Aquatic Hair grass, or Eleocharis Parvula as it is scientifically known, is a popular choice when it comes to adding plant life to your aquarium. This extremely versatile plant is commonly used to “carpet” areas of tanks and gives off a seaweed-like vibe, making the motion in the aquarium very obvious.
The aquascaping possibilities are endless with this type of plant. It looks beautiful next to Stone, as well as contrasting perfectly with dark sand or soil.
It’s incredibly easy to grow. So much so that you’ll probably find yourself trimming this quite a bit!
How to Germinate the Seeds
Each packet with cover 20×20 cm of area. You will need to spread the seeds evenly in a tank without water. Then add sand or mud substrate (so the seeds will not float) ontop of the seeds. Add water so that the substrate is moist. Once the seeds begin to sprout at 1-2 cm above the surface you can gradually add more water.
Step 1: Optimal Conditions
Here are the optimal conditions you’ll want to strive for in your aquarium:
- Water Conditions: 70-83° F @ pH 6.5-7.5
- Lighting: Moderate to High
- Nutrients/Ferts: Nutrient-Heavy substrate with Fertilizer dosing
- CO2: Not required, but best for optimal growth see more
While Dwarf Hairgrass grows in a variety of conditions, these are the optimal conditions for the fastest growth & healthiest carpet. If you’re looking for the fastest, most healthy growth, it’s also important to get a few other things right:
This plant thrives in a nutrient-rich substrate. While it’s not critical to its success, you’ll have the best results in your tank with a good substrate. (This applies to all sorts of plants, including Dwarf Hairgrass). See my recommended substrate here.
If you’re going to have a carpet in your planted tank, especially a Dwarf Hairgrass carpet, you’ll probably want to use some sort of CO2 system. Whether that’s DIY or pressurized is up to your budget, but I’ve seen both work quite well for carpets.
Not only is this vital for Dwarf Hairgrass, it’s also pretty much a required for healthy planted tanks. Getting as much CO2 and nutrients to the Hairgrass is vital to get that explosive growth for the carpet. As a bonus, this also keeps your carpet (and substrate) clean, as well as hindering algae growth in between the hairgrass.
The key to a great DHG carpet is consistent, even trimming. Left alone, Dwarf Hairgrass grows vertically, not horizontally. That’s why it’s important to continually trim the plant quite often to stimulate horizontal growth, forcing the growth outwards, not upwards. This is even more true if you’re using CO2: Dwarf Hairgrass has explosive growth in CO2 and high light. However, I wouldn’t suggest this for beginners; that’s also a very easy way to have algae take over your tank.
It’s also a good idea to keep a fish net around when you trim this stuff: it gets VERY messy. Get as much of the trimmings out as possible, but what’s left will simply rot away, so don’t stress about it.