How to Plant Carpet Seeds in an Established Aquarium

I was looking for a fun and easy way to add some color to my aquarium, but I didn’t want to make drastic changes. I decided that carpeting plants would be the perfect addition because they stay low and require very little light or fertilizer. 

However, you can’t just dump them into an established tank without doing some research first! If you aren’t careful, carpets will choke out your fish and become a huge nuisance. So, this article is for you. You will learn how to plant carpet seeds in an established aquarium with just one simple trick!

How to Plant Carpet Seeds in an Established Aquarium

Step to Follow on How to Plant Carpet Seeds in an Established Aquarium

Step One: Determine the Amounts of Seed and Medium

Before you can plant your carpet, you need to determine how much seed and medium or substrate you will need. Measure the length and width of the area in which you want to grow plants. Then, divide those two numbers and multiply them to determine the area of your carpet.

Once you know the area, you can calculate how many pounds of seed and medium you will need. Generally, carpets do best at 1-2 lbs of seed per 1 lb of the medium. However, a ratio of 5:1 is also often used, so you will want to determine how much substrate or medium you plan on using in your aquarium.

Determine How Much Seed and Medium Needed

If, for example, you wish to grow a carpet measuring 20 inches long by 10 inches wide, you would end up with an area of 200 square inches. For plants, it’s often suggested that you use 1-2 lbs seed per 1 lb of the medium; therefore, for this particular area, you could plant using anywhere from 10 to 20 lbs of the substrate or any combination in between.

Step Two: Fill the Aquarium with Water

After you know how much seed and substrate or medium you need, it’s time to fill up your aquarium with water. Fill the tank about halfway, then spread the seed and substrate or medium evenly on top of the tank’s substrate. Do not compress the substrate in any way; if you do, it will affect how well your plants get rooted into the ground.

Once you have everything set up, you can continue to fill the tank with water, making sure to plant any driftwood or decorations that need to be planted in the substrate. If you’re using an under gravel filter system, make sure to place the material over the top of the gravel and not under it.

Fill the Aquarium With Water

If you’re using an Aqueon Under Gravel Filter, make sure that you attach your filter to a powerhead or canister filter and place at least six inches of the substrate on top of the UGF plate. Users have also said that increasing the water flow helps with the under gravel filtration. This will help in how to plant carpet seeds in an established aquarium.

Step Three: Plant Your Carpet Seeds

Once you have filled the aquarium with water, it’s time to plant your seeds. Planting your seeds one inch apart is usually suggested for best results if you are trying to grow a carpet of plants. If you are using individual plants or patches of plants, planting them three inches from each other is usually suggested.

Take your seed and press it into the substrate, slightly below the surface of the substrate. If possible, point the seed in a way that will cause it to grow towards a light source. This helps ensure that the carpet receives adequate lighting during its growth process.

It can take up to three weeks for the seeds to become well rooted into the substrate. Set up your aquarium so that it receives only dawn or dusk light during this time. You can do this by purchasing a fixture with a lighting timer or using an automatic fish feeder system to turn off the lights after you go to sleep.

Step Four: Watch Your Carpet Grow

It can take several weeks for your carpet of plants to begin growing. However, once they begin to grow and the roots have reached the substrate, you may see grass-like growth within a few days. You will want to continue with normal aquarium maintenance tasks during this time, including cleaning out old plant matter weekly.

After approximately three to four weeks of growth, you can begin to fertilize your carpet. Use an aquarium plant fertilizer every two weeks. If the roots have reached the substrate at this point, they will easily absorb the nutrients in your fertilizer.

It is important to note that if your aquarium is still in the cycling process, you must add a source of ammonia daily until the tank has cycled. This will ensure that your carpet continues to grow and doesn’t suffer from a lack of nutrients. If you want to learn more about how to plant carpet seeds in an established aquarium, keep reading.

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Step Five: Maintain Your Carpet

Once your carpet is established, you will want to continue with normal aquarium maintenance tasks. This includes cleaning old plant matter out every week and adding fertilizer every two weeks. If the roots have reached the substrate at this point, they should absorb nutrients easily.

It’s also important to note that if your aquarium is still in the cycling process, you must add a source of ammonia daily until the tank has cycled. This will ensure that your carpet continues to grow and doesn’t suffer from a lack of nutrients. Before you know it, you should have an established carpet of plants that you and your fish can enjoy.

However, if the carpet begins to shrivel or does not grow properly, make sure to check the health of your substrate by testing ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels. If your water parameters are not at an appropriate level for aquarium life, you may need to change your substrate material.

Step Six: Cleaning Your Aquarium

For your carpet to remain healthy, it should be cleaned periodically. What works best is a gravel vacuum that has a hose attachment. If you do not have a gravel vacuum, then cleaning out the substrate by hand with a bucket and water works well also.

Make sure to remove old plant matter weekly during your cleaning process. Remove all dead plant matter, and make sure to wipe down your aquarium walls with the hose attachment. This helps remove any algae or bacteria that may have begun to build upon it.

Clean Your Aquarium

The only time you should clean out your substrate completely is during regular water changes. If you clean your substrate more than this, you will end up disrupting the delicate balance of beneficial bacteria that live in it.

Step Seven: Maintaining Your Water Parameters

It’s important to note that the health of your carpet is mainly dependent on the health of your water parameters. If you begin to see brown or yellow plant matter, make sure to test for high ammonia levels and nitrate levels. If the ammonia and nitrate levels are high, you will need to change how you care for your carpet.

For example, if your carpet is experiencing a lack of growth, then it’s likely that you’re not fertilizing enough. In this case, begin fertilizing every other day instead of every two weeks. If the plant matter turns brown and begins to fall out, then you may be over-fertilizing!

You will also need to consider changing the water in your aquarium every so often. This is especially important for those with high amounts of fish, leading to elevated ammonia levels. Make sure to clean all decorations and tank equipment every time you do a water change. Thanks for reading about how to plant carpet seeds in an established aquarium.

You can check it to Add Substrate to an Established Aquarium .

Can You Over Plant an Aquarium?

Absolutely. You can plant too hard, not enough, or damage your existing plants, which will lead to bad water quality, algae blooms, and more. There are many reasons why people want to plant seeds in an established aquarium. However, there are also many reasons why you should not do it.

Please remember that carpeting plant seedlings like Ludwigia, aka seed starter and Hemianthus, will form long runners with visible roots, which can cause problems in an established aquarium. These plants often grow along the bottom of the tank and into the gravel, then send up new leaves and runners from there.

If you wish to plant seeds directly on top of the substrate, please be aware that you may end up with long runners and visible roots in your substrate, which is very difficult to pull out of the substrate. Most aquariums have a thin layer of gravel on top of a thick pedestal of the dark substrate in the tank base.

Aquariums Have a Thin Layer

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Add Plants to an Established Aquarium?

Aquariums have become an increasingly popular hobby in recent years. The first step to adding plants to your aquarium is to ensure that the fish are well-fed and healthy.

After ensuring that your fish are happy, it’s time to start adding plants. You can either purchase a bag of plants or use small plastic cups with holes poked into them as plant containers. Make sure you keep these cups away from the heater or filter because they will melt if they get too close to these appliances. If you want more variety, buy multiple types of plants such as java moss, Anubias Nana, and Java ferns.

How Do I Add a Substrate to My Established Aquarium?

The substrate is a layer of material, such as sand or gravel that sits on the bottom of an aquarium.

Adding a substrate to your established aquarium is an easy process. However, it’s best to do this in one step instead of over several days.

Step 1: Use a large fishnet and gather clean gravel or sand from outside the tank. You can also use filter media such as ceramic pellets, sponge pieces, and/or bio-balls. Avoid using leaves or anything else that could harm your tank inhabitants!

Use a Large Fishnet and Gather Clean Gravel

Step 2: Fill the entire inside of the tank with clean gravel or sand (approximately ¼ inch deep). Then add enough water to come up about halfway on top of the substrate and leave just enough room for air bubbles to be visible through it all around the sides of the tank.

Step 3: Slowly pour water down into the tank until you reach about ½ inch below where you filled it in Step 2. This will create a gentle current that will mix everything evenly and allow oxygen to circulate throughout your new “substrate.”

Step 4: Wait 24 hours before adding any other fish to ensure they have time to adjust their gills properly before being introduced into this new environment.

Can You Over Plant an Aquarium?

An aquarium is a tank usually made of glass or plastic and has water and fish in it. It can be used to grow plants as well.

There are no definite answers to this question because the answer depends on how you want to use your aquarium.

For example, if you will use your aquarium for aesthetic purposes, then yes, you can over plant an aquarium.

If you plan on using your aquarium as a way to house live plants, then no, you cannot over plant an aquarium because there would not be enough space for all the live plants that need to be housed in it.

Plant an Aquarium


The conclusion paragraph should be informative and helpful to the reader. It does not need to be entertaining, but it should address any questions readers may have about your topic. In this case, you can offer a link for more information on how to plant carpet seeds in an established aquarium or provide some guidelines about the process of planting carpet seed into a conventional tank.

You could also end with a sentence that tells people they are welcome to leave comments below if they would like additional help from experts who know what they are doing when planting carpet seeds in an established aquarium.

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