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Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V5 #441

Hey gang,

Jack Meltzer asks:
>>Can anyone suggest a carpet-like plant that can grow
in moderate levels of light (e.g. 2 watts/gal).  I
really like the mossy look that you see in some 
of the Amano-style tanks but I've heard that plants
like Glossostigma can get very long and stringy if
there isn't a high level of available light.  I 
would be grateful for any suggestions.  Thanks.<<

COOL!!....An aquascaping question.

Jack, there are several options for your low-light
foreground. I don't know a whole lot else about your
tank, so I'll be very general.

The easiest foreground is plain, old, run-of-the-mill
Java moss. Go out and find some flat stones, and
arrange them so that they fit in your alotted
foreground space and tie some moss to them with a
little fishing string. It looks awesome and is MUCH
easier than Riccia to deal with and grow. 

There is also the method of using the plastic mesh
stuff that you use to sew designs in. Simply put some
moss between two sheets of this stuff, tie them
together any old way, then cut to fit your foreground.

Another possibility with your light is Riccia. It
probably won't turn to an O2 factory like you se in
some pics, but it'll grow in that amount of light. In
fact, it'll grow slow enough that I think the
maintenence will be pretty light, or at least much
reduced. This is the highest maintenence plant,
though, and requires much more in the way of CO2 and
other nutrient goodies than the moss.

Another option, which has become more popular
recently, is trying one of the Marsilea sp, or
commonly known as "four leaf clovers". Check out Eric
Leung's entry in this years AGA contest. Neat stuff,
and I understand most of the Marsilea's will tolerate
somewhat lower light.

Next is Echinodorus tenellus, but that won't give the
same kind of filled in look as a moss, Riccia, or
Glosso. Not unless you let it grow all over itself. It
will form a carpet, though, and it's a reliable plant.
Just about as easy as they come.

You didn't mention how high your tank was. If it's
only 12" high, you could probably get away with
Glosso, otherwise forget it. 

Same with Lileaopsis. It demands lots of light,and,
IMO, it's too much work for not alot of reward, though
some folks seem to like it and this plants end
results. Not me...YMMV.

You could also try hairgrass or dwarf hairgrass. It'll
be slow going with that amount of light, but it'll
grow, and look awesome in the end.

Hope these tid-bits help,
John Wheeler

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