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Re: Carpet plants

"Derek Wingert" wrote:

> * 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
> light.
> * 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.

What about baby tears (Micranthemum micranthemoides) ? I had it since my
aquarium was set up with a coarse gravel-only substrate, UGF with high
flow powerhead, low-light, no CO2, and it grew amazingly well despite the
unfavorable conditions. Now that the tank was reconfigured as a planted 
tank (but still keeping the rather low 2 watt/gal light), it grows like 
mad. The trick to use it as a carpet plant is to force its stalks to grow
as runners, by lowering them over the gravel and sprinkling a few gravel
particles over them to hold them in place until they set root. Once rooted,
it spreads by sending new horizontal runners all over the place. The effect
is really neat, but it must be prunned often to avoid stalks growing too
tall and spoiling the "lawn" effect.

-Ivo Busko