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Regular Hairgrass....

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So if you search for pictures of this plant you see these nice lush green plants growing straight up, but then I look at my tank and it looks like trash. This plant grows in my tank quite prolific, but not in the way I would expect. So far, it likes to clump up and sooner or later I have this stuff in a ball. A ugly, tangled ball of hair grass.





Expectation:






Reality:







How do people manage to grow this straight up? Feel like I'm going to chuck it in the trash. Just like I did with a bunch of wisteria that kept floating up during my last water change.




Specs:

  • 40B
  • Fluval Plant 3.0
  • Pressurized CO2 injected w/ GLA atomizer (trash)
  • Eco-complete/BD blasting sand.
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First there are two types of hair grass. The tall one - Eleocharis vivipara can be planted easily when the aquarium is filled with water.
The short hair grass is eleocharis acicularis, and is a real pain to plant if the aquarium has water. When it comes to short hair grass, I prefer the dry start method. I also used pressurised CO2 and High lighting along with dosing fertilizers as per PPS pro method

It is possible to create a scape as shown. How ever there is a lot going on before taking that photograph

1. Clean the water
2. Additives to precipitate all the suspended particles in water to make it crystal clear.
3. Additives to scrub/Polish the water to remove any color in the water.
4. Extra clear glass used for the Aquarium
5. Studio type of lighting for taking the picture
6. Using a tooth brush to clean all the algae on the rocks....

There is also a fair bit of post processing in Photoshop before that picture is published.

Edit: I refer to the Pictures published in magazines and websites in general. not just the particular one you have shown here
 

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Yeah, the picture in your tank looks like Eleocharis vivipara which makes little plantlets that can get messy. The plantlets can be used for propagation, but they interfere with the clean look of other hairgrasses. I've seen competition photos where it seems orderly and I have no idea how they achieved that with that particular species.

There's another species that grows tall without the plantlets that you may want to consider, giant hairgrass or Eleocharis montevidensis. Your expectation photo might be a dwarf hairgrass in the front and giant hairgrass in the back.
 

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@ElleDee is correct. Vivipara gets messy with those plantlets up high. Montevidensis is much cleaner looking but also a little thicker. Your plant also has alot of algae in it, which will interfere with growth.

The tank you attached looks to be very small and the background plant might actually be the dwarf hairgrass Parvula which can easily grow 10" tall.
 

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I have found that when planting tissue culture hair grass (especially the kind that doesn't come in cups) it will frequently have these runners growing vertical like this as well. I trim before planting and replant the runners down in the substrate. The algae is definitely doing you no favors as well.
 
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