Glossostigma elatinoides “Glosso” from New Zealand is one of the smallest aquarium plants (2-3 cm tall), and thus a good foreground plant. A difficult plant demanding a lot of light. Grows upwards if light is poor. Make sure larger plants do not overshadow it. When planting Glossostigma elatinoides “Glosso” in the aquarium small clumps should be placed at intervals of a few centimeters to help the plants grow together more quickly. CO2 addition and soft water promote growth significantly.
This plant should be used as a foreground plant, and only placed where there is plenty of light. When the light is not strong enough, or the plant is shaded by other plants and decor, glosso will grow vertically, becoming spindly and unattractive. For this reason, take care when placing glosso to ensure it is not shaded from the light source.
Another important factor in placing glosso is its need for a nutrient-rich substrate; iron is particularly important for this plant to thrive. Some successful growers and breeders have recommended Flora-base as a good substrate medium. ADA Aqua Soil and Power Sand are also recommended substrates. ADA Iron Bottom is an excellent iron supplement for any substrate you might choose, and the substrate should not be too coarse.
When initially purchased, glosso is potted. Remove it from the potting material, then separate it out into individual plants by snipping them apart so that each is a single set of leaves with one root. Individual plants should be spaced about 1 cm apart in areas where they will receive full light.
Using tweezers, place each tiny shoot deeply in the substrate taking care that no part of the root is exposed. The leaves should be just barely visible and lay right on the substrate. Some bury the entire plant, then gently wipe away enough of the substrate to just expose the leaves. It is said that it’s impossible to plant glosso too deep.
Light is the key to success with glosso, as well as a nutrient-rich substrate and the use of carbon dioxide (CO2). Without additional CO2, algae can become a competing problem, and growth will be much slower. The CO2 should be at a level of 20–30 mg/L at a minimum. The water should be soft with a slightly acidic pH.
Lighting should be at least 3 to 4 watts per gallon to ensure proper horizontal growth. If plants begin growing vertically it is an indication of too little light. Leaves turning darker generally are an indication of too little iron. Yellow leaves are also a sign of too little nutrition. Thin, slender leaves will occur when too much CO2 is present.
Just like fish, living plants do best when they are kept in an aquarium that best suits their needs. Selecting live plants that share common water conditions will minimize problems and make it easier for you to maintain and keep your aquarium in tip top shape. We want your plant to thrive and become a favorite part of your tank. Do research before purchasing and be sure to choose plants that are suitable for your aquarium so you will get the most out of your new addition.