Overview: Commonly known as Glosso, Glossostigma elatinoides, from the Phrymaceae family, is a beautiful low creeping green plant species. It is used in planted aquariums to aquascape the foreground. Although the plant is easy to keep, it is highly demanding; therefore, recommended mostly by experts. The use of Glosso in aquariums dates back to the 1980s when it was used majorly for Dutch-type aquascapes to make the foreground beautiful. There are six accepted species of Glosso, among which only Glossostigma elatinoides is used in aquascaping. It is native to Australia, New Zealand, and Tasmania, where it can be found completely or partially submerged in shallow water, bogs, marshes, and river banks. The stature of this plant is fairly small; however, it can easily attain high densities and form extensive mats on the substrate. Therefore, it is also popular as Mud Mat.
Appearance: Glosso is one of the smallest aquarium plants that do not grow more than 5 to 6 cm, making it a perfect foreground cover plant. The leaves are typically small (6mm), bright green, and tongue-shaped. While the internodes are around 1 cm, they can reach up to 5 cm under high light intensity and facilitate rapid spreading. Glosso is a fast grower and can put out new leaves while spreading on the aquarium floor. It can form lush green mats when planted in a nutrient-rich substrate and provided with enough light, carbon dioxide, and nutrients.
Hard/soft plant: It is a soft plant.
Ideal water temperature: The optimal temperature is between 20 to 30 degrees Celsius. However, the plant is hard enough to easily survive in minor fluctuations in temperature. It can survive in both- soft and hard water.
Lightening conditions: Glosso loves high light conditions. Intense lightning allows rapid proliferation of the plant and forms a thick mat on the surface. On the contrary, low light triggers upward growth of the shoots. A photoperiod of 8 to 10 hours is ideal for getting optimal growth of this plant.
Ideal pH level: While the ideal pH range is between 6.5 to 7.5, Glosso can withstand slight acidic water conditions where the pH is around 5.0
Propagation: Glosso propagates rapidly by sending off runners or lateral shoots, which start forming once the plants mature in the aquarium.
Do you know: Once you achieve carpet, frequent trimming is essential to maintain a low and compact look. In the lack of regular trimming, the old foliage rots as the new foliage will smother them while growing. Trimming also encourages lateral growth.