Dwarf Hairgrass (Eleocharis parvula) - Give it a chance?
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Old 08-30-2008, 07:01 AM   #1
Aquarist_Fist
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Dwarf Hairgrass (Eleocharis parvula) - Give it a chance?


So, I have a couple of bushes in my 15g (DIY CO2, Excel, Flourish line). Even though I planted them in rather large chunks, they seem to have rooted fine and are sending out little stems.

My problem is that light on the ground is becoming scarce. Theoretically, I have 60w over 15g, but due to poor design of the canopy I would estimate max. 3 wpg with some darker spots in the back of the tank.

I have four small swords in the tank, which are just exploding, as well as some Brazilian Pennywort, which seems to climb everywhere. There are also some floaters. This is all desired as I'm keeping killi species who become very nervous without their shade.

Does the hairgrass have a future at all? Should I rip it out and replace it with clover or something? Or should I give it a chance?
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Old 08-30-2008, 08:38 AM   #2
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Eleocharis does not require high light contrary to web myth. That said, a carpet in lower light is much easier to accomplish if you plant the entire intended area with separate blades (not completely separated, 4 or 5 blades maybe) rather than allowing it to spread from one clump. If it's growing then I would just let it be or spread it out, don't give up. I'll try to find the tank pic that Tom Barr posted of a hairgrass carpet under 1.7 watts per gallon...
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Old 08-30-2008, 08:42 AM   #3
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Here it is, another debunk, gotta love it...

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Old 08-30-2008, 08:46 AM   #4
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i was just going to say, if it's the plant you want... give it a shot and see what happens.
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Old 08-30-2008, 10:06 AM   #5
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Jaid, you tank is looking spot-on!
What bunch plant is that on the right side that is coming out of the dw?
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Old 08-30-2008, 10:21 AM   #6
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You mean the tank I posted above? That's not mine actually, it's in a store somewhere in CA I believe, Tom would know the specifics. Anyway, i think that's overgrown rotala sp. 'green' that you're referring to, there's also needle leaf microsorum on the far right and some hidden on the left. Tom has a pic of the tank with a much better trim but I can't seem to find it.
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Old 08-30-2008, 03:15 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaidexl View Post
Eleocharis does not require high light contrary to web myth. That said, a carpet in lower light is much easier to accomplish if you plant the entire intended area with separate blades (not completely separated, 4 or 5 blades maybe) rather than allowing it to spread from one clump.
I have found this to be the case in my experience as well. Although I do have the option of running 216w of T5 light, I don't do it that often. Instead a rely on one bank of 108w of T5 light (for reference, I have a 90g tank). One would think that this would have had a detrimental impact on my hairgrass, but in fact it seems to grow just fine.

I followed the planting techniques described above (careful separation into small plugs with only a few blades of grass/plug) and "grew it in" under high light conditions. However, I did remove a chunk of hairgrass near the front of the tank and replanted it with plugs as mentioned, and even under the "low light" conditions, it's growing in thick and healthy. Interestingly, the bank of lights that is on is the one that's in the back, so this would mean that the hairgrass is receiving an even lower light intensity. The hairgrass has even grown in (though not very thick) under my blyxa, where there is essentially no light at all reaching the substrate. Of course since the plant is photosynthesizing as intensively, the color is not as vibrant green as the other, but it's to be expected.

I like this for a couple of reasons, not the least of which being I can control my growth rates and run a really lean doing schedule with no ill effects (ie algae). I'm not having to trim the tank every week, I'm using less electricity, my tanks temp is more constant, and my ferts are lasting longer. Seems like a win-win to me.
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Old 08-30-2008, 03:42 PM   #8
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Awesome, that gives me hope. Thanks everyone, and happy Gameday!
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Old 08-30-2008, 04:21 PM   #9
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i would say i got scared at first trying hairgrass, but i'm happy with the results. go for it!
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