Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Herndon, Virginia
Dwarf Baby Tears is one of the toughest plant to grow. If you are wondering what is a good substrate to use for planted tank, I recommend staying away from DBT. I suggest start with something easy.
Now, if you really want to get a nice lush carpet, you are going to either work hard for it, or go expensive. I say that because gravel is not really that helpful for growing plants. Its possible, but you say you want something low maintenance.
So, here are your options. You can get expensive substrate that are great for plants, like Aquasoil or bunch of other stuff to choose from. If you want a great substrate, but cheap at the same time, then you will have to work for it initially. That is, get dirt, like organic potting mix, then cap it with either gravel, or sand, your choice.
Finally, if you dont want to do either, then you can get root tab. Just stick them in the gravel, that way, they will provide everything plants need. I say all these because you will need that for carpeting plants.
Now, for the plants part. Plant like 4 or 5 Dwarf Sagittaria. It is a very easy going, low maintenance carpeting plant. You plant them, and they will shoot runners. So really, you wont have to do anything. They will spread themselves. And then there is Monte Carlo. Also shoot runners. Another great option is S. Repens. But this one wont shoot runners. It will grow, you will have to cut it, and then replant the cut part. So you will have to spread them.
For Dwarf Sag and S. Repens, you can just buy them and then plant them in your existing tank. But for plants like DBT or Monte Carlo, its best to start Dry Start Method because they are so small that they need time to get hold on the base. And if you plant them in a tank with water or fish in it already, its tough for them and they will float.