Plant Suggestions for a Nano - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-30-2019, 12:14 AM Thread Starter
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Hey guys. I'm setting up another nano tank to move my chili rasboras into, and I want to try and use plants with really small leaves to sort of force scale. I got a cool piece of mopani with a natural hollow center forming a cave, and sort of want to make it look like a giant fallen sequoia tree by surrounding it in small, fine stuff.

I have microsword on hand that I can use for a groundcover, though I use it in a lot of tanks and am not especially attached to the idea of using it here, and was also considering ordering ranunculus or some other interesting low grower to mix in around the base of the wood. I also have some myaca fluviatilis to add height.

Do you guys have any suggestions for other plants I should try? Other groundcovers (I think adding more than one in different areas might actually look more natural anyway), what do you think for backgrounds? I have gobs of rotala, but it looks surprisingly chunky next to the myaca. Is pearlweed finer looking (never seen it in person, but it looks pretty dainty)? I would really love something that looks like ferns that can grow on the wood but won't get as big as say bolbitis.

Help. I have seen a lot of cool plants online, but it's hard to get a sense of scale from a pic.

Tank in question is a standard 5g, full spectrum LED lighting (very bright, enought to color up rotala all the way to the base), no co2 but I do use liquid carbon as needed, small HOB filter, ecocomplete (but probably going to swap for the black diamond sand I bought). I usually dose tanks, planning to use root tabs as well. Fish will be 6 chili rasboras.

Update: Well, I saw one of my favorite fleabay sellers had cuba on sale, as well as pearlweed and a few other things, so I got those and some dwarf pennywort (hydrocotyle sibthorpioides). Hoping the pennywort leaves are as small as they seem in pics, otherwise it'll go in my fry tank as a floater for the babies. Never tried cuba before, but the price was right, and I do a lot of microsword in my tanks, so I figured "why not?" How fast does it spread? You think clumps of taller hairgrass would be able to grow with it if I added some of that to grow in a few spots?

I have some staurogyne repens on hand also, but I'm on the fence about using it. It's bigger leaves then I want, but would look "shrubby" against the groundcovers. You guys have any other suggestions? I'm scratching my head for something that will look like bushes to place around the wood.

I've always wanted to do a nano that looked like a small version of a scene that would normally be much larger, but most of my tanks are just jungles of swords, crypts and stem plants with some groundcover in the gaps.

Last edited by Darkblade48; 05-01-2019 at 04:55 AM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-01-2019, 04:41 AM
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Dwarf hairgrass? Glosso? Monte Carlo? Tiaparta japan?


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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-02-2019, 05:07 AM Thread Starter
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If not pruned or pressed down, will glosso form clumpy bushes and grow up-and-out? I've never grown it myself, so I've only seen it as a carpet other than when it overflows the rockwool pots at a shop. If so it might make interesting shrubbery.

I've decided on cuba as a carpet, at least for some areas, but am thinking also of doing a section with mini dwarf hairgrass for some variation, since in nature you usually see swaths of different plants.

I wish I could find pogostemon helferii to use as ferns. It seems most of the places I get my plants are out of it right now. Ranunculus inundata too. 😞
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-02-2019, 02:28 PM
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If not pruned or pressed down, will glosso form clumpy bushes and grow up-and-out? I've never grown it myself, so I've only seen it as a carpet other than when it overflows the rockwool pots at a shop. If so it might make interesting shrubbery.

I've decided on cuba as a carpet, at least for some areas, but am thinking also of doing a section with mini dwarf hairgrass for some variation, since in nature you usually see swaths of different plants.

I wish I could find pogostemon helferii to use as ferns. It seems most of the places I get my plants are out of it right now. Ranunculus inundata too. 😞
I ordered some pogostemon helferi from plantedaquariumscentral.com - each portion is supposed to be three rooted stems. It's set to arrive Saturday, I'll keep you posted if you're interested.


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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-02-2019, 03:19 PM Thread Starter
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After posting last night I went on a hunt for it and found 1 single plant left in stock at Liquid Creations. Let me know how yours looks when it arrives, as they are literally only selling single stems, so I'll only get 1 plant, and I'll likely want to order more if other vendors have it. I did order a bit of glosso from them though too to see if I like it, and a ranunculus, and a few other $1 and $2 single stems of stuff I wanted to try out since I was already paying shipping anyway. Never used them before, hope the quality is good. Seems pogostemon and ranunculus are pretty near sold out everywhere at the moment. It's crazy.

I did get something called pogostemon meng meng, which looked very small. Has anyone had that before? It was cheap for a stem to try, but I've never seen or heard of it before, so I've no idea what it'll actually be like.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-02-2019, 05:28 PM
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After posting last night I went on a hunt for it and found 1 single plant left in stock at Liquid Creations. Let me know how yours looks when it arrives, as they are literally only selling single stems, so I'll only get 1 plant, and I'll likely want to order more if other vendors have it. I did order a bit of glosso from them though too to see if I like it, and a ranunculus, and a few other $1 and $2 single stems of stuff I wanted to try out since I was already paying shipping anyway. Never used them before, hope the quality is good. Seems pogostemon and ranunculus are pretty near sold out everywhere at the moment. It's crazy.

I did get something called pogostemon meng meng, which looked very small. Has anyone had that before? It was cheap for a stem to try, but I've never seen or heard of it before, so I've no idea what it'll actually be like.


I have not tried that variety yet but it looks really cool! I currently grow pogostemon yatabeanus in my main display tank and love it. Growth isnít out of control but itís still decently fast and remains a beautiful shade of green even under high light.


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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-03-2019, 02:27 AM Thread Starter
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Yah, the meng meng leaves looked really tiny, and it appears to get a bushy growth habit, so I'll let you guys know how it looks in person once it arrives.

The wood for the tank is still leaching tannins like crazy, even after about 2 weeks, so I plan to try and grow the stems a bit in the interim until the wood leaching is sufficiently reduced to control with water changes. Betting it'll be 2 or 3 more weeks at this rate. That hole in the center is jet black inside, so I'm sure there is a lot left to pull out. At least it gives me time to divide the stem plants I got a bit first so the tank won't look half empty in the beginning.
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