Monte Carlo Aquarium Plant Care: The Most Carefree Carpet Plant
What is a Monte Carlo?
The ‘Monte Carlo’ is an aquatic plant that originates from Asia, South America, and most prominently in Argentina. They thrive in freshwater tanks and is one of the most convenient carpet plants. There are several reasons why this is the go-to carpet plant for many fish keepers.
The Monte Carlo is rightfully dubbed as the New Large Pearl Grass because of its perfect circles resembling that of a pearl. For each stem, every node has at least two of these round leaves springing. By the time it has fully covered the floor of your aquarium, it will look like a full mat of circular green patterns.
With its vibrant lime green colour and round leaves, the Monte Carlo is a great option to make your aquarium’s carpeting look more alive. Its bright colour can blend well and complement a neutral-toned item in the aquarium, such as its substrate and rock decorations.
The Monte Carlo is considered to be an excellent alternative for Dwarf Baby’s Tears, which is perhaps the most popular aquarium plant. However, unlike the Dwarf Baby’s Tears, the former is very easy to care for.
The Monte Carlo only needs a moderate amount of light for it to grow. It does not even need additional Carbon Dioxide supply, although an extra amount will help make the plant grow faster than its average rate.
A Monte Carlo spread outwards rather than upwards. They provide broad, flat coverage to the aquarium flooring, which makes them a versatile option for all sizes of tanks. When there is an elevation, the shoots of the Monte Carlo will eventually stoop to the ground.
The Monte Carlo is not an all demanding plant to maintain and reproduce, which is they are pretty easy to find. This type of carpeting plant can be found in many physical and online aquatic stores.
How to grow a Monte Carlo?
It is crucial to note that Monte Carlo grows quickly and that it only takes a cup of the plant to fill up a medium-sized tank. That is why there must be adequate planning before one should start planting.
Here are vital steps that every fish keeper should take note of -
Like most other ground plants, a Monte Carlo should be planted with a few inches of space in between them. You could use a rock wool or plot a grid with an inch square and place each plug at the centre of each grid.
Since the Monte Carlo has tiny roots, keeping them anchored can be difficult. That is why it is recommended that this plant should be planted in a dry substrate first before filling the tank with water.
When done right, it takes only about less than five days before the ground flooring of a medium-sized aquarium is filled up.
The Monte Carlo is one of the least demanding aquarium plants available. For as long as it has the right amount of lighting and nutrients, then it can thrive on its own.Lighting
The lighting is the most vital part of taking care of a Monte Carlo because the lack of it would make the stalk grow vertically. A high amount of light will keep the plant on the ground, and a low amount would make it grow taller.
However, it is essential to take note of the height of your tank. Taller tanks would require a high amount of light for it to reach the flooring and give the ground plant the light exposure it needs.
Although it is not altogether required to keep a Monte Carlo alive, injecting a certain amount of nutrients can help maintain its bright colour and its growth faster. For starters, having a nutrient-based substrate can do the job. On the other hand, some fishkeepers also use fertilizers such as Seachem Flourish, Flourish Nitrogen, and Flourish Iron, to help supply the plant with nutrients.
The constant supply of carbon dioxide is also not essential to keep a Monte Carlo from flourishing. Carbon Dioxide supplementation is only required if a fish keeper intends to make the plant denser and its growth more optimal. Like fertilizers, Carbon Dioxide is not required but only recommended.
However, a lack of Carbon Dioxide can be detrimental. The thinning of the stalk or leaves might indicate the absence of Carbon Dioxide. Therefore, it is recommended to at least use an aquarium circulation pump once in a while. This allows the nutrients to cycle and the plant to remain stronger.
To keep the plant healthy, it is enough to maintain the water at room temperature (23 °C). The plant can tolerate temperatures from 15 – 30° C. For optimal growth, the water temperature should be maintained between 20 – 25°C.
The only thing that a Monte Carlo always needs is trimming. Because it grows fast, it must be occasionally cut to avoid upward growth or from being overly clumped together. In addition, the trimmings can even be replanted.
To trim a Monte Carlo, use curved scissors and cut off the Monte Carlos’ top part. This prevents the plant from building up and preventing the bottom half from getting light exposure. When the bottom half dies, the top loses access to the nutrients from the substrate and would then wither.
The Monte Carlo is ideal for those who like to sculpt their tanks because it grows fast. Either way, even when it grows untidily, its perfect round leaves would not make it look messy.
The Micro Aquatic Shop provides all of your aquarium needs
For starting and experienced fishkeepers in Australia, the Micro Aquatic Shop can deliver everything you need for your aquarium. From aquatic ground plants such as Monte Carlo to aquarium decorations, our shop has all the things that you need for aquascaping. Visit our website or send a message at email@example.com for enquiries.