I got overly enthusiastic and chose UG as my first carpeting plant. I did a dry start from May 1 - early June with little to show, then flooded the tank about 5 weeks ago.
I followed a method I saw on instagram - no filter, no heater, no co2 (couldn't get it cause of lockdown anyway). I'm using a base of sphegnum peat moss with flourite on top of it. Water is just tap water that is usually between 78-82 deg.
At first the plants sent some runners, but after a few weeks growth stopped outward and only went upward. The blades have remained pretty spindly and weak. I was trimming weekly, but stopped a couple weeks ago in the hope that the plants would 'root' more firmly and start spreading. I also put some christmas moss in one of the back sump compartments in the hopes of using it later, but it mostly browned and I tossed it.
In the past 10 days, the plants have basically started shedding. I think unfortunately some of this is due to poor water quality. I was working two jobs for a bit of time and let the tank go. It got an oil slick on the top of the water and I'm pretty sure I saw some minuscule bugs shooting around the tank.
I just did a 90% water change and tons more blades came up. None of the plants seem to be firmly rooted and I'm wondering if the flourite is too packed for the plants to thrive.
Does anyone have any suggestions/advice on how to get this UG to carpet or should I start planning to take apart the tank? I've attached some before/after pics from today. Thanks in advance!