Question Experienced Plant Guy looking for advice.

!poogs!

Active Member
Member
Messages
487
Reaction score
264
Anyone on here willing to post about their success with carpeted tanks.

Aside from my planted big tanks, I have two little project tanks I use to grow out fry and sometimes as a quarantine tank for new fish, or to grow out fish to put in my larger tanks. They both have Flourite black sand, and the usual rock,wood, and yes plastic plants, ugh I was being lazy.

Because I have a lot of light intensity , and not very much depth, 10 gallon and 20 gallon tall, I was getting algae growing on traditional go to aquarium plants. So I moved all the plants to my other aquariums from these tanks.

I am waiting for a shipment of lilaeopsis brasilensis and eleocharis acicularis. Basically Brazilian micro sword, and minI hair grass. I have some Sagittaria that grows well in my 120 gallon, and I am going to transplant some of it to these tanks as well.

If you have had success growing a lush carpeted tank, please post your secrets and hints and some pictures.

Thanks.
 

Johnb114

Active Member
Member
Messages
351
Reaction score
406
Location
East coast of Canada
Experience
More than 10 years
Dirted capped with Seachem fluorite black sand. Fluval aqua sky 2.0.

no real secrets. Started the tank with the photo period at 6 hours and 50% power. Ran the light like that for 3 months. Never gravel vacuumed even before it was carpeted.
 

Attachments

Fahn

Fishlore VIP
Member
Messages
6,919
Reaction score
4,068
Location
Florida, USA
Experience
3 years
How I always achieve good carpets:

1) Nutrient rich substrates. I don't use dirt as you can't really aquascape a dirted tank, but I use something like ADA Amazonia, Tropica Soil, UNS Controsoil, or Brightwell Rio Cafe. These are full of nutrients to boost plant growth, help harbor beneficial bacteria and microfauna.

2) Dry starting your carpet. This doesn't work with all of them (such as Eleocharis parvula) but enables your carpet to spread and establish roots with a high concentration of CO2. This not only helps your plants establish, but it prevents them from floating up from the substrate, prevents algae, and increases your plantload with less starting material.

3) Lots of CO2. Most carpets do not do well without some CO2 injection. I have seen tanks with full dwarf hairgrass carpets with just bright light and a good substrate, but in my experience it does not do well. A lot of the popular carpets do not occur underwater in nature, you have to artificially increase available CO2 just so they won't die! AI'm for 25-30 ppm of CO2.

4) Bright lighting. As previously mentioned, a lot of carpeting plants do not grow fully submersed in nature. This means they are tuned to requiring bright light. With bright lighting, CO2 is necessary to keep up with the increased demand for carbon, nitrogen, etc. Without CO2, bright lighting actually throttles plant growth based on available nutrients and you will only grow algae.

5) Adequate flow. In stagnant or low-flow environments, there is not adequate circulation of CO2 or nutrients. This creates dead zones where plants do not flourish or detritus accumulates.

6) Clean water. Clean water can still be nutrient-rich water if you are dosing properly. By clean I mean high clarity (no debris) and absolutely no ammonia present. Water that is clean and low in organics not only ensures that there is adequate light penetration, but that there is nothing to feed algae growth.

7) Regular fertilizer dosing. Either dosing with dry ferts or a high quality liquid fert are both great choices. Dry ferts are cheaper and last longer but can be a huge pain to dose, especially on very small tanks. I dose my high-tech tanks with carpets 3x per week with NilocG ThriveS. I keep mostly shrimp and snails so I use a formula with no copper. Plants do require some copper but the amount required is so minuscule that it can be acquired through other means. I have yet to see copper deficiency in my plants.

8) Big (50%) water changes. This is important because it keeps water clean and nutrients from building up in excess, particularly nitrates. In very hungry tanks you can get away with less. For example, in my crystal shrimp tank, I only do 20% weekly. I routinely measure less than 5ppm nitrate in that tank due to the very heavy plantload and low biological load, which leads me to my next point...

9) Low bioload. You want a high ratio of plants to fish, so that there is not an accumulation of waste. Waste breaking down in your carpet in high amounts can lead to nuisance algae. Go with fewer fish, or animals that produce very little waste such as shrimp.

10) Regular trimming and pruning. Your carpet will continue to grow on top of itself and to keep the lower growth from dying, it must be trimmed regularly. At least once a month is usually sufficient but every 2 weeks may be required in fast-growth tanks. Eventually your carpet will get too dense and you will need to tear it out and reset it. I am experiencing this with the Eleocharis parvula, which is literally growing on top of itself and going brown in some areas, in my 16 liter cube and will be resetting the tank later this month.

I know this is a lot, but it is the best information I can give on how to grow and care for a carpet. Here is my newest example, Hemianthus callitrichoides in my 8 liter cube.

pico.jpg
 

Leeman75

Active Member
Member
Messages
371
Reaction score
498
Location
Near Chicago, IL
Experience
4 years
Johnb114 said:
Dirted capped with Seachem fluorite black sand. Fluval aqua sky 2.0.

no real secrets. Started the tank with the photo period at 6 hours and 50% power. Ran the light like that for 3 months. Never gravel vacuumed even before it was carpeted.
That is an awesome looking tank!!
 

New Threads

Similar Threads

Follow FishLore!

FishLore on Social Media

Online statistics

Members online
271
Guests online
3,004
Total visitors
3,275

Aquarium Photo Contests

Aquarium Calculator

Top Bottom