Monte Carlo

Newbubbleguppies

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Just ordered a 5 gallon tank that I’d like to carpet with tissue culture Monte Carlo. I have no idea what I’m doing. Are there any step by step guides on what I need to do? Soil, tabs, fertilizer? Will not be using c02. I’m going to get probably 3 or 4 cups so hopefully it looks pretty full from the start, but I’ve read about separating the roots? What does that mean? This is my first attempt at a planted tank, so like I said, I have no clue what I’m doing.
 

-Mak-

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Glad you're trying at a planted tank! Your biggest concerns will be light, substrate, and nutrients. These will make or break a carpet.

Light does not have to be very high, but monte carlo as with all true carpeting plants need at least medium light to make them hug the substrate and grow. Luckily monte carlo is not as light demanding as some other carpets. Now high light, medium light are pretty arbitrary words and it's hard to tell what exactly you have without a PAR meter. If you have a light in mind or a budget perhaps we could comment on in?

Substrate should be soil based, as it is easiest for carpets to root in and they contain a lot of nutrients. Carpets also contain a lot of plant mass and that plant mass needs to be fed. ADA Amazonia, UNS Controsoil, Tropica soil are all good ones. I've also had success with Fluval stratum and UP Aquasand, but for the price the first two listed are more bang for your buck. You will not need root tabs for a year or two, and by then you may rescape or make some changes.

Nutrients will be supplied by the substrate but it's also a good idea to have water column dosing. Are you only looking to have monte carlo as the sole plant, or some others in there as well? If only monte carlo, I can recommend a leaner dosing regimen. If you want other plants, heavier water column dosing will be beneficial.

What are the dimensions of the tank? I can recommend some aquascaping styles depending on if you only want the carpet (iwagumi aquascape) or would like other plants (nature aquascape). If you google these terms the images may give you some inspiration :)
 

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