necessary for the carpet. Do what you find pleasing to the eye.
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Old 02-03-2004, 12:37 PM   #4
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As far as planting goes, I haven't really noticed a difference between 1-2mm sand and Flourite (Coarse gravel). Glosso mostly responds to water column nutrients and high levels of light and CO2.
If you prefer Eco-Complete exclusively, your chances at a glosso/hairgrass foreground will be just as good.
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Old 02-03-2004, 01:40 PM   #5
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Sam/Sean/Zach,

Much thanks for your words of experience. I'd try a three/four species foreground if I thought I had the tires to get it done. Alas, that's a balancing act I'm not yet ready for. I've always preferred the 'natural' look to the 'manicured'. I kinda think that uniform/symmetrical aquascapes scream "a human did this" :lol: .....and that's not what I want my tanks to be screamin .

I promise to let you all know (via photos, hopefully) how my first CO2 tank works out.

Ted
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Old 02-04-2004, 11:05 PM   #6
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If you are looking to do micro planting (glosso etc.) then the sand will make it easier to start, once grown it could care less but the intitial planting is easier with the sand addition. I have tried both ways , with the tahitan moon sand/eco mix and just straight eco and let me tell ya, the planting is much easier and more successful with the mix. By the time the sand has "settled" , the roots and vines are established and very happy...
Also, if ya doing a glosso type foregound do not worry about substrate looks because you wont ever see it after a few months....
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Old 11-02-2006, 12:27 PM   #7
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I'd like to try doing the Glosso carpet thing, but have no idea where to buy the stuff. Any suggestions?
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Old 11-02-2006, 01:06 PM   #8
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I did a hairgrass/glosso mix in my first (and so far only) planted tank.

What I discovered is that the hairgrass took over, rooting and popping out of the substrate all over the tank between the glosso. It looked very untidy, but I couldn't work out a way of removing the hairgrass without disturbing the glosso mat.

It's a shame, because individually, both plants look very striking. Together, they looked kind of messy. Of course, this just might be because I didn't know what to do to control the hairgrass's growth, so more experienced aquaculturists might be able to shed some light.
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