I got overly enthusiastic and chose UG as my first carpeting plant. I did a dry start from May 1 - early June with little to show, then flooded the tank about 5 weeks ago.
I followed a method I saw on instagram - no filter, no heater, no co2 (couldn't get it cause of lockdown anyway). I'm using a base of sphegnum peat moss with flourite on top of it. Water is just tap water that is usually between 78-82 deg.
At first the plants sent some runners, but after a few weeks growth stopped outward and only went upward. The blades have remained pretty spindly and weak. I was trimming weekly, but stopped a couple weeks ago in the hope that the plants would 'root' more firmly and start spreading. I also put some christmas moss in one of the back sump compartments in the hopes of using it later, but it mostly browned and I tossed it.
In the past 10 days, the plants have basically started shedding. I think unfortunately some of this is due to poor water quality. I was working two jobs for a bit of time and let the tank go. It got an oil slick on the top of the water and I'm pretty sure I saw some minuscule bugs shooting around the tank.
I just did a 90% water change and tons more blades came up. None of the plants seem to be firmly rooted https://astroworldmerch.net/
and I'm wondering if the flourite is too packed for the plants to thrive.
Does anyone have any suggestions/advice on how to get this UG to carpet or should I start planning to take apart the tank? I've attached some before/after pics from today. Thanks in advance!