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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 inserting the whole pot into the substrate and allowing the plant to carpet out from there. The basket and rock wool will keep the carpeting plant from floating away and give it a good base to root from. Once the carpeting plant becomes well-established, you can go back and cut out the potted portion. 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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