Carpeting plants are extremely important in aqua-scaping, they provide us with the lush green effects, tree-lined hillsides and mossy outcrops. Carpeting plants such as Hemianthus callitrichoides and Glossostigma elatinoides and grasses such as Eleocharis parvula are easier than most people think. Getting a planted tank carpet is one of the most common goals for hobbyists.
There are a few things to consider before you can finalize on what you need in your tank.
Many common substrates are too coarse to hold down carpets because of their size. They require a tight substrate to hold the roots together. The preferred choice for us is Seachem’s Flourite, ADA Amazonia and CaribSea Eco-Complete. Regardless of what substrate you get, make sure it is nutrient rich and add some substrate additives while starting your aqua-scape. Some people prefer powder sand over coarse ones but we find it very difficult to work with or the long run. If you want to know what you need to keep an aquarium healthy, read the article on Aquarium Essentials Every Hobbyist Should Have
Certain types of plants will naturally tend to create a carpet effect. These plants require certain types of lighting conditions, and you’ll need to make sure they’re met properly in order to encourage proper growth. You can also read more about foreground and background plants in planted tank stocking options.
Some of the most common and preferred
- Hemianthus Callitrichoides – This is the smallest aquarium plant in the world. Hemianthus is the best candidate for a perfect lush green carpet in your aquarium. It’s tiny tear drop shaped leaves, bright green colour and creeping nature makes it very popular. It is however not the easiest plant to maintain. Especially if your new to planted aquariums. It requires plenty of light intensity to penetrate down to the bottom of your aquarium, and CO2 that is adequately circulated around the lower parts of your aquarium.
- Glossostigma Elatinoides – Glosso is another small plant that’s perfect for carpeting. It is a plant which requires a significant amount of light to keep it from simply growing upward. It prefers soft water and CO2 for the best growth.
- Micranthemum Monte Carlo – Micranthemum ‘Monte Carlo’ comes from Argentina. It has compact, round and fresh light green leaves on creeping stalks and creates a fast-growing carpet in the front of the aquarium. The plant can grow in light shadow, but requires good light conditions, as well as CO2 additive, in order to develop optimally and become really compact.
- Dwarf Hairgrass – Dwarf Hairgrass is a great plant for beginners and seasoned aquarium keepers alike. It is an attractive bottom covering plant with long light green grass-like leaves. This species uses runners to propagate and will spread out in a thick carpet of grass.
- Dwarf Sagittaria – This plant is another great beginner carpeting plant. It’s leaf shape is long grass like, usually a bit thicker and a bit longer. Much like the E.tenellus, it propagates through runners. This plant can sometimes, almost randomly, grow quite tall. The best way to keep it short is to trim it regularly.
Here is a good infograph on the same.
So the above are some tips and choices to get a good carpet for your planted tank. Do let us know if you have any tips too!