Carpeting plants are some of the most desirable plants in the aquarium hobby and are an essential addition to an Aquascape design.
Carpet plants, as the name suggests, are types of plants that are used to fill you aquarium's foreground creating a dense and lush plant carpet that mimics a lawn appearance. Although, most types require co2 injection and medium to high lighting to be healthy and grow properly, we have put together a list of carpeting plants that are great for starters as they can better adapt to different water parameters and lighting conditions.
There are many easy carpeting plant options to choose from but we are going to focus on the 5 Best Foreground Plants for Beginners:
1. DWARF HAIRGRASS
Eleocharis Parvula, or commonly known as Dwarf Hairgrass, is a green foreground plant that is incredibly hardy and therefore easy to keep. This species is widespread across the globe ranging from North and South America, to Europe and Asia. This grass-like plant does not require co2 injection or a rigid nutrient dosage. They stay at a modest 4" in height and spread rather quickly. It also provides great shelter for invertebrates and small fish.
2. DWARF SAG
This hardy and undemanding plant is native to Central and South America. This plant, also known as Hud Sag, or simply dwarf sagittaria is quite common in the aquarium hobby and great for beginners. This plant has bright green thin leaves and its appearance resembles thick grass. This plant will spread very fast by sending multiple runners under the gravel. It is common for dwarf sag to go through a melting phase when first placed in the tank - the outer leaves of the bare root might start yellowing and that is normal and part of the process. Carefully remove the yellow leaves by slowly pulling them outwards of the center of the plant and simply replanting.
3. PEARL WEED
Also known as Pearl Grass or Micranthemum Micranthemoides in Latin, our 3rd pick is this elegant and unique plant that has tiny-oval green leaves that surround its thin stems. Native to Central and North America, this beginner plant makes a great addition to anyone's foreground tank. Although, most pearl weed plants will grow along the gravel line and creep all over your foreground, there are some cases where it will grow straight upwards. That is easily avoided by trimming the plant regularly.
4. CHAIN-SWORD NARROW-LEAF
Chain Sword Narrow-Leaf (Echinodorus tennelus), also known as Pygmy Chain Sword or Pygmy Grass, is a green grass-like foreground plant native to Central and North America. Surprisingly hardy and easy to keep this plant is great for beginners due to its low lighting requirements. It is the smallest species of the Alismataceae family, growing only to be 3" in height. They will quickly fill up your aquarium's foreground by shoot runners under the gravel that grow off the mother plant.
5. MONTE CARLO
We have finally reached to my personal favorite!
Micranthemum Tweedie 'Monte Carlo', commonly known as just Monte Carlo, is a green foreground plant that revolutionized the aquarium hobby. It grows only to about 2" and has somewhat of a fast growth rate. It is much easier to grow than its cousin Dwarf Baby tear, which is NOT an easy foreground plant as stated by many people, and is very alike looking. It has tiny round leaves that surround the stems. It will creep up along your gravel line creating a lush and dense lawn look.
GET MOTIV'ATED! GET SCAPIN'!