Name: Glossostigma elatinoides
Origin: Australia, New Zealand
The most peculiar Glossostigma elatinoides grows normally 3 or 4 cm from the bottom gravel, provided you have a reasonable amount of light. In any other case, it will soon tend to grow higher and thinner, looking fragile and reluctant. If the gravel you are using is thin enough to allow roots to spread, and has nutrients in the bottom, you will soon see the surface of it covered with plants. Planting is somewhat difficult (patience), use a small pair of tweezers, and divide small plants carefully. Remember to provide a good amount of CO2 and light...and see for yourselves!
Glossostigma is an excellent plant to cover and also beautify a barren foreground. It grows with runners and it's really amazing to see little runners pop out here and there over my boring gravel base. Give this plant a go. It's also much hardier than Riccia fluitans, but nowhere as beautiful. Glosso will also grow better with brighter light and also CO2 injection.
I've found that glosso is easier to grow and maintain than what I have read or was told. I have even grown it floating at the water surface with no problem. Although this is not ideal, it did live and grow that way for many weeks. I've used only DIY CO2 with it so far. It is a wonderful foreground plant!
Here's a few tips for planting:
I've found this plant to be very hardy as long as it receives enough light. The only problem I have encountered is the lack of growth and vigor due to me not planting them deep enough. It is very hard to plant them to deep (I never have). I have completely covered many plants, only to have them pop-up through the sand, and spread like wildfire. On the other hand, when I don't plant them deep enough, they won't grow right or well and will grow up instead of across. Also, if the light is not bright enough, they tend to grow taller. But, if they are planted deeply, and are provided with enough light (and CO2), they will run all over your aquarium and hug tight to the subtrate. One last thing, I've always used sand as the top layer of my substrate, so these results may vary with larger, more course, substrate material.
- Divide the plant bundle you recieved from the store into individual single plants.
- When planting the divided specimens, bury them so the bottoms of the leaves are flat against the substrate.
- Be sure not to leave any portions of their long stems or roots protruding from the substrate.
This is by far my favorite carpet plant. I have had both great successes and great failures with this wonderful little plant. Take each strand and separate it from the pot (you'll normally have 3-5 cm of plant) and, with tweezers, bury them along your substrate making sure only the leaves are showing (no roots). Each strand should be placed about 1 cm from each other, this will allow for optimal growth without the plant overshadowing itself to begin with. If you want a thick carpet then plant it 80-90% of where you want it to grow so you may want a lot of it to begin with.
It needs high-very high light to grow as a carpet, if it doesn't then it will grow upwards towards the light instead of a carpet. It also loves ferts and CO2. After a couple of weeks you will see the glosso spread rapidly, and if you use CO2 it will produce thousands of tiny bubbles. After 2 months it was a lush carpet that I had to prune to keep it from covering everything. It also has and immense root system so if you have to remove it for whatever reason, the whole carpet will come up in one go (not called a carpet plant for nothing) and take a lot of substrate with it.
My failures with it have been when trying to grow it in silica sand instead of the Colombo Substrate I have been using, it was growing tall instead of flat due to the glosso not wanting to stay buried in the light sand. Also when cutting between each leaf and planting separately, where it took a month for it just to grow new leaves and spread very slowly.
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