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How do I plant my carpeting plants?

There are many kinds of foreground plants and even mosses that can be used to cover the ground in your aquarium, but this section is specifically referring to short, dense carpeting plants with lots of tiny leaves and very weak roots. Examples include monte carlo, dwarf baby tears, and pearl weed (not the grass-like carpeting plants such as dwarf sagittaria, micro sword, and dwarf hair grass). Most websites recommend breaking up a pot of carpeting plants into very small pieces and planting them around the aquarium with the hopes that they’ll spread, but we find that the roots are too small or delicate and the plant bits end up floating away.

Instead, we recommend removing the plastic pot but keeping the plant in the rock wool to protect the roots. Add a root tab into the middle of the rock wool, and then insert the whole rock wool plug into the substrate, allowing the plant to carpet out from there. The rock wool will keep the carpeting plant from floating away and give it a good base to root from.

If you want the plant to carpet faster, another method would be to break up the pot of carpeting plants into 5–6 bigger chunks (instead of 25–50 little plants) and plant them a few inches from each other. Finally, if you do want to try breaking up the entire pot into very small pieces but the aqua soil is too lightweight to keep them anchored, try sprinkling a few pieces of aqua soil on top of the plantlets to keep them weighed down.

Carpeting plants typically enjoy lots of light, pressurized carbon dioxide (CO2), and both liquid fertilizers and root tabs. For more information, read our quick guide on how to plant live aquarium plants.

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