Easy Carpet Plant? First Fully Planted Tank

Discussion in 'Aquarium Plants' started by BlueSubmarine, Jul 31, 2017.

  1. BlueSubmarine

    BlueSubmarineValued MemberMember


    I recently decided to turn my old 20 gallon tank into a fully planted tank and I was wondering what would be an easy carpet plant I could start with. I would like to cover as much of the bottom as possible.

    Right now I have a sword plant, driftwood, anubias, Java fern , and water wisteria to fill the background.

    I'm not using dirt or root tabs but I am doing with flourish one a week and I have a finnex planted Led 24/7 light. (Medium-high light). Water temperature is at 74.

    I'm also open to other suggestions as well. Im primarily looking for a carpeting effect and a floating one. ( Unfortunately I just learned water lettuce is not legal here in Florida so I might be limited to duck week, which I've heard might not be a good idea so I'm not sure.

    Thank you!

    Attached Files:

  2. goplecos

    goplecosWell Known MemberMember

    Java moss on a mat is easy. I like it because when I need to vacuum I just lift up the mat.
  3. PilotWhale

    PilotWhaleNew MemberMember

    Without root tabs or a nutrient rich substrate, it's hard to get anything to carpet, but Dwarf Sag is a bulletproof plant and with time and enough fish poop you could get it to carpet.

  4. Jocelyn AdelmanFishlore VIPMember

    Second the Java moss.
    You would need a few inches of substrate for a good carpet... likely you will need more then you have for the wisteria and sword..... their root systems get huge!
  5. OP

    BlueSubmarineValued MemberMember

    Would it be beneficial to add more substrate now before going forward with the carpet?

    If so, would sand or gravel be better? Maybe combined with root tabs?

    I understand dirt might be the best choice but I've also heard adding it might cause an ammonia spike. I don't feel I could take that chance now that I have fish in there.

    Thanks for the suggestions
  6. Cranks_Tanks

    Cranks_TanksValued MemberMember

    dwarf sag is pretty awesome and bulletproof, but gets kind of tall in my opinion to do what most people want to do with a carpet. s. repens is probably the easiest lower growing carpeting plant. you will need a good light, but you dont need co2
  7. Jocelyn AdelmanFishlore VIPMember

    You can't add dirt now without draining the tank... sand should be fine for plants, just pop root tabs into the substrate. (You need them in there for the sword, wisteria would appreciate them as well but not 100% necessary)

    Yes, you should add more substrate now.... for planted tanks you want to aim for 2-3 inches of substrate.... making it lower in the front and higher in the back will add the perspective of depth to the tank.
    Someone on here washed the sand well, then added it to the tank through a plastic bag with a cut corner...(like piping frosting on a cake). Had minimal clouding and went in pretty easy....

    Missed that you have a 24/7, for carpeting you could do staurogeyne repens (as mentioned above), marsilea (most species, but it grows slow), hydrocotyle tripartita 'Japan'.... could try Monte Carlo as well, might not be great with the depth of your tank though, even with the 24/7.
    The s repens I would add root tabs scattered around, maybe some with the marsilea, the hydrocotyle would just need liquid ferts.
  8. OP

    BlueSubmarineValued MemberMember

    Awesome! That is really helpful.

    I looked up the dwarf sag and the s repens and I think the combination of both would look really nice.

    I will definitely try the sand bag idea as well, that should be fairly straightforward.

    Now, once I have 2 or 3 inches of sand. Should anaerobic pockets be a concern? I know I should sift it while there are no plants but how does it work once you have things established with a root system and all?

    Sorry for all the questions, this will be my first heavy planted tank. :)
  9. LandosWell Known MemberMember

    I have tried dwarf sag, pearl weed and another one sold at persmart that I don't remember the name.
    Nothing grew as good as the pearl weed. It does need to be trimmed but not very often.
  10. Will Sullivan

    Will SullivanValued MemberMember

    Dwarf sag is good I have it in my tank but like most carpet plants they won't grow fast unless you use co2 but sag is cheap and you can buy a lot. When I bought mine is always comes with extra. Your tank looks awesome btw and in my opinion I think dwarf baby tears would look amazing in your tank.
  11. OP

    BlueSubmarineValued MemberMember

    Tank update++

    Thank you everyone for all the comments and advice!

    So I'm still working on the tank, but I wanted to share where I'm at right now.

    I went out to 3 different lfs but to my surprise none of them had any carpeting plants. All they were carrying was moss, fern and anubias (which I already have). I might have to order it online. So far I think I'm leaning more towards the s repens and sag. Maybe both haha.

    I started to get black beard algae right out of the gate with the new light, but I got myself two tiger nerite snails and they have destroyed it. Very happy with how they look and how well they clean the tank.

    I also added more sand (need to add more- 5lbs was not close to enough) a cholla wood stick and some pothos in my hob filter. I thought about going the co2 route to help with the algae and plant growth but I decided to try Excel and fluorish comprehensive instead to see how it goes.

    You can see how the wisteria and the sword are starting to look a little better. :)

    Attached Files:

  12. LandosWell Known MemberMember

    Looks good.
    I don't think it was bba cause, to my knowledge, they don't eat bba. It's probably detritus, very common in new setups, and nerites love it

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