Name: Micranthemum umbrosum|
Origin: Central America|
This is a great plant for a larger tank, but a little too invasive for a small (40 liter) tank. When I first saw this plant it was love at first sight, but to my dismay it took over my 40 liter Balloon Molly tank. This is a very fast grower and needs to be pruned regularly. I have found that, if placed in a larger tank, it is much easier to control and much more beautiful to look at. At present mine is in a 280 liter tank and really beautiful, but like Java Moss takes keeping an eye on.
This is a remarkably adaptable little plant that multiplies rapidly. Under bright light conditions, it grows as a creeping foreground plant, lushly covering the substrate in a carpet of tiny, light green leaves on short running stems. It can also be found grown in an upright habit, and if allowed to float, will multiply rapidly as well. I have removed a great deal of this stuff from my tank, grown from a single upright sample bought last year and it has been a winner, my preference over the more grass-like foreground plants.
When I bought my first batch of baby tears it was in a heeped pile. It instantly flourished and became like a weed, however after minding some silver dollars for a month every plant in my tank had been eaten to the roots, except the baby tears. It's a real winner if your looking for something that is likely to survive rough conditions.
What a great plant, grows very aggressively and is very versatile. Great as a floating plant for fry to hide in and eat infusoria on, can also be attached to drift wood for the wabi-sabi sort of look. It's one of those plants that you nearly have to try to kill. Adapts to almost any tank condition. Try to stay away from fish that love plants however. The leaves are quite tender. I like adding Java moss, fern and a variety of plants to pieces of drift wood. After it starts to grow and root it looks excellent. This plant is very easy to place in little crevices and holes. If you want to spread pieces across the drift wood use some non-dyed string for sewing.