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Re: Ground Cover
> I'm looking for a plant suitable for a ground cover in the foreground of
> my tank (20 gal). I've seen ideal plants that form a 'carpeted' affect
> in Amano's Tanks but I'm not sure of their names. If anyone knows of a
> plant that fits these requirements, aswell as being moderately
> fast-growing and suitable for low light (1.5 watts/gallon), please reply
> to this message.
> Thanks in advance,
> Keely Bays
I have used, as foreground plants, Lilaeopsis and 4-leaf clover. I have had great
success with both, but the 4-leaf clover starts to look non-impressive after it has
been submersed for awhile. The growth does not have the same 4-leaf clover look that
emersed growth does (or at least, not in my tank). The lilaeopsis will give you a
lawn affect, as it has small narrow leaves just like grass.
Other plants some people use is Glossostigma and Baby tears (Micranthemum umbrosum).
These are really pretty with small fluffy leaves. Another choice is Chain Sword
(Echinodorus tennellus) which will also give a lawn like look, as it has narrow
leaves like grass.
I think that Amano uses Glossostigma and Riccia in his tanks. Riccia in the
substrate is a nightmare. It is a floating plant that can be coerced into growing on
objects/substrate, but only with great effort. Hairgrass (Eleocharis acicularis) is
used by him to anchor the riccia down into the substrate. Most people tie it onto a
rock and keep trimming it to keep it there.
Hmm, I think there are some cryptocorynes that also stay small, but I am not that
familiar of the top of my head with the Crypts. I have C. Willisii on one side of my
tank with the four-leaf clover growing underneath it. The C. Willisii grows between
four and eight inches tall. I like the combination as one or the other on their own
is kindof missing something.
If you have alot of light, do not put Dwarf Sagittaria (Sagittaria subulata) in the
front! It looks grass-like, similiar to the lilaeopsis and chain sword, but the
height that it grows is dependent on how much light it gets. If you want it short,
make sure it won't get too much light.
Speaking of light, if you want nice foreground plants in low-light conditions,
Anubias are great plants. They are a really pretty deep green with broad leaves.
They do not do well against algae, so make sure they have some algae-eating buddies
around to clean them off. As they are slow-growing, they are the most expensive of
all the plants mentioned above, but they are really hardy and can be grown on
rocks/driftwood like Jave Fern.
I just reread your message and realized that my diatribe on foreground plants didn't
really answer your question :) The crypts and anubias will not care about the light
levels and may prefer it darker. They are what most people recommend for lower light
tanks. For lower light levels, Glossostigma, riccia, and maybe the chain sword
probably won't do so well. 4-leaf clover doesn't seem to care (at least not in my
tank, but that may be why it looks funny:). Lilaeopsis has grown in the shadowy
areas in my tank, so I think it may do well in lower light than the books say for
it. I know that there was some discussion about glossostigma and lilaeopsis and the
hardness of water, so you might want to look that up in the digest. I would
recommend getting small samples of each you want to experiment with and trying them
out. The ones that do well, keep and the ones that die off, probably aren't worth
the hassle, so don't sweat it. Remember that any of the Crypts will take about a
month to settle in and start growing.
Whew! What a mouthful! Sorry about the long post, but hopefully it helped some. If
there is any wrong information in what I posted, I am sure someone will correct it :)
Waldorf, MD, USA