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Monte Carlo not growing on 0.5cm soil granules. Salvageable?

903 1
Noob mistake.

I used Mr. Aqua soil for Monte Carlo. It's 0.5cm granules, great for hair grass and other plants but I read that Monte Carlo prefers compact soil. No wonder it hasn't carpeted after 2 months even with CO2. It's not reaching for the light and grows flat but the leaves are also tiny.

I reserved a small area with sand for future corys and the Monte Carlo seems to head to that direction. I guess it likes sand.

Is it possible to fix this without uprooting the entire tank?

What about adding a layer of sand? I think it will seep between the granules and make the substrate more compact for the Monte Carlo.

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I was under the impression that there is only one size of Mr Aqua but I could be wrong as I looked up my order and packaging said "Mr Aqua 1L Fine". Your pic makes the granules look large compared to mine. I will give you my experience with that substrate and Monte Carlo just in case...

I haven't had any problems with growth. I started out with only using Excel on the tank pictured below and growth was slow but as soon as I added co2 it took off. Weeks to cover, not months.

I don't use substrate fertilizer for the MC. My co2 is at atleast a 1.0ph drop (right now I'm at 1.4 due to 4 days without co2 and BBA exploded on the scene). I do use RO water reconstituted to 1dKh, 8dGh (I've been slowly creeping that up from a low of 5 in the beginnig). My fert schedule is front load EI macros once a week after water change with EI micros dosed 3x every other day.

Light schedule has changed over the past 9 months this tank has had co2. It was at 6 hours with a 13 watt led full intensity, with about a 3 hour break in the middle. I now have an led, same wattage, that has a ramp feature and I am at 6 hours total light with only 3 of those hours at full intensity. I do have to mention that this tank gets full sun exposure from a sky light for an hour or 2 during the summer months, which I have been getting for the past month here. Indirect light is pretty bright as well.

Only issue I have had is that most of the bed has pulled up from the substrate. But that was due to me not trimming for well over a month and is to be expected for a carpet that is neglected like that. Clean up after that trim was crazy! :laugh2:

I have to trim the runners out of my sand bed pretty much weekly.

Honestly, since my carpet has risen up above the substrate layer without any growth issues I think your slow growth has to do with something else other then substrate grain size.

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