Carpet Plants For A Gravel Substrate?

  1. jertan98 Member Member

    I have a 22G tank that has fine black gravel as a substrate (some parts have coral chips under it), and another tank where I didnt have enough money to buy aquasoil throughout the tank so only half the tank has aquasoil, and the other half has gravel that is abit bigger.

    I use liquid CO2 to promote growth for my hornwort, xmas moss and java ferns. However I want a carpet plant for both these tanks.

    What plants can I use? Im hoping the liquid CO2 is the key factor to a good carpet, not the substrate...
     
  2. Jocelyn Adelman Well Known Member Member

    What is your lighting like? What ferts do you use?

    Staurogene repens or one of the marsileas could work, I have both in ecocomplete...
     

  3. jertan98 Member Member

    my lighting is quite good, i use one of those flourescent tube things. but i dont use ferts. will that be an issue?
     
  4. Jocelyn Adelman Well Known Member Member

    It could be... you would have to plant and see. If your water is hard, bioload is high, and you feed often they MAY do ok (this goes for any plant). I use ferts on all my tanks, feed the plants just as I feed the fish :)
     

  5. jertan98 Member Member

    i have super hard water. my stockings are a pair of guppies, 2 dwarf crayfish and about 15 RCS.
    i'll get hairgrass and some ferts and see how it goes!
     
  6. OnTheFly Well Known Member Member

    Dwarf Sag might be an option if it doesn't get too tall for you. It stays healthy for me despite my plant neglect, and still slowly spreads in gravel. I know some folks struggle with hair grass in a low tech setup.
     
  7. Culprit Well Known Member Member


  8. jertan98 Member Member

    i have liquid co2!
     
  9. -Mak- Well Known Member Member

    Liquid CO2 is a chemical called glutarhaldehyde and doesn't really have anything to do with CO2, it just offers a carbon substitute. It doesn't really cut it for most small carpeting plants, but I know monte carlo can grow well with or without it, and as the others say marsilea too.
     
  10. Keystone Member Member

    I have dwarf hair grass in 3 of my tanks and it grows like crazy without any CO2. One tank has sand, one tank is dirted and capped with sand and it is a floater in the last tank. All get about 2 hours of direct sunlight and indirect sunlight remainder of the day. Lights are generic LEDs that came with tank.
     

  11. TexasDomer Fishlore Legend Member

    S. repens and dwarf sag are good low light, low tech plants that can mimic carpeting plants. Both would benefit from ferts in the substrate, though root tabs would be fine.
     
  12. Keystone Member Member

    I love S. repens - I have it in my Gammarus tank.
     
  13. Stephen Hiatt Well Known Member Member

    No one has mentioned Monte Carlo yet. It makes good carpets.
     
  14. Culprit Well Known Member Member

    Dwarf hair grass generally needs high tech. That means high light, co2, and ferts. @Stephen Hiatt I said monte carlo.

    S. Repens and dwarf sag as others have said would be perfect, easy to grow, and low tech, I have never used marsilea. Monte Carlo as I said previously would be good as well. Most carpeting plants such as dwarf baby tears, dwarf hairgrass, and glosso will still grow in low tech but thy won't carpet. They will just get really tall and not spred.
     
  15. jertan98 Member Member

    I'll take a look at the s repens!
    So will monte carlo carpet?

    Also is dry or liquid fertilisers better to grow a carpet your opinion?

    And does liquid CO2 rly not work at all? i got it bc i did some online research and they said it would...
     
  16. Culprit Well Known Member Member

    1. Yep, monte carlo will carpet in low tech.

    2. They will work the same, however, in the long run dry ferts are cheaper. However, for a low tech tank like your running I would just get Flourish comprehensive.

    3. No. It does work just fine. It gives your plants a good boost and faster growth. However, if you're running high light (which you aren't) it won't cut it. You'd have to do pressurized.
     
  17. jertan98 Member Member

    thanks! but my lights are 48w and 55w, its still not enough?
     
  18. Jocelyn Adelman Well Known Member Member

    Do you have more info on the lighting? Brand, color temp, etc?

    I disagree with culprit.... for a carpeting plant unless you are majorly overstocked and feed heavily flourish comp won't cut it... most are slightly fussy, and I wouldn't mess around with comp. if you want an all in one, you can get nilocg thrive or UNS plant food. Root tabs would be a plus for the fine gravel, probably not necessary in the aquasoil but wouldn't hurt.

    Depending on the size of the gravel (speaking of the larger one specifically) Monte Carlo, marsilea, and the like won't take well, but they should be fine in the aquasoil and fine gravel (depending on how fine it is). Staurogene would be great for the aqua, the fine gravel, and ok for the larger gravel. Dwarf sag would be good for all.

    Can you post a picture of the tanks so we can gauge the gravel size?

    Liquid co2 won't hurt, and the added benefit of algae control will be a plus as you figure out your lighting/ferts etc. I use excel on most my tanks daily.
     
  19. jertan98 Member Member

    This is one of the lights, the other one has no brand or sticker as its rly old but I think it said 48W somewhere, i can only check later.
    42b818b499a3008032f279b0aa67d748.jpg

    Could u post a picture of or explain abit more about the products u mentioned? Im not sure if we have all that here in Singapore and I'm pretty new to all these plant things hahaha.

    Pictures of the tank will come later. But one tank has fine black gravel, other tank is half gravel (about i'd say abit under 1/4in in diameter) and half amazonia aquasoil.
     
  20. Jocelyn Adelman Well Known Member Member

    So I can't find the exact model info for your light (can't make it out in the photo when I enlarge it), but others in the same line (smaller/larger) seem to be all around 10000k... if you pot the model number and size I can look into it a bit more....
    they old light is likely unnecessary. (Plus old used bulbs aren't as effective anyway)
    Going with the other models available, it's ALOT of light, just be sure to keep your photoperiod short (6hrs) and go from there... slowly increase the lighting (1 hr every two weeks) and see if algae appears... if it does go back to the shorter period.
    I would for sure use the liquid co2 daily.

    Ferts... it's not important to have a specific brand, but a good balance between the micros (iron, etc) and the macros (NPK). In the US a commonly found brand is seachem flourish, which is low on NP. For low light tanks it works well as the plants don't need much "gas" due to the lower lighting. Flourish also works on the theory that most people's tanks are overstocked and people feed generously. Food/waste from the higher bioload can add to the NP concentrations in the tank, making additional supplementation of these two unnecessary.
    However, with higher lighting you are asking your plants to grow more quickly, and they will need these two macros to support faster growth.
    In the US there are a few different fert routes... dry (least expensive and customizable), root tabs (inserted into the substrate) and liquid. Liquid ferts are then broken down into two main categories... and "all in one" that contains macros and micros, or individual pre mixed bottles of each.

    Flourish contains
    09e6ae7b428c8bcfa5e4d7eb12e97237.png

    Something like nilocg thrive or UNS plant food contains

    Analysis: N 3%, P 0.8%, K 9.4%, Fe 0.47%, Mg 0.062%, Cu 0.009%, B 0.023%, Co, 0.0002%, Mn 0.06%, Mo 0.0018%, Zn 0.016%

    All in ones are not "ideal" ferts, but they make dosing easy since all ferts are contained in one bottle....

    Hope this all makes sense!