Eleocharis Vivipara trimming - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-31-2020, 02:15 PM Thread Starter
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Eleocharis Vivipara trimming

Hi Everyone,

I'm planning on using Giant Hairgrass in my newest tank rebuild, but I've read conflicting information on maintenance. Can this plant be trimmed like DHG, just "giving it a haircut"? Some say it will be fine, others say everything from "the tips will brown" to "it will kill the plant". If this can't be trimmed, then I'm not sure I want to use it. I don't want some 3ft tall grass draped over the whole top of the tank.

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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-31-2020, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by jellopuddinpop View Post
Hi Everyone,



I'm planning on using Giant Hairgrass in my newest tank rebuild, but I've read conflicting information on maintenance. Can this plant be trimmed like DHG, just "giving it a haircut"? Some say it will be fine, others say everything from "the tips will brown" to "it will kill the plant". If this can't be trimmed, then I'm not sure I want to use it. I don't want some 3ft tall grass draped over the whole top of the tank.
Do the test by yourself, cut 1 or 2 leafs on different spots from the bottom and check if u can trimm it.

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-31-2020, 02:47 PM Thread Starter
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Do the test by yourself, cut 1 or 2 leafs on different spots from the bottom and check if u can trimm it.

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I don't have it planted in my tank yet, I'm just thinking about it. I would rather have the info before hand, to save myself some time and money by not planting something I'll have to try to get rid of. With a plant like this that propagates by runner, getting rid of it entirely can be tough.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-31-2020, 02:49 PM
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I don't have it planted in my tank yet, I'm just thinking about it. I would rather have the info before hand, to save myself some time and money by not planting something I'll have to try to get rid of. With a plant like this that propagates by runner, getting rid of it entirely can be tough.
Sure, i recently acquired some dwarf Sagittaria subulata (L.) Buchenau and i was wondering how i can trim and propagate then i learned the plant does it its own. Super interesting. I told u to experiment by yourself cause i though it was in your tank already. I love to see plant evolve and trhive so i never trim them unless they are blocking light.


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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-31-2020, 02:53 PM Thread Starter
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...unless they are blocking light.


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This is my concern. From what I'm reading, Giant Hairgrass can grow 2-3 feet tall and completely cover the surface of the tank. I really want grass that will grown 18"ish tall, but that doesn't seem to be a thing. If I can trim Giant Hairgrass, then the problem is solved. If not, I'll need to find a different plant.

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-31-2020, 04:16 PM
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Iíve topped giant hair grass, and the cut tip turned brown and eventually the whole leaf died. I have never topped my DHG, so donít know how it responds. I think most rosette plants donít tolerate topping, and prefer clipping from the bottom.

Giant hair grass can reach couple feet, and look great when the leaves sweep the water surface, just thin out from the bottom so it wonít block off too much light.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-01-2020, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by jellopuddinpop View Post
This is my concern. From what I'm reading, Giant Hairgrass can grow 2-3 feet tall and completely cover the surface of the tank. I really want grass that will grown 18"ish tall, but that doesn't seem to be a thing. If I can trim Giant Hairgrass, then the problem is solved. If not, I'll need to find a different plant.
When people say giant hairgrass, they usually mean Eleocharis montevidensis. Three feet seems like a stretch to me.

There's also E. elongata which has a bright red rhizome, gets to around 28" or so (I've measured) and is softer and more flaccid than the above. It can brown a bit after trimming but does fine when you just cut the whole thing down to the substrate and let it grow back.

There's another unknown species that's circulated in GWAPA that grows to about a foot or slightly more. Called 'Gwapa grass' or 'Murphy grass" (after the guy who found it). Might take some digging to find but probably fits the bill.
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