First time planting DHG - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-10-2016, 05:59 AM Thread Starter
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First time planting DHG

Eleocharis parvula is a great foreground plant I'd like to try to plant in my 10G dirt tank. I received one order of potted DHG today through eBay; great price at $6.99 from Montery Park, CA.
I followed the planting instructions posted on Youtube by TonyTanks. The potted plant was separated into about 40 small bunches, each consisting of 8-10 blades (see pic). They were then cut into 1.5" long and planted half way into the substrate using a pair of curved long forceps. They now occupy the left front half of my tank (see pic), where I have planted some Crypt parva before. I plan to use IC dosing of ferts and DIY CO2. Even though multiple sources have stated that DHG grows best under med-high lighting, I only have access to two 5W Marineland LED strips that put out about 16 PAR in total.
I'd appreciate suggestions from experienced DHG growers.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-10-2016, 09:19 AM
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Looks good. DHG relies more on co2 than light. It's not that it needs a lot of c02, rather, it has a hard time competing for co2. In a low light setup, the diy co2 if kept stable will benefit all of your plants including the DHG. It will still survive in less-than-perfect co2 but it will grow very slowly and may not spread at all. Your parva is looking nice too.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-10-2016, 06:00 PM
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In liu of pressurized CO2, hairgrass goes crazy in dirt. I suppose it's too late for that.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-11-2016, 01:36 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the comments: great to know CO2 is more important than lighting. My DIY CO2 has a reasonably stable output in the first two weeks, then quickly diminishes. I have thought about investing in a pressurized CO2 system, but put it off for now since I only have a 10G tank with limited number of plants. Will update on the DHG progress in a month ....
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-11-2016, 03:56 AM
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Hey man, good luck with your DHG. I started a DHG carpet about 7 weeks ago- some comments:

First of all, it's a good idea to break your grass up as you did. I actually did larger clumps, and all these clumps grow poorly in a new environment and become an eye sore. I'm about to go through and remove some of the larger ones.

Dirt is nice, but I think DHG will grow well with column dosing as well. My tank, for example, is half aqua soil and half PFS. When I started dosing, the grass started spreading into the PFS and looks just as healthy as the growth in the AS. I do recall that for the first few weeks, the amount of nitrates and ammonia in the water were extremely high and the DHG went crazy during this period allowing it to get off to a good start.

Also, I added some faster growing plants that I eventually plan to remove to help keep abort extra nutrients and fight algae. I've tried growing DHG in lower tech setups and it always seems to grow, but eventually it gets taken over by algae. If your tank is lacking co2, I'd recommend doing something similar (except leave them in there).

A lot of people recommend trimming your carpet. I did one trim about four weeks ago and I'm about to do it again. Trimming is suppose to promote new growth.

Finally, the process is taking a good amount of time for me. I seem to be getting good growth, but still I think it'll be at least another 2 months before it's at the point I want it.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-14-2016, 05:49 PM Thread Starter
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@Prime: great-looking (inverted) tank with DHG! Your sand also has AquaSoil underneath, correct? Otherwise, DHG may not spread to the sandy areas. My dirt tank was full of nutrients in the first month, so I also planted a lot of fast-growing stem plants. Now, the growth has slowed down, so I am doing weekly EI dosing with the usual macro- and micro-nutrients. You are right about the growth rate in a low-tech tank: I have not seen any growth in the past 5 days; in fact, half of the DHG blades look brownish now. I tried to lower my LED strip closer to the water. We will see how it goes.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-14-2016, 07:00 PM
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Without co2 and plain sand it will probably be a slow go with the DHG and because it grows slow it's tough to balance out algae. With co2, absolutely no problem growing DHG in PFS.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-14-2016, 07:21 PM
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Do not allow moss in a tank with DHG. After my DHG spread into a carpet, java moss crept in and would choke it off. It would spread along the substrate so when it was pulled out, it would uproot some DHG. I'm in the process of totally redoing my tank, including removing all plants and nuking the tank with hydrogen peroxide to kill all moss and bleaching rocks.
I'm also having the same problem with my HC tank and will most likely completely tear it up as well.

Here is a link to my journal with these two carpet tanks:

The other tip I have is that the smaller the substrate the easier it is for the roots. Sand may be too uniform and compact for the roots to spread well but aqua soil is really easy to get a few plants to spread into a carpet.

Also, you may want to add an extra light and crank up the CO2 until the plant gets established.

Good luck

Don't get caught with your plants down
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