The Best Aquarium Plants for a Lush Carpet Experience! - Aqua Essentials

The Best Aquarium Plants for a Lush Carpet Experience!

Carpeting plants have always been popular in the hobby and to be fair, for good reason. They're the equivalent to a garden lawn and if you get it right, there's real WOW factor. The lushous green colour just adds that extra something and makes it look finished. It's also confirmation that you are doing a lot right because carpeting plants take time to fill in specific places (without becoming too unruly!).

So let's look at the top 5 aquarium carpeting aquarium plants in the UK and why they're so popular:

1. Dwarf Baby Tears (Hemianthus callitrichoides)

Hemianthus callitrichoides (Baby Tears) - carpeting plant

Dwarf Baby Tears which has been a hugely popular carpeting plant for the last 20 years or so. It's compact, creeping growth is amazing at creating a carpet. However, because it is so small with almost no roots, it can be very difficult to get going and needs CO2 and good water movement. But don't let that put you off - just remember to have the correct equipment to grow the plant and you will not be disappointed.

2. Monte Carlo (Micranthemum tweediei)

Micranthemum Monte Carlo Carpeting Aquarium Plant

Snapping at the heels of Hemianthus, Monte Carlo is another excellent choice for a carpeting plant. This plant features small, round leaves that form a dense carpet across the substrate and is arguably easier to grow than Hemianthus. It's probably a better choice for beginners as it's more forgiving and takes a bit quicker. Highly recommended.

3. Eleocharis pusilla Mini (Eleocharis mini)

Eleocharis pusilla Mini Carpeting Aquarium Plant

Having gone through a couple of name changes by the grower, this amazing foreground plant is hardy and can tolerate a wide range of water conditions, making it ideal for beginners. As long as you ensure proper lighting and nutrient supplementation (such as Neutro T and Neutro CO2), Dwarf Hairgrass will spread quickly and easily. And as an added bonus, it only grows to about 10cm tall so it won't need a haircut.

4. Glossostigma (Glossostigma elatinoides)

Glossostigma elatinoides

Glossostigma could be the original foreground plant made famous by the late Takashi Amano who used this fast-growing carpeting plant to best effect. So much so it can take over an aquarium if your lighting is bright and you have CO2 and fertilisers. That said, trimming is easy - you simply take a sharp pair of curved scissors to the Glossosigma and trim heavily. It's important not to let the carpet get too thick or else it can lift.

5. Lilaeopsis brasiliensis - Brazilian Micro Sword

Lilaeopsis brasiliensis - Brazilian Micro Sword

Lilaeopsis brasiliensis from South America can grow very compact, but a "lawn effect'' (4-7 cm tall) is only achieved at high light intensity. If this plant doesn't have bright light, it will creep slowly but don't expect too much too soon. Easy to grow and undemanding, it's ideal for low tech tanks where you don't want to be maintaining plants any time soon.

In summary, whether you're a beginner or an experienced aquascaper, these aquarium carpeting plants will 100% add beauty, colour, and life to your tank. Some might need a little more help than others but that's mainly because of their location being at the bottom of the tank where lighting, CO2, fertilisers and water movement is at the lowest. But if you made sure all of that was correct, the sky is the limit and you could take your pick and reap what you sow.

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