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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Among other inhabitants in my planted Community, I have a pair of very active Albino Cory's. Part of the plant arrangement includes a piece of Scoria (lava rock) covered with Riccia, as well as a smaller rock, similarly covered. The Riccia is well secured, hiding numerous windings of fishing line, however, I am forever running the fish net over the water surface, collecting stray strands stirred up by the curious Cory's. This isn't really a problem, as the Riccia seems to be growing very well, so I can afford to turf a little here and there, or even reattach it elsewhere... The issue is that I have a fair amount of vacant space to the front right corner of the tank, that is screaming for some ground cover. I would love to add some HC Cuba, as it is just the right size, visually, for my tank. However, going by the vigorous nature in which the Cory's go about their investigative substrate shovelling, I really hold no hope for the HC being able to get a decent hold, before it joins the pieces of Riccia on the water surface...

Thoughts?
 

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I also have Albino Corys and they are indeed active in their search of food in the gravel. Unless the HC has some decent roots, you will have a problem with it uprooting. You can always tie it down to a small stone like you are with Riccia. I have grown HC before and it is a pain to plant in the gravel and it requires a lot of light, ferts, etc. but it does make a very nice lawn given time.
 

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I haven't had any luck with HC and Cory's in the same tank either, but I have heard reports that if you cover it with some sort of plastic grid (like the needlework ones you get in the fabric store) it can work.
 

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Only foreground plants that ever stood a chance with corys in my experience were sagittaria subulata(get the dwarf type) and e. tenellus. HC roots are too shallow and will get dug up in warp speed.
 

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I was able to keep HC and cories together, when I planted the HC in large clumps, as in a 1" or 2" square. The plant has an easier time getting a good root system going that way. This was in a sand substrate, which is heavier and holds plants better than something like ADA or a Turface type substrate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I went out and bought some fibreglass fly screen, over the w.end. I figure I might cut a nice curved shape from this and poke the HC roots thru. Do you think this would work? Another idea was to root the HC straight into the substrate and cover it with a seive for a few weeks, until it becomes established.

Thoughts?


PS Thanks for the replies, btw. Appreciated :)
 

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I'd plant your HC in larger clumps with a good bit of whatever they were grown in still attached. I get mine in a little 2 inch diameter pot with rockwool. Halving or quartering the portion and cutting the bottom 1/2 inch of rockwool off seems to have worked out best. Trimming the bottom of the roots will stimulate the plant to re-grow its root system from the start and will pay dividends over time.

Using that mesh to make some sort of screen to keep fish away from the freshly planted HC would be better than directly covering it. Think of it as a shark barrier or something to keep rabbits out of a garden. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Interesting. I'd have thought covering the HC with the screen would rob it of valuable light...although, I can see where you are coming from with that. How long do HC roots get? Would there be a point in time where it'd be secure enough to fend for itself?
 

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I'm not sure exactly, but I'd guess the roots get a couple inches long. You're probably safe to let things be when there's been about a half inch of solid horizontal growth.

Fence would have been a better word than screen, leave the top open. The trick is to keep fish from getting in there and horizontally plowing through your HC.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
That "fence with a closed top" idea was exactly what I had in mind when I was considering using an upturned seive to cover it whilst it took root.

I received a bunch (read, fist-sized ball) of HC from a member on another Forum, yesterday. Very generous, given that stuff is worth more per gram than gold in this country. I should be able to get a good solid carpet established reasonably quickly, I think, with that much to begin with... Should I plant it all in one area, or make a few medium plantings, or many small groups? What would work best??
 
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