Monte Carlo in Low Tech

Sauceboat

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Hello! I’ve been planning a trip to our not-so-local fish store (an hour drive away but well worth it, it has the square footage of a big box pet store but all fish and family owned) and I was thinking of getting some monte carlo for my tank while I’m there. I adore the way it grows and would love to plant it on the sort of upper tier of my work in progress low tech aquascape but I’m unsure if it will do well in my tank. I know it’s an intermediate to advanced plant so I thought I might seek out some advice.

I would be planted with no CO2 in a dirted substrate capped with sand located 4-5 inches from the light which is a mediocre light with blue and white LEDs (no red).

I want it to carpet 4-8 square inches (depending if I want to add a second ledge to the scape) and maybe dangle a bit and drape over the edge of the tier.

Is this possible or will monte carlo die and/or not grow without CO2? Would you recommend any changes to aid its success?
 

-Mak-

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What exactly is the light? Tank size/height?
I always have really good success with monte carlo in low tech, but only when certain requirements are met, and a decent light is one of them.
Substrate is another. Dirt is great but the sand cap shouldn't be too deep, as the plant is small and will take a while to root deeply, losing out on nutrient opportunities.
Last would be fertilizer, on top of a nutrient rich substrate a balanced liquid fertilizer is also needed. Where are you located? Different brand availability in different countries :)
With these three factors, light, substrate, and fertilizer, monte carlo is a very reliable low tech carpet. Mine has hugged the substrate nicely even without CO2. It does take considerably longer for it to grow in though, and it might not get as thick and dense as a high tech carpet would.
 
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Sauceboat

Sauceboat

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Awesome! Thank you for your detailed response!

This is the light I bought (got it for $12 when I bought it). Given it’s price I don’t think it’s anything amazing but my other plants, including my dwarf hairgrass, seem to like it…


…I have the 20 inch on my standard 10 gallon tank, with 12 inch depth (I think?) but the monte carlo would be planted up higher, only 4ish inches from the surface.

Luckily my sand cap in the area I want to plant is quite thin (maybe 1/8ish inch) so that shouldn’t be an issue.

As far as fertilizer goes I’m not doing any currently but I’d certainly buy it if it would help my plants. I’m located in the U.S. (California) so if you have any suggestions, I’ll certainly look into them.

-Mak- said:
What exactly is the light? Tank size/height?
I always have really good success with monte carlo in low tech, but only when certain requirements are met, and a decent light is one of them.
Substrate is another. Dirt is great but the sand cap shouldn't be too deep, as the plant is small and will take a while to root deeply, losing out on nutrient opportunities.
Last would be fertilizer, on top of a nutrient rich substrate a balanced liquid fertilizer is also needed. Where are you located? Different brand availability in different countries :)
With these three factors, light, substrate, and fertilizer, monte carlo is a very reliable low tech carpet. Mine has hugged the substrate nicely even without CO2. It does take considerably longer for it to grow in though, and it might not get as thick and dense as a high tech carpet would.
 

-Mak-

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Messages
5,380
Sauceboat said:
Awesome! Thank you for your detailed response!

This is the light I bought (got it for $12 when I bought it). Given it’s price I don’t think it’s anything amazing but my other plants, including my dwarf hairgrass, seem to like it…


…I have the 20 inch on my standard 10 gallon tank, with 12 inch depth (I think?) but the monte carlo would be planted up higher, only 4ish inches from the surface.

Luckily my sand cap in the area I want to plant is quite thin (maybe 1/8ish inch) so that shouldn’t be an issue.

As far as fertilizer goes I’m not doing any currently but I’d certainly buy it if it would help my plants. I’m located in the U.S. (California) so if you have any suggestions, I’ll certainly look into them.
Does the light seem extra blue? It's labeled marine light, which tend not have much warmth, but if the monte carlo is going to be so close to the light it might not be an issue
For the US Nilocg Thrive or ThriveC is great, UNS Plant Food and Easy Green are also some good ones. GH booster is a good idea of your water is soft < 4 or 5 degrees GH
 
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Sauceboat

Sauceboat

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No, the light doesn’t
-Mak- said:
Does the light seem extra blue? It's labeled marine light, which tend not have much warmth, but if the monte carlo is going to be so close to the light it might not be an issue
For the US Nilocg Thrive or ThriveC is great, UNS Plant Food and Easy Green are also some good ones. GH booster is a good idea of your water is soft < 4 or 5 degrees GH
No, it doesn’t seem too blue. I was worried about it being too marine when I bought it, as I’m not a huge fan of marine colors but it’s been fine.

Thanks for the advice! You have been a great help!
 
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Sauceboat

Sauceboat

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No, the light doesn’t
-Mak- said:
Does the light seem extra blue? It's labeled marine light, which tend not have much warmth, but if the monte carlo is going to be so close to the light it might not be an issue
For the US Nilocg Thrive or ThriveC is great, UNS Plant Food and Easy Green are also some good ones. GH booster is a good idea of your water is soft < 4 or 5 degrees GH
No, it doesn’t seem too blue. I was worried about it being too marine when I bought it, as I’m not a huge fan of marine colors but it’s been fine.

Thanks for the advice! You have been a great help!
 

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