Name: Lilaeopsis brasiliensis
Origin: South America
With this plant you can often have problems with it the first few times you buy it. Normally the plant is sold in pots and is really dense. This often leads to the plant to become covered in algae because it inhibits water movement. This means that even if you've never seen algae in you tank before, you may get it on this plant. But it is easy to get the plant growing without it getting covered with algae: sterilize the plant (1:20 bleach: water mix for 4 min while its in that mix give it a good shake to get rid of any dead material - primaly dead roots) and really tease out the plant - maybe 3-4 strands per bit that you will plant out. This not only makes the plant go further but it allows water to move around the plant.
I have being cultivating this plant for 2 months without inserting them into the gravel, yet they totally covered my tank water surface. New shoots also grow out of water creating a nice swamp like view. No special care needed.
I have had VERY good growth with this plant in a tank with 3 cm of regular old dirt from the yard, topped with 3 cm of play sand. Takes a while to give a lawn effect.
I have this plant in my rivertank setup with very fine sandy substrate. This plant NEEDS fine substrate to really grow well in. Previously I had it in very coarse gravel and the roots could not attach and hold it down, so it kept coming up. It is spreading nicely for me now in the finer substrate. I provide CO2 and about 1 Watt per liter of ODNO lighting.
I acquired a clump of this plant some time ago. (It was in the late 90's) and it was not in a pot as I have often been told. It was a mudball with a hodge-podge of roots and sprouts off the leafy parts on the top that had been trimmed short. Once I placed it in my tank and burried it under the rather coarse gravel it looked sort of sickly for about a week. Then it suddenly started growing and growing! Soon the thing had taken over an entire corner of the tank. This was a 150 L tank and a full quarter was overgrown with this plant in the span of a little over 2 months! When I did the water change I grabbed some of it and tried to root it out, but it came back! If you don't want this plant in your tank once you yank it, make sure to get all the roots OR (been told this, but never tried it) dry out the gravel entirely. I have heard it is somewhat fickle about gravel. I never had that problem. I keep a small plant tank and this is one of the easier plants to grow. Just needs light and gravel. I have since seen it in pots, but I have had no reason to buy it since I have had the children of that initial plant since 1998!
My Brazilian Micros came in a little potted plant package. Once I unrolled the clump from the wool, I planted it in my 150 L with 100% flourite (DIY CO2- 28ppm, 6.8 pH). I found out that it was hard to put the whole plant into the gravel without one end or the other floating in the water column. I then cut the sword into 3-4 strands per plant. It was more manageable to plant them into the gravel this way. Also by doing this, they will spread out faster with more runners (even though they still are slow growers). But most important is that they won't clump up as easy and allow detritus and BBA to grow and spread through the tips and between the strands. After three weeks it managed to only put out 2-3 runners per plant, while the tips accumulate small amonut of BBA. So I trim the tips to get rid of the algae. But other than this, it's a nice grass-like plant that will grow slow without the required trimmings that my stem plants require weekly.
I just recently bought six of these plants to put in my 110 liter fresh water tank. I bought it online and within two days it showed up to my door step. My tank has a very fine white sand which I feel is the best for any planted aquarium because all plants will anchor down and will stay pretty good. Anyways, I put it in my tank along with a CO2 difusor and with plenty of light it spread very quickly. It almost went out of control, it grew so well. It really makes my tank stand out better than tanks without a foreground plant. Also I have a few guppies and the fry can hide, so this is good for fish breeders. I hope this encourages you to grow your own in your tank. Good luck.
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