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the plant normally used is ricca, but you will need to be very patient as it takes a long time to grow and needs very strong light a better solution could be to use crytocorns as they spread using runners quickly and only grow to about 1.5 inches high. Before planting make sure your substrate is sand or aquatic soil. Good luck for more information on plants and interesting set ups see my blog and podcast www.bombina.co.uk
 
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Dwarf chain sword or hair grass I think are the only good plants for foreground in a low light tank. although i think hairgrass might need a bit more light...

A ground cover in a low light tank is like asking for a VW buggy that can race NASCAR (well other than Herbie :D )

If you want the lush lawn or carpet look you're gonna need to put a bit more effort in as far as lighting, nutrients/fertilizers, and etc.

-Brandon
 

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I've seen pics of planted tanks with the bottom completely covered with plants with none of the substrate visible. Can anyone tell me what type of plant to use to do this?
Sagittaria can send out a runner with a new plant every week and its runners can send out their own runners after they get 3-5 leaves. You won't get a carpet, but it's something to look into.

Pat
 

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alternatively you can go with a moss carpet. java moss will work, as well as other low light mosses available. (i prefer flame moss myself)
however, the tanks you see with full coverage are by no means a "low light" set up. if thats the look you want, you are going to need to put a lot more into it.
 

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Dwarf sag will fill in good, but if the light isn't strong enough for it, it will grow taller than what you would think. I had some in a low light tank that I used as a background plant (10 gal) that grew 10inches tall. What you see in most tanks is some very high light plants. With that you would have to have a good dosing regime of ferts and CO2.
 

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Dwarf sag will fill in good, but if the light isn't strong enough for it, it will grow taller than what you would think. I had some in a low light tank that I used as a background plant (10 gal) that grew 10inches tall. What you see in most tanks is some very high light plants. With that you would have to have a good dosing regime of ferts and CO2.

I agree with almost everything you've said except for the last sentence. Sag. likes trace elements, especially iron. Give it some iron (and other traces) after each water change and you'll get great growth. Iron and other traces should also keep it small.

A single fert. tab once every five or six months will do the trick also (I do both).

Sag. is one of my favorite plants so my bias is self evident.

In a 10, I'd put it near the back/middle and train the runners towards the front (gently moving the gravel around the plant, while not actually touching the plant or its roots). That way you get tall plants in back, medium plants in the middle and small plants up front....all on the same runner.
 

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most fert liquids and tablets contain some trace elements. Although some plants and some planted larger planted tanks may require the direct addition of the element so long as the tank is small just use a commercial product like Flourish or FloraPride for the use of ferting. You should also invest in the gravel tablets for root growth as They have always proved to be worth the extra buck or two in the long run.
 
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