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Old 08-14-2007, 11:56 PM   #43 (permalink)
Fortuna Wolf
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Default Re: Dwarf Hairgrass

This is my dwarf hairgrass experience:
I bought a basket of it for $5 from petsmart. In it goes into a 120 gallon aquarium. The substrate was an inch of iron rich clay gravel mixed with mulch with another two inch and a half of sand mixed with a bit of mulch (if I could do it again, I would always top off with only pure sand and no organics in the sand layer!). I spent an hour teasing the pot apart and cutting the hairgrass into sections of 3-5 leafs. These were then "rolled up" and stuck into the substrate with tweezers.
Lighting across the entire tank consists of approximately 400 watts of compact fluorescent - this was my dad's salt water tank before he gave up on aquaria.

Within a week the hairgrass started sending out new leaves, and the evenly spaced plugs across half the tank soon began filling it in. About 3 months in the hairgrass had filled in its side of the tank. 6 months in so far, and its very very thick. I have had occasional outbreaks of blue green algae in spots, but these are solved with single spot treatments of H2O2. I once had a problem with cladophora, and systemic treatment, morning and light, of 2-3ml H2O2 / gallon killed it off (and my shrimp, and really hurt corkscrew val), but everything else and the fish were fine.

I gave my girlfriend some, and put it in a 2.5 gallon tank with 16 watts of CF lighting with a similar substrate except we didn't put organics in the sand layer. She never completed working on her hood (no glass divider between the tank and the light hood), which meant the airstone bubbles splashed water up into the hood and totally blew out one of the ballasts, so now she's down to 8 watts of CF light. During the high light period it grew light gangbusters, along with some really annoying fuzz algae. Even with the lowered lighting the fuzz algae tried to grow, but we solved that with some H2O2 applications (3ml/gal).

I have since been using it in my other tanks, including a 10 gallon female betta tank with 2x 13 watt T8 lights, and a 5 gallon hex explorer with a 10 watt screw in CF light.

So my thoughts on it? I love it. I don't dose the water column, I don't do CO2, I don't do jack except use H2O2 because its so freaking cheap. Mulm will accumulate in it unless you have bottom feeders, who stir up sediment and algae in the hairgrass so that the filtration system can eliminate it. Algae likes the way that the water flow at its base is very still since its like a brush, but once you have a tank stabilized its fine.

It grows very quickly for me in high light situations forming a beautiful carpet. It grows very slowly and survives in medium low light situations.

I -believe- that the species I have is Eleocharis parvula.

Also, regardless of the level I plant it at, it seems to go straight for 1.5 to 2.5 cm, rather deep. Under caves and low light areas the blades grow up to 2.5 times as long as they do under bright light. It is very good at sending out runners between rocks, glass, partitions... I find that if I want to corral it I need to use a piece of stiff plastic about 4cm wide by however long, and slide that into the substrate, and then top it off with a line of rocks so it doesn't try to grow over it. Even then, it'll try to slide around the partition and glass if it can. Its also very hard to remove if its gotten into say, Marsilea, since it grows deeper than the marsilea and trying to pull it up by a blade just breaks the blade off and leaves the step in the substrate to continue growing.

Last edited by Fortuna Wolf; 08-15-2007 at 12:04 AM..
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