Glossostigma elatinoides plant is great for aquascaping, as they give aesthetic look from nano tanks to large tanks (10 gallons). The ability of the plant to give a carpet-like finish on the substrate gives it its common name, Mud Mat. They make an excellent environment for peaceful community fishes. The Mud Mat plant is demanding for a beginner because of the constant care, extra fertilizer, lighting requirements, and excess CO2 levels to create the desired effect in the tank. This guide will give all the details you need to successfully grow the plant.

Glossostigma elatinoides plant overview

Common NameIt’s commonly called Glosso or Mud mat.
ColorThis trailing plant with curly branches can form a beautiful green carpet about 1 cm thick on the aquarium floor.
Habitat/OriginThe plant generally grows in lowlands and bogs and was originally found in Tasmania, South East Australia, and New Zealand.
Average SizeThe rounded leaves of the plant can grow up to 5 mm in size. The internodes are about 1 cm in length, but with excellent conditions, they can grow up to 5 cm long.
Growth RateFavorable conditions help the plant to grow really fast. Bubbles on the water surface are proof that the photosynthesis process is taking place resulting in the proper growth of the plant. A real thick carpet can take several weeks to form.
PlacementThe plant can be placed in the forefront of the aquarium tank to form a thick carpet and to improve the aesthetic look.
MaintenanceTrimming is required to not just maintain the aesthetic look but also to avoid the plant from tearing off from the substrate and floating on the water surface. If not trimmed the growth rate becomes high where the horizontal shoots shade each other and decay starts as the light does not reach the bottom. The vertical stems can be cut off. Just hold the scissors at a 45-degree angle and trim the carpet. The yellow leaves need to be removed.
Planting MethodsThe plant needs to be quarantined. The clumps that are trimmed can be spread out on a tray, sprayed with aquarium water, and covered with a paper towel to lock in the moisture. Separate the plant with two leaves each, leaving a gap of 1 – 2 cm, and plant it in the substrate using tweezers so that they are not damaged during the process. The stem should be completely inside the substrate so that they do not float off. Proper care and favorable conditions will let the plant form a carpet within a month.
Ideal SetupIt is a foreground plant and needs to be planted in a place where the lighting can reach the plant. For this reason, they should not be planted under the shade of other foliage. This helps the plant to develop strong stems. It requires a soft substrate that has soft-edged grains 2 – 3 mm big to promote penetration of the roots as they are thin and long.
Care LevelThe plant requires demanding care.
SupplementsThe plant can grow without fertilizers, but they do not develop a uniform carpet. The use of fertilizer, especially Ferrum containing fertilizers allows a controlled growth that can be brought about to bring about the desired effect. The Ferrum fertilizer also helps in maintaining the green color of the plant. Fertilizers in the form of root tabs or dose liquid fertilizers can be used.
LightingThe plant requires a high illumination level as it helps the plant to remain smaller and have a beautiful carpet on the tank bottom.
Water temperatureBy nature, it is a beach plant and it has got adapted to flooding and is capable of growing out of the water and tolerating sunlight. It can survive well in temperatures between 22 – 30 °C (72 – 86°F). The plant is also capable of blooming in summer conditions. The water can be slightly acidic (pH 5-7) water.
PropagationRunners and lateral shoots are formed which can later grow as mature plants.
Approx. CostThe plant is available for a price range of 10 US dollars for a clump.
Common DiseasesYellowing of leaves and leggy growth are results of insufficient lighting. Melting can happen in the early stages when the plant is still adapting to the aquarium conditions. When trimming is not done leaf rot might happen.
What to look for when buyingThe leaves should be green in color without any spots, curls, or rips. The plants should not have brown or yellow leaves. Make sure the plant is of the correct length. Make sure the roots are healthy as well.
Related SpecifiesDwarf Baby Tears Glossostigma H.C.,