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Discussion Starter #1
I am scaping a tank thats 2' long x 1' wide x 8" tall. It's an open air tank that has a water section. Looking for ground cover plants that I can use? Would like not to use moss if possible. Was looking into hydrocotyle sibthorpioides and hemianthus callitrichoides but although this soil is very peaty and damp there wont be enough humidity without a lid.
 

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Greetings,

With an open top you're going to have alot of evaporation. Unless you use R/O or distilled water you will build-up salts in your substrate and water feature that will make it hard to grow any groundcover near the water - so be careful of that.

To have a "carpety" ground cover you need very bright light - so hopefully you have a 18 or 24" light for that tank.

A liverwort could be a good choice for a moist border between water and land. You can try a Riccia sp. Larger terrestrial species are available in the hobby too and most of the liverworts in the aquarium trade will grow as marginals.

Java moss will certainly creep from the water onto and over any nearby moist substrates.

The plants will tell you if your conditions are working or not. So you could try planting several ground cover candidates and see which ones take over the best. With all of them, bright light will keep them dense and short.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
So my water area is made of rocks siliconed together and is water tight. I have rock moss covering the rocks but it's the rest of the scape that needs ground cover. I'm preferably looking for 1 or 2 plants max to cover the rest of the tank. I have a great strong grow light that is 2' (the length of the tank). I also plan to use strictly R/O water when this is complete. I also need a good hair grass i can grow in clumps as well. I tried eleocharis sp but do not like it.
 

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Hydrocotyle is a good plant, the easiest aquatic plant I've grown. It can be very invasive and fast growing so be warned.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hydrocotyle is a good plant, the easiest aquatic plant I've grown. It can be very invasive and fast growing so be warned.
My issue is i've been told it wont grow terrestrial with low humidity. This isn't going to be in a room with a humidifier as much as i will be misting at least twice a day. I was also told this about Hemianthus callitrichoides.
 

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Greetings again,

I would give Hydrocotyle a shot. The low humidity and bright light may keep it shorter and tighter that it tends to be in a sealed viv (where it can be a nuisance). Azolla can also grow as a terrestrial on moist ground with very bright light. There's a "micro" hycrocotyle variety "Japan" that could work.

As with all groundcovers, it will either limp along or try to take over everything. Good luck.
 

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HC Dwarf Baby Tears definitely needs higher humidity in my experience, but not necessarily super wet. I think as long as the humidity is high enough like 70% it could work. Otherwise some of the other suggestions make more sense. There are also some small peperomia and vining type plants that could work, though they may not be small enough for what you're looking for.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Greetings again,

I would give Hydrocotyle a shot. The low humidity and bright light may keep it shorter and tighter that it tends to be in a sealed viv (where it can be a nuisance). Azolla can also grow as a terrestrial on moist ground with very bright light. There's a "micro" hycrocotyle variety "Japan" that could work.

As with all groundcovers, it will either limp along or try to take over everything. Good luck.
I have actually tried the tripartita (japanese variety) but it was too small for my taste. I'm trying to get the hydrocotyle to carpet a little and cover some ground (see pic below, not my pic). I have duckweed as my floater right now but im going to switch to azolla.

 

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Discussion Starter #9
HC Dwarf Baby Tears definitely needs higher humidity in my experience, but not necessarily super wet. I think as long as the humidity is high enough like 70% it could work. Otherwise some of the other suggestions make more sense. There are also some small peperomia and vining type plants that could work, though they may not be small enough for what you're looking for.
I'm really trying to get these 2 plants to work out as my scape revolves around these as ground cover. I'm going to keep a close eye on em but if they don't work out i'll need to find similar looking replacements.
 

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Soleirolia soleirolia grows fine indoors as a houseplant and is very similar to hemianthus callitrichoides but slightly larger, it can get a little bushy indoors but this is more a function of not getting stepped on than lower light. You can easily train it to hug the substrate very tightly by literally crushing it down and flattening it regularly, soon it just starts to naturally grow flat and hugs the ground. I have it growing between cobbles in a very shady spot and where it gets occasional foot traffic it grows no more than 1cm high and looks great.
https://www.stepables.com/ is a great source of low growing ground cover plants for a wide range of environments, many of them can be grown indoors.
 
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