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Hi all,

I have a 65 gallon high-tech (high-light and pressurized CO2). Pretty densely planted, with a lush carpet of glosso and HC. You can see it here if you're interested: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2085NurXh4

Anyway, my HC/glosso carpet (used to be more glosso, but lately the HC seems to have taken over) is coming up from the substrate (ADA Aquasoil). Little by little, the roots are detaching, although the carpet as a whole still seems healthy. I only started the tank about 10 months ago, so the carpet itself is maybe 8 months old since it really started getting thick.

I asked my local LFS guy, who is an ADA re-seller and usually very knowledgeable, about it, and he said that just happens. He said that all kinds of carpet grasses eventually just start detaching from the substate. He suggested putting little rocks on the worst bits, but said that eventually it would all eventually lift off.

At this point, he says, you can either plant a new carpet or re-plant the one that floated up. BUT, since most of the nutrients will be gone by that point, you have to suction up the top 1-2 cm of soil, then lay new soil down. Root tabs are insufficient.

I was quite taken aback by all of this. I thought the carpet would be more long-lasting. And I never dreamed I'd have to change the top layer of soil every year or two.

This makes me think of maybe just giving up on the carpet idea after this one, although I don't want to because A) it looks so awesome, and B) I think it adds a lot to my biofilter.

Anyway, does anyone have any experience with this? I would really love to hear from the more experienced and knowledgeable members.

Thanks a lot.
 

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This may have to do with the substrate more than anything else. Aquasoil will eventual deplete its nitrogen source in a few months so if you aren't also dosing nitrogen, it may very well detach as a mechanism for survival, being carried away to a source where nitrogen is rich.
 

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I'm pretty sure this can be avoided with occasional trimming of the carpet. Just get some curved scissors and hack the carpet down pretty close to the substrate and let it grow back out. The carpet is lifting off because there is so much plant mass compared the the smallish root system holding it down.
 

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This happened in one of my project tanks (Iwagumi 60). I allowed the carpet to get too thick and combined with the burrowing Neos & Apistos, the HC carpet began lifting in sections. I would cut out the lifted sections & replant plugs of the HC in it's place. The Aqua Soil powder had partially broken down but the AS normal looked intact. In a few short months, the carpet slowly developed and is now back to it's former glory. The key is to keep the carpet trimmed & not too thick. BTW, the AS is over a year old & growth is still strong. I don't fertilize any of my tanks aside for the occasional Excel treatment for short bouts of algae. Hope this helps. :bounce:
 

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what happens is once the carpet get too thick it block light from getting to the portions closest to the substrate. They start to die and since that portion holds the carpet down it then starts to float. You have to be really savage trimming HC. If you can keep it trimmed down well you won't have this problem
 
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