Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Central Coast CA
I have a hairgrass carpet across half of my 5.5 gallon invert only tank.
So, i've got insanely high light. A 16" planted+ fixture on a 12" tall tank with 2-4" of substrate gives blindingly high light. Second, root tabs. Third, sandy soil, specifically flourite onyx sand. Fourthly, i fertilize my water column. Full macros+micros. Fifthly, i throw in Excel. And lastly, i inject CO2.
With these measures in place, DHG grows like a weed! It grows up and outward at a moderately fast rate.
It looks awesome, but it's actually kind of a pain. It grows hair and clado all in it very well, and cleaning up the trimmings is a nightmare.
If you're using gravel substrate, you're probably not going to have good luck. It needs a sandy substrate and root ferts to do well.
If you want to give it a try, a cheap option is to grab a fluval 88 kit. When you're first cartridge runs out, grab the adapter and paintball tank. Splits the cost of setup and itll only run you about a hundred bucks. I've had good luck with it, but the diffusers are basically disposable, so have an extra one handy when the first one fails. You can even just buy the disk for the inside of the diffuser, and that reduces the cost a bit.