Micranthemum tweediei “Monte Carlo”
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Micranthemum tweediei “Monte Carlo” is also known as “New Large Pearl Grass”, “Montecarlo-3”, “Tweedie`s pearlweed” or “Bacopita” is an aquatic plant species belonging to the Linderniaceae family. The natural habitat of this plant is South America, especially Argentina and its surroundings. This plant was classified as Elatine Hydropiper, but later the recent researches have revealed that it belongs to the Micranthemum family and then its name changed to Micranthemum “Monte Carlo”.
The name Monte Carlo remained as a temporary name until its Latin name is found. According to the latest classifications, it is named Micranthemum tweediei “Monte Carlo”. It is also structurally very similar to the Hemianthus callitrichoides. Since the classification studies are still ongoing until 3 years ago, it is normal to show them with different family members and names in several sources.
Micranthemum ‘Monte Carlo’, which can reach approximately 3-5 cm in length, creates a bush and carpet appearance in the aquarium with its dense and grouped leaf structure. These small leaves contain different shades of green. Round type leaves can grow up to 4 mm in diameter. On the other hand, since its root structure is quite fine, it lives better in sandy or fine-grained substrates.
The ideal water pH balance for this plant is between 6,0-7,5 and the ideal water hardness is between 4-12 dGH. Water temperatures between 21-30°C are suitable for the plant to grow healthy. This plant needs carbon dioxide injection for better growth and carpet application. If the leaf structure becomes thiner and weaker, this is a sign carbon dioxide deficiency. This plant can tolerate low light and shady environments, but it shows vertical growth in lack of sufficient lighting. Thus, medium or high-intensity lighting is more efficient to grow this plant in the aquarium.
Change in leaf color from green to yellow is a sign of nutrient deficiency. If you encounter such a problem, adding nutrients will help the plant to recover. It should be noted that the substrate must also be suitable for the development of its weak root structure. To let the plant cover the aquarium floor, fine-grained and loose gravel is necessary.
Trimming has a significant role for the plant to grow healthy. Regular trimming will prevent lower layers from dying due to light and nutrient deficiency.
Micranthemum “Monte Carlo” is also an easy plant to propagate. Cutting of daughter plants and replanting them is the simplest propagation method. It also develops shootings and covers the aquarium ground quickly. For supporting the propagation and better root development, the addition of slow-releasing fertilizers that are rich in nutrients will be beneficial.
In summary, it has not been too long (as of 2020) since this plant entered the life of aquarists. But, it has already become one of the most preferred aquarium plants for aquarists of all levels with its easy care and carpet appearance. It will add an adorable image to the aquarium when the appropriate water parameters and conditions are provided such as proper lighting, carbon dioxide injection, and regular trimming.
Image Source: DNTAqua