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RE: Carpet plants

Unless you prune constantly, there aren't too many commonly available plant
species which make a good, attractive carpet. Most of these are also
rather hard to grow, and require very high light levels (some exceptions!).
My favorites are Riccia fluitans (Riccia), and Willow Moss. Both must be
anchored until they take root on the surface you desire. Here is a list

* Riccia - Forms attractive turf-like tufts. Attaches to rock and wood.
Needs very high light levels.

* Willow Moss- Attaches to wood and rock. Dark green. In time, it can spread
to form lush coverings. High light.

* Glossostigma - Not fuzzy like the rest, but more leaf shaped (oval). Amano
uses Glossostigma in most of his tanks, however
you must use a different planting technique to get it to form carpets.
Burying the first 4" in the substrate is recommended. High light.

* Java Moss - Easy to grow.... spreads fast. However, it can become unruly
and ugly if not pruned regularly. It also has a tendency to trap particulate
matter, making it ugly. I use a turkey baster to clean mine. Java moss may
not make a great-looking carpet, but it can be done. Will grow fine in lower

* Microswords - The equivalent of underwater grass. It looks just like
terrestrial grass, except a little more wide, and a lighter green in color.
Likes higher light, but does not need as much as the top three. Can get
4" tall, so pruning occasionally is necessary. Can form a cool "lawn" if
done right.

Well, that's what I know. I am a thorough believer that carpet plants are
the key to a beautiful tank. I think that Amano's secret is to make the
underwater scene look like a terrestrial one.

As for the cory cats... they do prefer lower temperatures. However, this is
more recommended for breeding. Cory cats will survive fine at a temp of 78,
but will not be as active as they would be at lower temps.

Good luck.
-- Derek Wingert

Kevin Weaver wrote:
> Anybody have a strong recomendation for a good carpet/foreground
> plant.  I badly want to achieve that lush "lawn" type look, but don't know
> which plants to use.  The tank gets plenty of light and has an iffy DIY
> setup along w/ flourite so growth shouldn't be a problem.  Also, just as a
> side note, has anyone ever run into problems keeping corys at temps
>around 78?