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I am late on this, but a few days ago, someone wrote
in regarding the best way to grow Lilaeopsis novae-
zealandiae (excuse my spelling; no references with
me) or whichever is readily available in the trade.
My tank parameters are very similar to that of the
author of the question (laterite in gravel, soft water,
Tropica MG as fertilizer, 4watts/gal in my case, etc.).
However, the questioner indicated they were not
using CO2. This may be the key. I do use CO2 (gas
cyl) and the Lilaeopsis is impressive. It grows very
fast and I pull out stringers that invade parts of the
landscaping where it doesn't belong once every two
weeks or so. It looks very thick and happy, like a
small lawn. It even bubbles O2.
Perhaps CO2 is the missing ingredient?