17. May 2020
History and origins
Micranthemum ‘Monte Carlo’ is a wonderful carpeting plant that is reported to be originally collected in Argentina. It’s a relatively new species to the aquarium hobby with Tropica receiving their first sample for testing in January 2013. In Tropica’s laboratory it was grown alongside Hemianthus callitrichoides ‘Cuba’, Micranthemum umbrosum and Glossostigma elatinoides to see how it compared. To our delight it grew in a similar manner to Hemianthus ‘Cuba’ but was far more adaptable and easier - growing faster and creating a perfect carpet even with lower lighting and CO2 levels. This therefore ensured its place in the Tropica stock list where it went into full production as both a regular pot and 1-2-Grow tissue culture cup, and is now one of the hobby’s most popular carpeting plants. In 2017 Christel Kasselmann formally identified it botanically to be Micranthemum tweediei.
Micranthemum ‘Monte Carlo’ is a medium category plant that requires moderate or high lighting and CO2 injection to get the best results but can survive in lower lighting and nutrient conditions. Using a nutrient-rich substrate such as Tropica Aquarium Soil will help its growth considerably. It is such a virile species that given the right conditions can be easily grown an an epiphyte attached to rocks or wood providing sufficient nutrition is provided via the water column. It readily sends out runners and will quickly form a solid carpet and when used as an epiphyte grows in a cascading formation, giving a beautiful effect.
Micranthemum 'Monte Carlo' Pot
Micranthemum 'Monte Carlo' 1-2 Grow
Preparing the plant
- Remove the entire plant and mineral wool from the pot.
- Carefully separate the two halves of the mineral wool and gently pull away the plant.
- Divide the plants into several portions leaving a small amount of the mineral wool attached, as this makes it easier to anchor the plant into the substrate.
- Using aquascaping tweezer insert the plant into the substrate.
- If using the plant as an epiphyte insert the portion into an appropriate gap in your hardscape.
Check out the video profile of Micranthemum 'Monte Carlo'
Where to use the plant
Micranthemum ‘Monte Carlo’ is best used as a foreground carpeting plant where in the right conditions its fast growth will soon create a beautiful bright green carpet can looks great as a full lawn across the entire aquarium. It can also be used as an epiphyte attached to your hardscape using a small amount of superglue or simply by wedging into an appropriate gap. It’s light green colour contrasts well against darker plants and mixing it with other carpeting species such is a popular method to give a more natural look.
Maintaining the plant
Micranthemum ‘Monte Carlo’ is a fast grower, especially once established with frequent and hard trimming being required. If the carpet becomes too thick it has a tendency to lift up and float with the under layers of the plant dying off due to suffocation and lack of light. Using sharp curved aquascaping scissors for trimming is ideal due to their shape making the process much easier. Simply net off of the floating off-cuts and discard responsibly. Feed the plant regularly with liquid fertilisers such as Tropica Premium or Specialised Nutrition and ensure you provide it with sufficient light, CO2 and circulation to get the best results.
The wonderful Micranthemum ‘Monte Carlo’ is understandably one of the hobby’s most popular carpeting plants with its beautiful fresh green colouration, attractive small round leaf shape and being relatively easy to grow. It’s versatility as both a carpeting and an epiphyte plant makes it a great choice for all tastes and experience levels of planted aquarium owners. It’s no wonder that you will see it in many world class aquascapes as well as more traditional aquariums, and we’re sure you too will enjoy this beautiful plant.