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I always recommend Staurogyne Repens to people looking for low light / low-tech carpeting plants. I've had a really great experience with that plant. Grows slow, and can be tough to get rooted in sand substrates, but its worth the effort.
 

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There aren't too many (if any) true carpet plants that you can use in a low light set up. With that said, you can definitely still have a carpet-like effect. I am working on a Staurogyne repens "carpet."
 

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I always recommend Staurogyne Repens to people looking for low light / low-tech carpeting plants. I've had a really great experience with that plant. Grows slow, and can be tough to get rooted in sand substrates, but its worth the effort.
My leaves always have holes in them and start following off, and new growth is small and slow. What's the secret?
 

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My leaves always have holes in them and start following off, and new growth is small and slow. What's the secret?
There would be a lot of variables between my tank and yours, but I can tell you that I use Osmocote + root tabs under my S. repens as they have a very strong root system once established. I also dose KH2PO4 and trace minerals weekly (my tank provides enough of its own NO3 that I haven't needed to dose that yet), as well as excel daily. I have fairly low light, and no CO2 (yet). The S. repens took a while to become really established, but now it looks great.
 

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I gotta agree with the S. Repens. Mine are starting to establish into the substrate very nicely. The roots grow really long I can see it through the tank since I planted it so close to the front. Lol. I think its been about a month or so now since I got them, so and they look great. Definitely a slow grower. My substrate is ADA aqua soil with some osmocote root tabs and I dose excel daily. No liquid ferts needed, so far. I have more of a medium lighting probably considered a higher light since the light is so close to the tank. Dealing with some major algae issues, going to be raising it up soon as I figure out what I want to do with the lighting.

Also, I've been watching this youtuber and he's had nothing, but success with Monte Carlo. You can definitely give that a shot. I've talked to him before as well about it.
 

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If you just want foreground plants, not a true carpet, Sagitarria subulata (dwarf Sags) does very well at about 25-30 PAR, which is low light. But, they grow at least 2 inches high, so it isn't really a carpet. I had my 65 gallon tank essentially filled with them one time, and used only Excel, no CO2. I also dosed NPK and traces very infrequently, and had ADA Aquasoil, which was about 6 months old.
 

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I have trouble getting repens to outcompete algae in my low tech. In my medium light diy c02 tank, it wasn't an issue. I have a hard time believing people who say that have a low tech carpet, especially when its dhg. They probably dry started and its going to die. I could chop the tops off all my repens in my high tech and "carpet" my low tech, but in a month, half of it would be covered in algae or dead. A carpet should be sustainable. The only plants that can give a carpeting effect for low tech would be dwarf sag or pygmy chains.
 

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I have trouble getting repens to outcompete algae in my low tech. In my medium light diy c02 tank, it wasn't an issue. I have a hard time believing people who say that have a low tech carpet, especially when its dhg. They probably dry started and its going to die. I could chop the tops off all my repens in my high tech and "carpet" my low tech, but in a month, half of it would be covered in algae or dead. A carpet should be sustainable. The only plants that can give a carpeting effect for low tech would be dwarf sag or pygmy chains.
Depends on what you mean by "low tech." Low light, no added carbon source? Yes, carpets are going to be hard. Medium-low light + Excel can grow a great carpet though. (See, e.g., the Spec V in my signature.)

If the OP has a decent light and will dose Excel, marsilea, DHG, even HC can work. (HC needs to not have a lot of other plants competing for carbon, though, for best results.)
 

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I have had good luck with S. repens under a Stingray.
Here it is a couple months ago. It has since filled in all the areas. It went through a complete meltdown after going gangbusters for 6 months, but came back better than ever.

I inject Co2, dose small amounts of K once or twice a week, and small amts. of iron every other day.
 
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