Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   whats the best way to grow hc cuba (hemianthus callitrichoides)??? (

Tommy 03-23-2011 12:53 PM

whats the best way to grow hc cuba (hemianthus callitrichoides)???
so ive decided to give HC cuba a go.
I have it in a 20 litre tank, i have fertilizer gravel with a really fine gravel over the top of it, the water level is level with my gravel, i planted my hc individually yesterday and my lighting is set on a timer for 10hrs a day.
Ive been told to leave it like that for atleast a month then slowly fill the tank over a few days with water when it has rooted and is ready. Once the tanks filled I will be using flourish excel and DIY co2. Am I doing this right?

Anyone with any experience they have and would like to share with me would be greatly appreciated, thanks.

Byron 03-24-2011 11:04 AM

Welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum. I've moved this post/thread to the more relevant Aquarium Plant section of the forum.

I've no direct experience with this plant, commonly called Dwarf Baby Tears, so here is a link to some good info.

We do have members who have had or have this plant, they will chime in I'm sure.


redchigh 03-29-2011 04:06 PM

I tried it, but I typically go the low tech route...

It got soft and my ghost shrimp ate it. Never even rooted.

High light, CO2, and regular fertilisation is needed for that plant.
(Not even sure if flourish would be adequate, since the macronutrients would get depleted rapidly in a high-tech tank.)

Definately sensitive.. I wouldn't buy a lot. Need to make sure it'll grow for you first.

Aqua Jon 04-01-2011 11:27 AM

I have had no real success with Helmianthus calitrichoides. The tank was over run by blue-green algae. Real growth only occurred when I finally added CO2. However, I only had fertilizer root tabs as a nutrient source to the HC. If I were to try again I would start with CO2 from the beginning I think you're off to a well prepared start with a nutrient substrate. Let us know how it goes, perhaps a picture journal of your experiment? Wish you the best of luck and a lush carpet of HC!

Note: Do not use excel and CO2 DIY, use one or the other, they are one in the same.

SinCrisis 04-01-2011 02:56 PM

Sounds like your doing a dry-start if your water is level with the gravel. From my research for my dry-start tank, im finding lots of sources pointing to this method as the best for growing a HC lawn. However, there are also a lot of stories about epic HC melts after water is added, from what i could find, it seems jacking to CO2 to yellow on the drop checker and dialing it back slowly is the best way. (i have never tried any of this, its all just what i saw from other people's experiences).

You need to keep the humidity really high, plastic wrap over the top, warm temps, etc. A lot of people spray their HC periodically to make sure it stays wet, some have advocated putting liquid ferts in a spray bottle as a form of nutrition. You will probably need to do this until your plants root deep enough to access the nutrients from the fertilized gravel underneath.

As for Aqua Jon's comment on Excel, Excel and CO2 injection are NOT the same. They are both sources of carbon but are different. Excel can be extremely dangerous if not used correctly, it does not noticeably alter your PH and some plants cannot use it. Fortunately HC is one of those plants that takes well to Excel, but dose carefully, too much can be very dangerous. CO2 on the other hand, will affect PH, and almost all plants will be able to use it. I have seen and heard of people who use both at the same time, lower doses of excel, less bubbles for the CO2 and they are successful using both.

dfbiggs 04-01-2011 05:15 PM

I think that is the best way to start a green lawn. I would make sure you keep the plants covered with water...evaporation is a pain. Unfortunately with my experience I had filled the aquarium, which wasn't a prob, but then turned on my filter. It is a tall tank meant for a planted aquarium and even with the water flowing far from the substrate it easily uprooted the fine plants.

Also if you dont have high light they will get leggy on you and grow like they are reaching up to the light and not like prob the short grass you want. FYI it will survive as a floating plant..:) thats what mine became.

I wouldn't add any inhabitants until it is well established. And just know if you add any snails they will uproot them not matter how small they are.

Good Luck!

Aqua Jon 04-02-2011 12:17 PM

I wasn't aware that there was an extreme difference SinCrisis, thanks for pointing it out.

Tommy 04-02-2011 05:54 PM

Hey guys, thanks for all ur info. It's been 2 weeks now, so far so good. All hc is still bright green and has started to slowly root into the substrate. I'm giving it about 2 or 3 sprays with a spray bottle every 2nd day. I was only going to grow it using the dry start method for 4 weeks then fill the tank but it is a very slow growing plant, so might have to be more like 6 weeks :(
Also, spoke to my LFS guy and he seems to think I won't need co2 because the tank is so small (20litres) which I think is 5 gallons? Once it's filled and cycled I'll have a few cardinal tetras and shrimp in there and my LFS says the fish and water changes will be enough co2 and the excel dosing too, that I don't need to worry about it. What do u guys think?
Oh and I'll put some pics up soon, wanna let it grow a bit first so u can actually see the growth :)
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Tommy 04-02-2011 06:10 PM

Oh also have another question for u guys. Once the hc has kicked in I'm putting in some Lilaeopsis brasiliensis between my hc and a piece of driftwood and was wondering what type of plant I could use as a background plant (behind the wood) to partially hide my heater and filter. I want something that grows easily, can cover the back wall without coming towards the front too much (no more than an inch or so) not too bushy and doesnt grow too fast as the height of the tank is only maybe only 30cms max? Thanks :)
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SinCrisis 04-03-2011 02:34 AM

brazilian microsword can be used in dry start as well, I dont think you need to wait to put it in, letting it root well with the HC will probably be better, my microsword always floats because it doesnt get a chance to root before my fish or snail pushes it out of the gravel.

As for CO2, HC is a fairly demanding plant, but if you keep surface disturbance to a minimum, maybe it could work? I think you might be expecting a general HC melt when you fill the tank, just for the plant to re acclimate to a lower CO2 environment. CO2 should help the transition, but you could probably keep HC w/o the CO2, might just not look as good for a little while.

For background plants, if you dont want it to protrude too much, you can try dwarf hairgrass, does grow much taller than HC and microsowrd, but its easy to trim.

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