Marsilea quadrifolia? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-05-2006, 09:25 PM Thread Starter
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Marsilea quadrifolia?

Anyone here have experience with Marsilea, 4 leaf clover, as a ground cover? In the database there is only very brief information. Love it, hate it? Easy, hard, worth the trouble? There are two sites that promote the plant, Florida Driftwood from a sales point of view, and Rhonda Wilson's site, Natural Aquariums, (she also writes a column for TFH and is a member of the plant club in Arizona) where she calls it her favorite foreground plant.

Personally, I like the plant, but it grows slow for me. It is a alternative foreground plant that seems to be rarely discussed.




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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-06-2006, 01:40 AM
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I'm growing the marselia minuta version now,
and it is doing well.
Not as fast as glosso, in fact, not as fast as a snail....
but it is growing.

I really like the dark green of it.

Maybe in about 6 months to a year I'll have a nice lawn of it.


I run pressurized co2 and do minimal dosing.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-06-2006, 01:33 PM
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I have it, and like it in my 125.
It was slow to start, but then really took off on me.
I had to rip a bunch out due to algae issues, but it grows, it grows well, and stays low in medium light.
Shame it doesn't keep it's 4 leaves.

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-06-2006, 02:56 PM
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I love this plant. Thanks to Bob from the forums, I've got a nice little lawn growing in my 29g. I've got high light (110w), but this plant grows well in the shade too (if not a little taller).

Growth is slow (even with high light/CO2) as mentioned at first....but speeds up. After all, I wanted a foreground that didn't require daily attention

Also, I get a couple 3-4 leavers sprouting up every once in a while!

Lastly, this plant also seems to be doing well in my 7g nano with 13W and Shultz's aquatic soil! Again, really slow growth but steady and healthy.

One planting tip: I received this plant (thanks Bob) in big, thick clumps. I would suggest seperating into 2/3 stem "chunks" and planting them individually. They will spread quick enough. I tried planting a large clump of thickness, and it just kindof choked itself into an algae ball. IMO anyways
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-06-2006, 03:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by esarkipato View Post
One planting tip: I received this plant (thanks Bob) in big, thick clumps. I would suggest seperating into 2/3 stem "chunks" and planting them individually. They will spread quick enough. I tried planting a large clump of thickness, and it just kindof choked itself into an algae ball. IMO anyways
Good tip Ernie.
I ended up doing the same thing. I seperated a bunch like glosso plantings, but got lazy at the end and tried to plant it like lawn sod, big mistake. The individual stems spread nicely, sod, ripped out due to algae.
And thanks to Bob for my carpet as well.

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-06-2006, 07:32 PM Thread Starter
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Interesting. There are I guess around three different sub species used, and they all appear to have the same growth rate. I get the plant potted, and before I start selling it I wanted a little more info, or I guess confirmation of my own experience with it! First time I grew it was several years ago and I was quite disappointed when the four lobes of the four leaf clover turned to one or two! I thought I was doing something wrong! But the four lobe is only the emersed growth form. People grow it around the edges of ponds where it looks real nice.

Quote:
I have it, and like it in my 125.
I bet like Glosso it would grow faster in a much more shallow tank. I have trouble with most short foreground plants in my 100 gallon and I have 4 watts/gallon. In a 10 or 20 gallon long they grow like weeds with 2watts/gallon or less.

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-06-2006, 08:13 PM
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I also found that it needed to be cut into short sections that are tediously planted individually. It will then send out runners from each node. The runners tend to run in a straight line until they hit something, like the side of the tank. Once it gets established it doesn't take long to overgrow itself and become a mess. Then it has to be ripped out and started all over. This is fun?
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-06-2006, 08:15 PM
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Robert, its like a locomotive. Slow slow then bam, can't stop it. Very durable. Grows well in middle/low light. I think thats where its best. Very easy to grow with CO2 and good for Discus. Does become a tight detrius catcher eventually. But that takes a good while.





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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-07-2006, 02:14 PM
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I have M. hirsuta (courtesy of rain-). I like it in my 110 litre tank (with 2 x 18 W fluorescents). My experience confirms the locomotiveness and the individual stem planting. For me, the plant has made also the 4-lobed leaves every now and then, esp. during the summer months when it seemed to really take off.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-07-2006, 03:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert H View Post
I bet like Glosso it would grow faster in a much more shallow tank. I have trouble with most short foreground plants in my 100 gallon and I have 4 watts/gallon. In a 10 or 20 gallon long they grow like weeds with 2watts/gallon or less.
I really don't want it to grow faster.
Like Ernie, I wanted something for a foreground that I didn't have to maintain every week.

Walter

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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-10-2006, 12:49 AM
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I have it as the foreground plant in my 60 gallon tank. Looks great, easy to maintain, slow growth, doesn't need a lot of light and if it gets too dense I just snip with my scissors and take some sections out to thin. My apistos LOVE it because the small space between the leaves and the substrate is perfect to hide in. They have raised several batches of babies in this community tank.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-10-2006, 02:53 AM
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i have some for sale if anyone wants any.

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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-10-2006, 03:07 AM
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I have found that this plant will produce four leafers underwater if the light is restricted. i have a bunch of it growing in high light, but some of the runners found their way into my blue ram "house" and sprouted in there. All of the resulting leaves were four lobed. I have since moved the entire bunch into my 10 gallon, which has limited light (a few old t8's) and I get mostly four leafers about 1-1.5 inches tall. This is also my favrorite foreground plant.

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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-10-2006, 04:35 AM
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I think it's my favourite forground plant as well, definately easier than glosso in terms of maintenance. Like others I also noticed it grows into more leaves in low light. Here's a couple of pics of mine.



I used it as the main foreground plant here with a bit of dwarf sag behind it. Filled out nice.
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