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What have you had the best experience with as a low tech carpeting plant? I'm thinking of setting up my 30g cube with low-moderate light levels and a diy CO2. Make some suggestions! Thanks everyone! :proud:
 

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I asked this question quite a while ago and someone suggested that they had success with glosso, well with my low tech setup (55G 2X55AH supply, no c02) , glosso has little no to no growth in 1.5 years. It hasn't died, but hasn't grown hardly an inch either.

I think I might try a large carpet of dwarf hairgrass in my new tank. Possibly trying to grow it emersed for a month or two first to speed up the spread.

I'm curious to see what other people have to recommend.
 

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Any of the Marsilea species should be fine. I am currently using Marsila quardrafolia.
 

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My green neon tetras will not let my dwarf hair grass grow over 1 inch, they are constantly eating and trimming it down. Im not sure if this is normal but it sure works for me.
 

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I tried the 4-leaf clover, Marsilea Quadrifolia, did not like it. In fact, just tore it out of my tank.

First, when you get it, it will likely have been grown submersed, not immersed. so, it will be taller than it grows underwater. As it develops under water, you'll need to cut out all these tall dead stalks. An awful lot of work. An AWFUL lot of work. Lets say you have the patience for that, ok. Next problem is that it spreads by long above ground runners that root very shallowly. Very easily disturbed by any bottom feeders. Once uprooted, these runners are very hard to re root. Absolutely need a sandy substrate to have hope of getting these runners back down. The runners go on long journeys across the entire width of your tank rather then slowly growing the plant out from it's home. Long strings with a couple upright leaves every half inch aren't carpet. You'll need YEARS to really get a good carpet with these guys under low light.

Final problem for me, is a problem with all carpet plants...they accumulate all the "crap" and mulm in the tank...stuff that would blow around otherwise gets caught in the carpet.

Also, wouldn't do quadrifolia under 1.5 wpg. Had them under 3 strip lights, 1.75 wpg in my 55, and they grew pretty ok...took one tube out and they went to crap and started to rot.

To carpet, you need a lot of growth by whatever you use to fill up the place. By definition, low light tanks have slow growth. I suggest using marimo balls as your "carpet". Get a dozen of the $2.00 mini ones that aquabotanic.com sells and you'll have a nice field of pretty little balls that will live under low lights. They won't grow much, but they'll stay green and short and be cool
 

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Discussion Starter #11

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wow, evanluke, that is some really impressive HM! I am currently growing Marsilea in my high-tech tank, and it grows at a great, really manageable speed for me. I have only tried it under low light once before, and while it did grow quite slowly, I had it in inert sand and extremely low light. the leaves are small and round and i love the color of them... IME, i would highly recommend Marsilea sp. in general. I have a great species right now, and although i don't know what it is, I do know that it isn't M. minuta or M. quadrifolia. I could send you a little sampler of it if you want to see how it grows.

Since you have a pretty large tank, I think E. tennelus would do well. I have no experience with it, but I know a lot of people on here really love it.

I have a little tank with a combination of "aquatic compost", mulm, clay, topsoil, and a little gravel, that i've been using underneath inert sand, and my glosso has been growing fantastically. It stays super low to the ground and fills in really thickly. I would only recommend using glosso if you have some serious soil and nutrients and stuff underneath your substrate, but you never know. It's cheap and may be worth a try.

One more thing regarding hairgrass... IME regular Eleocharis acicularis is way too tall to be used effectively as a foreground plant, and unless you have a lot of CO2, it doesn't grow in all that well. I think it could look good as a midground plant if allowed the time to fill in well, but I personally would not use it as a foreground. E. 'belem' is good for high-tech tanks, but I don't think it fairs well udner low light.
 

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oh, and also dwarf sag is a good foreground in really big tanks, but dwarf sag gets really large after a couple of months. I'd refrain from using it in tanks under 50 or 60g unless its used in the background.
 

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It took about 2-3 months of trimming and replanting from about 10 short stems until it started to look like a carpet.

The thing I like most about HM is that since each individual plant has lower light requirements, it can get really dense without experience "die off" because the lower layers aren't getting enough light.

I'll post an update picture of it soon, but it is much more dense that in that older picture and is green all the way to the bottom.

At 1.61 watts of T-5 lighting per gallon, I don't have a super low-light setup but my tank is a 26 show so it is pretty tall and we have grown HM in cube tanks with lower light.

I haven't ever grown the marsilea but I like the clover leaf shape.
 

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When you post an update, try to put it on photobucket or even directly attach it here. Some of us don't use facebook and couldn't see your last pic. :(
 

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It took about 2-3 months of trimming and replanting from about 10 short stems until it started to look like a carpet.

The thing I like most about HM is that since each individual plant has lower light requirements, it can get really dense without experience "die off" because the lower layers aren't getting enough light.

I'll post an update picture of it soon, but it is much more dense that in that older picture and is green all the way to the bottom.

At 1.61 watts of T-5 lighting per gallon, I don't have a super low-light setup but my tank is a 26 show so it is pretty tall and we have grown HM in cube tanks with lower light.

I haven't ever grown the marsilea but I like the clover leaf shape.
I have the four leaf clover in my tank, while it is a cute plant it is VERY unimpressive. The growth took off at first, but quickly slowed to a crawl. It does not spread as well as I had originally thought it would, but I will leave it in where it has grown so far.
 
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