I need a foreground low level plant with good roots

Discussion in 'Plant Help' started by Illsavemyself, 21 Mar 2008.

  1. Illsavemyself

    Illsavemyself Newly Registered

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    My first post, but hopefully first of many!

    A have a 200 litre, 44 gallon tank. I don't use CO2 but do dose Excel, Flourish and Flourish Trace. I have just under 3 WPG light delivered by 4 T8s.

    I planted Lilaeopsis mauritiana two days ago in an attempt to produce a foreground "carpet". Well my Polka Dot loaches were very excited about having extra plants to dig at and my Rosy Barbs just treated it as free food. So with one party digging and another pulling my carefully laid out "lawn" was floating on the surface in no time. Made one effort at re-planting but within an hour it was all up again.

    Just to point out, the rest of the tank is heavily planted but I have not had any uprooted plants since I started out with just bare root stems. Everything else has done well and stayed firmly rooted. The grass has very shallow roots and in the end I had to give up and ditch the plants.

    So now I need a good foreground plant that will form a low carpet for my tank, but MUST have a decent root structure to withstand a potential early onslaught whilst it becomes established. I have a Tetra Plant and fine gravel substrate. I have used plant weights in the past but I have far too few magnets to attempt to keep 20+ tiny plants down.

    I love Tropica plants and had been looking at Hemianthus callitrichoides "Cuba". However I cannot get this locally and it might be too expensive to order it in especially if it might go the same way as the grass. If I could get this, does it have better roots than the shallow rooted grasses?

    Any suggestions will be very welcome?
     
  2. nry

    nry Member

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    If the plant can get a good few weeks start without being uprooted things would probably be much better - I planted some Lilaeopsis brasiliensis around 4 weeks ago and the root system is now pretty deep (spreading like mad too!), but my fish are no bigger than 1.5", mainly smaller. All I can suggest is planting in larger bunches and putting some large pebbles around the base of each group - after a good few weeks the roots should be pretty well developed and the pebbles can be removed. Any shoots from these bunches should also do better as the roots will be growing into the substrate as opposed to being pushed in like the new plants.
     
  3. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

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    If you do buy Tropica plants like HC it comes with rockwool that Tropica recommen simply cuting into chunks and anchoring those under your substrate. You could then weigh those down by wrapping lead weights around the rockwool, just don't do it too tightly or crush the plants or roots.

    Maybe another option might be to go for a Riccia carpet tied to slate or weighted mesh as then there will be nothing for the fish to dig up! See Jim's article on Riccia in the articles section of the website.

    Also just dosing Excel is going to work out pretty expensive in the long term and carpetting plants especially do well with good levels of CO2; I'd try and get a CO2 system sorted as a priority if you can, especially with your light levels.
     
  4. tanker

    tanker Member

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    Hi i have "Cuba" in my tank. in terms of rooting, it can be quite difficult in the beginning as they're small and tend to float. have to replant it over and over again. but once it started to grow on its own, it's quite firmly rooted as they're clumped together.

    i need help, i have some nerite snails in my tank, and i suspect that they always dig up the suibstrate resulting in the substrate covering the "cuba", thus covering light and slow growth. it has been almost 3 months, and the "cuba" growth is very slow. some even has hair algae on it, i suppose due to the unhealthy growth. is it partly due to too much fish, my tank is about 45cm X 25cm. has 25 cardinal tetra, 7 nerite snails, 6 yamato shrimps.
    Any advice??
     
  5. tanker

    tanker Member

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    Hi, sorry that i got the plant species wrong. The plant in my tank is not Cuba, it is however a similar kind with larger leaves. i'm still trying to get its name.
     
  6. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    You could try something like Lilaeopsis brasiliensis or one of the dwarf/pygmy tenellus species. I believe they have good root structures.
     
  7. Aquaspot World

    Aquaspot World Newly Registered

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    I'll second the Echinodorus tenellus. They do adapt quite fast and have good root structures.

    However, no plants will be able to withstand an onslaught of poking fishes when first planted. They all need time to really 'grip' the substrate.
     
  8. Illsavemyself

    Illsavemyself Newly Registered

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    I went for a Sagittaria Natan in the end. Brought 3 of them and although I have had much replanting of them during the week they are showing promising signs of growth and am only getting one or two of the 10 plants up a day. usually the same ones so some have been rooted for the whole week now.

    And in other news I had for the first time today what I didn't ever expect to see. After a 30% water change pearling in my tank! I was pretty chuffed and surprised as I don't use CO2. But there it was, a steady stream of bubbles from one plant in particular and slower pearling from a few others. Perhaps I am doing something right after all! :D
     
  9. nry

    nry Member

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    Tap water contains a reasonable amount of CO2, probably hence the pearling :)
     
  10. Aquaspot World

    Aquaspot World Newly Registered

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    Pearling actually occurs from undissolved O2 in the water. This is very normal during water changes.
     
  11. Illsavemyself

    Illsavemyself Newly Registered

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    The large water change was definitely a factor but in one spot I had a continual stream of bubbles for 3 hours+. Is this just down to undisolved O2? Had some pearling the next day too but lesser amounts.
     
  12. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

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    That sounds like the plant got damaged at one point. When this happens a stream of bubbles usually comes from the point, even if you can't see any damage.
     
  13. Illsavemyself

    Illsavemyself Newly Registered

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    Thanks Ed. Looks like I will have to wait a while longer for my first "true" pearling then.
     

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