Dwarf Hairgrass - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 4 Old 02-21-2008, 09:50 AM Thread Starter
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Dwarf Hairgrass

Hello, again.

In my 29-gallon planted tank (which is my first attempt at a planted tank), I started with watersprite, wisteria, anacharis, dwarf sags, dwarf hairgrass, microsword, and 1 pot of hemianthus callitrichoides (dwarf baby tears). These are supposed to be fairly easy plants to care for.

First off, anacharis is not all it's cracked up to be. I had lots of trouble keeping it in the substrate and it kept turning brown and mushy. I finally removed it.

I'm not impressed at this point with my wisteria. It doesn't seem to be growing. I'm going to give it a little more time, though.

Some of the leaves on the dwarf sags are turning transparent, but I did notice some new shoots coming up by one of the mother plants. I'm gonna give this a little more time, as well.

The micro-swords are doing okay. They are starting to send runners.

I LOVE the watersprite. It is growing like MAD!!! I believe it is going to be my sole background plant. I separated the one pot into 2 mother plants that have produced 2 baby plants which are planted. I have one more floating till it grows some roots, then it'll be planted, as well. Looks like 2 more daughters waiting to be released from the mother.
By the way, what is the best way to propogate these baby plants from the mother without damaging either?

The dwarf hairgrass is sending runners now. I can't wait to get that "carpet" effect. Will trimming the top of the hairgrass keep it short, or will it continue to grow tall? The potted plants I started with were about 3 - 3.5" tall when I planted them. I would like for it to grow shorter. Any suggestions?

And finally, the baby tears. I would not plant these in a tank with guppies. I bought one pot to see if I would like the look. I loved the look, but the guppies loved it more. They looked like deer in a grass patch. They did not stop until they had picked off all of the green leaves, and uprooted the stems. :(

Any general suggestions on this setup would be appreciated. I am using a double strip light with 18w bulbs @ 5500k each, I believe. I also am using Eco-Complete substrate. I use Flourish and Flourish Excel, as well. I am not using CO2 injection at this point.

Is there anything I can do different to help my struggling plants (wisteria and dwarf sags) do better?

Are there any other plants that make a great carpet look?

Thanks for all of the help.
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post #2 of 4 Old 02-21-2008, 10:21 AM
I have the same problem with my ancharist. I just can't keep it alive so out of 7 stems, I have one left. It's suppose to be the easiest plant alive rihgt?! The swords will do well and get big. That's what I mostly have in my tank now since that's what I do best with. I also don't use co2. I find that I don't need to with the Flourish and good substrate. I'm not impressed with the wisteria. Let me know how the dwarf grass works since I want some of that also!

"Cycling best friend is a good liquid regeant test kit, and a good barber to fix your hair after you pulled half of it out."
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post #3 of 4 Old 02-21-2008, 07:05 PM
Let me address these issues one at a time.

A.)Anachris-- I use this as a floating plant. Iyou wish to anchor it, you will need to use plant weights. Basically it is a leaf feeder. Your water needs to contain the ferts needed to allow it to grow.

B.)Wisteria--This is a plant that requires a little more light, I've found out. I really like this plant as a background plant. I use it to hide lift tubes and supply tubes for the filters. Mine does well in a 90g tank using (2) T5 HO lightbulbs in each fixture. I use dry ferts in this tank as well as tabs. No Co2 yet.

Dwarf Sags--These plants are mini "nutrient hogs", although some may disagree.. They are also a little tempramental to water conditions. They prefer a softer, acidic environment. I have them in a 180g blackwater tank and they are thriving. The tank is one of my high tech tanks. CO2, lights on timers along with the CO2, 28-day moon cycle lighting, Eco-Complete for the Planted Tank substrate, reverse flow filtration, with a large "multi-layered" filtering sytem of filters power filters. You may need to use fert tabs to provide additional nutrients. I use API tabs, a well priced, good generic mix of macro ferts.

Micro Swords--I am surprised thta you are struggling with sags and not with these also. It may be that the swords are out competing the sags for nutrients. If you are doing well with these congrats.

Water sprite--This plant has been around since Moses was a pup. I have only met one person who couldn't grow it. It may be propagated either through adventitious roots or "splitting" off plantlets at the leaf edge. Pretty straight forward. I would wait for any "juvie" plants to have sufficient roots to survive.

Dwarf hairgrass-- If you do not hav enough lighting, the hairgrass will grow taller, trying to get to a level of sufficient light. You can trim it back using aquatic pruning scissors. Regular pruning scissors will work, you'll just get a little wetter. Aquatic scissors have a much longer handle. I use my siphon while I'm trimming to remove the "clippings". You will have a big mess in the pickup tubs of the powerfilters if you don't.

Baby tears--Two varieties here. Regular and dwarf. The difference is quite obvious. I love this little gem as a low growing subsstrate carpet. Again, I have the dwarf in my 180g blackwater tank( the high tech one). It gives a dramatic effect to the little "hill" in the tank. I call it the "grassy knoll", no disrespect intended. I am able to fertilize this plant using a "King Kong" modified syringe. I don't remeber where I even got this thing. But it is a great deal when feeding plants like "carpet" plants. It's about 12" long compressed and had graduated marlings. Those have long since disappeared. A semi rigid piece of tubing penetrates the mat and allows me to feed the roots. Neat gadget. If you had trouble with the guppies, it sounds like you may have had the dwarf species, you may want to try the regular variety. It has bigger leaves and deeper root system.

As far as getting the other plants in line, I would recommend even more light for the wisteria and keep it clear of any shading, root tabs, and pfertz liquid fertilizer. I am not a fan of Excel products. They just don't perform for me.

I like the pfertz products and am currently conducting my own tests in two tanks. Results have exceed my expectations. They are one of our sponsors and are giving members a 25% introductory discount this month.

Or you could start mixing and dosing dry ferts. I do that on my larger tanks as liquids are just too expensive. But I may be changing my thinking here shortly. I am just tired of the mess and tediousness of dry ferts and enjoy the convenience of premeasured liquid dispensing.
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post #4 of 4 Old 02-22-2008, 11:26 AM
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I love my Wisteria but I have noticed it can be really slow until it gets a good root base. Once it does you have to trim it every other day it seems. Water sprite was the same way for me.

I am suprised that the microsword is doing so well. The are supposed to require more light and when I had it in higher light than you have it still melted away and died.
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