Monte Carlo is an aquarium plant from the Plantain family, a representative of the Micrantemum genus. A bright specimen has been decorating aquariums since 2012. The developed rhizome grows reliably into the ground and does not allow the bush to float to the surface. A green grass carpet with medium-sized succulent foliage looks spectacular in any area of the tank, it develops equally well both on the surface and in the water.
habitat & Origin: Where does Monte Carlo live?
Originally, the plant was assigned to the genus Bacopa. European sellers mistakenly called the herb Elatine hydropiper. The Danes, having studied the specimen, attributed it to the genus Micranthemum.
In nature, this type of micrantemum grows on the shores of tropical reservoirs and fast-flowing rivers in Argentina. Discovered by a group of Japanese researchers in 2010 near the city of Monte Carlo. After 2 years, the subspecies with the official name Micranthemum sp. Montecarlo has become popular with amateurs and professional aquascapers.
A rare species found in different countries and under other names: New Large Pearl Grass, Bacopita. In terms of decorativeness, it is similar to the South American plant Hemianthus Micrantemoides from the Norichnikov family. The latter is inferior in several ways: a weaker root system and sparse foliage at the bottom of the stem.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PLANT
The Monte Carlo subspecies is distinguished by graceful branched shoots that cover the bottom of the aquarium with a continuous thick carpet. The growth rate of the bush is average. In 1-2 months the bush grows and occupies an area of up to 35 cm. The main feature of the plant is the reliable rooting of creeping rhizomes in the soil, in which a dense layer of thickets (up to 10 cm wide) does not rise to the surface. This significantly reduces the number of perennial haircuts.
External characteristics of the plant:
- elongated thin white roots;
- small rounded leaves with small cuttings up to 0.5 cm long, up to 2 mm wide (plates of 2-4 pieces are connected in knots or whorls);
- thin stems up to 0.7 mm in diameter, which grow upward or spread along the bottom of the tank (the height of the bush does not exceed 20-30 cm);
- rich green foliage.
Due to the soft transition of leaves from small to more voluminous, Mikrantemum looks decorative in the foreground of the aquarium. Because of the small bubbles that form on the leaves and sparkle in sunlight, Monte Carlo is often called the “pearl grass”.
Micranthemum monte carlo as aquarium plant
The Micranthemum sp. Monte carlo is in perfect harmony with different decorations and fits into any area of the aquarium. Living carpet contrasts favorably with other aquatic vegetation and is used for beautiful transitions from the front wall to the center.
In bulk tanks, the specimen is planted along the back wall. To obtain dense bushes, the crown of the young shoot is carefully removed.
For the improvement of the central zone, stones and driftwood are used. Saplings are tied to the support with a fishing line or thread. After 1-2 months, dense bright thickets with cascading shoots are formed.
By systematically cutting the grass, a lush carpet is formed for the foreground. It looks interesting next to Cryptocoryne, Anubias species, and Bolbitis tropical fern.
The plant develops rapidly under water and on land. A perennial tied to a long branch that looks out of the water looks spectacular. Used to create miniature hanging gardens.
Can Monte Carlo grow in soil?
Coarse sand and small pebbles are used as soil for micrantemum. To create a thick and juicy composition, you need a substrate rich in nutrients, in particular iron.
Planting a plant is carried out in the following sequence:
- Long roots are cut.
- Bulky seedling bushes are divided into several parts.
- Specimens are planted in fine-grained soil with a slight offset from each other.
- Shoots are buried in the soil up to the top.
In addition to using the variety as a ground cover plant, it is also used to create floating islands. The cut stems float to the surface and after a while they release the roots. The bundle attached to the snag grows into an original bundle of shoots. This option is suitable for exotic decor in the aquarium.
Micranthemum is bred by separating a part or a whole stem from the mother bush.
Micranthemum Monte Carlo Care adn Growing Requirments
Not only an experienced owner, but also a beginner will cope with the cultivation of an unpretentious plant.
It is recommended to adhere to the following conditions for the content of the copy:
- Monte carlo plant temperature regime for development and proper growth is + 19 … + 29 ° C.
- An acceptable indicator of stiffness is 4-16 ° J. The specimen is suitable for both soft and hard water.
- The acidity level (pH) should not go beyond 6.5-8.5 units, since in a neutral or acidic environment, growth stops and plant diseases develop.
- The basis for cultivation is small stones and medium-sized sand, which is washed and fried in a pan before use (this is how the material is cleaned and disinfected). The subspecies does not develop in the new soil, therefore only silted soil is used.
- Regular mineral feeding improves foliage color and accelerates stem growth. Clay balls are used as fertilizer. It is recommended not to overfeed the perennial, since an excess of nutrients affects development, leading to darkening of the foliage.
- Monte Carlo responds positively to systematic aeration. Carbon dioxide is supplied at the rate of 6-35 mg per liter.
- Filtration is an essential condition for the normal functioning of the “pearl grass”. Dirty water encourages the proliferation of parasitic algae. In addition to installing a high-quality filter, it is necessary to replace part of the liquid at least once a week.
The volume and shape of the reservoir does not affect the development of the subspecies.
LIGHTING: Does Monte Carlo need high light?
The main requirement for the active and full-fledged growth of the Monte Carlo variety is intense natural or artificial light. Dense lush thickets are formed when the power of lighting devices is from 0.6 to 1.0 W per 1 liter and the duration of daylight hours is from 10 to 12 hours.
In the case of an excess of ultraviolet radiation, the plates become overgrown with blue algae. With an acute lack of lighting, the branches stretch to the surface, the color of the leaves changes to brown. The plant tolerates light shading.
pruning monte carlo
Monte Carlo carpet thickets need to be cut less often than other varieties, since they do not rise to the surface and at a thickness of 10 cm.
To avoid yellowing of the grass, it is recommended to maintain the optimal height of the cap – 3-5 cm.
To create a Dutch-style decor, the shoots are trimmed regularly. This keeps the desired shape for a longer period.
The ground cover culture easily and painlessly tolerates even rough pruning.
Micranthemum Monte Carlo Disease and treatment
If some growing rules and technical parameters are not followed, the plant slows down growth or becomes ill:
- in the absence of CO2, the development of a perennial crop stops;
- in the case of a decrease in acidity to 0-5 units. the upper shoots fade;
- with a lack of lighting or keeping the specimen in the shade, the branches become bare and stretch to the surface, the leaves become smaller;
- yellowness and redness of the leaves indicates an acute deficiency of useful trace elements.
Problems are solved by establishing a microclimate in the tank. The water is replaced, aerated and liquid fertilizers are applied, and the aquarium is set up under the light source.
Micranthemum Monte Carlo COMPATIBLE WITH OTHER AQUARIUM INHABITANTS
Monte Carlo, with proper maintenance, has been growing and renewing itself over the years. Perennial gets along with all plants. It is recommended to carefully select the representatives of the ichthyofauna since snails and certain species of fish eat soft foliage.
Avoid neighbors such as cichlids, barbs, mollies, guppies, and platies. The rest of the aquatic world is perfectly combined with the green thickets of Micranthemum sp Monte carlo and during the spawning period, they find shelter in the grass.
The price of the Monte Carlo aquarium plant having 1 bunch of 10 roots in specialized shops is 2 to 4 Dollars. The cost of 25 roots is 10 to 15 dollars.
Due to its unpretentiousness and bright appearance, the versatile plant serves as an ornament for aquariums of any design and size.