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Old 10-21-2019, 01:16 PM   #1
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Growing Dwarf Hair Grass

Hello AA...

The gauntlet has been thrown down and I've accepted the challenge of growing Dwarf Hair Grass without the aid of strong lighting or a CO2 system. Hope this post is in the right place. I initially answered a question about this plant in another subject area and thought the post might end up here. But, the Moderators can make this call. Anyway, I grew this aquatic plant some years ago, but need to review my planting and maintenance procedures. I'll keep you all posted on my progress.

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Old 10-21-2019, 02:37 PM   #2
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Ooooweeeee good ole fashioned show down at the sunset saloon
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Old 10-21-2019, 04:29 PM   #3
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Hey Brookster...

Good one. I was thinking more along the lines of the "Shootout at the OK Corral".

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Old 10-21-2019, 05:34 PM   #4
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As long as I dont have to grow it haha. Been there done that... pull your own hair out trying.
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Old 10-21-2019, 06:06 PM   #5
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Amazing how it wonít grow in my tank so you chuck it in a bucket of soil and leave it outside over winter then come summer and bam.

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Old 10-21-2019, 06:08 PM   #6
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I have acicularis in my ultra low tech. Seems to be doing better after adding the bubbler.
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Old 10-22-2019, 11:13 AM   #7
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Growing Dwarf Hair Grass

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As long as I dont have to grow it haha. Been there done that... pull your own hair out trying.
Hello Brook...

Won't need to worry about pulling any hair out. My hair left me some years ago! While I'm here though, I'll update you on my project. Am doing things about the same as the last time I grew this stuff. I am using a shorter tank this time and have some left over gravel I'm using with some Eco-Complete and Activ-Flora for bottom material. I'll layer these and get the plants ordered. Should be a fairly cheap project. Seachem has some root tabs I can use too. Seems to me, I used them the last time. Lighting is going to be couple of floresents from the local hardware store. As I recall, the grass took a little time to establish itself in moderate light, but still looked pretty good after just a few weeks.

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Old 10-22-2019, 02:15 PM   #8
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I'll follow along. I've never had issues growing in with lots of light and CO2... and it died back quickly when I switched the CO2 off for good.

Maybe growing it without CO2 / strong lighting from the get go will make it hardier.
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Old 10-22-2019, 04:12 PM   #9
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Hello Z...

When you put aquatic plants under very strong light, you're telling the plant to grow faster. Without the nutrients and CO2, the plants won't get enough to support what you're asking them to do. By not putting this plant under extreme light, it's not going to require extreme nutrients like a CO2 system. It will grow more slowly under moderate light and just need moderate levels of nutrients. Essentially, the plant just needs lighting and nutrients to be balanced and equal.

Pretty easy,

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Old 10-22-2019, 05:17 PM   #10
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So here's a fun one... what if I set up a tank with just dwarf hair, co2 and high light. No fish. I feel like nitrates are the limiting factor as they kill the fish so we tend to err on the side of caution when it comes to ppm/levels. I'd use some leftover soil from "growing plants" and cap it with sand. This would be the extreme variable. I have no interest in setting up another life support system for fish. I do not mind a science experiment I can throw away if all heck breaks loose.
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Old 10-22-2019, 05:38 PM   #11
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I agree. This project is a plant only project. I'm guessing between the substrate and the root tabs, the nitrogen level would get too high to keep fish too. I'll keep the plants going indefinitely, because I like the look of the Grass, but I don't really want to add the maintenance time needed to keep the fish healthy and still grow the plant properly.

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Old 10-22-2019, 09:28 PM   #12
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Sounds like we have ourselves a fun little project!!
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Old 10-24-2019, 02:51 PM   #13
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Growing Dwarf Hair Grass

Hello again...

Here with another update. Went to the local Thrift Store in search of a tank. Found a nice 30 gallon. But, it was a bit too tall and go figure, they wanted $40.00 for a used tank and a hood with no lighting. Went to PetCo, which is having their "Dollar per Gallon" sale and picked up a 20 G Long for $20.00. Perfect for my needs. Put in a layer of pea sized gravel and have some Eco-Complete and Activ-flora substrate. The key to growing any aquatic plant is to research the lighting needs and then match the nutrient level to the lighting. Hope those new to growing aquarium plants are taking notes. This is some good information. This way, you avoid the "trial and error" of growing tank plants. For planted plants to grow best, you feed through the substrate rather than the air stone bubble affect of the CO2 system. The substrate way is much simpler and cheaper.

Will keep you all in the loop!

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Old 10-24-2019, 07:29 PM   #14
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Co2 should not be confused with fertilizers. It's completely different. It has been proven 100% beneficial to aquatic plant growth, not necessary but beneficial.
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Old 10-25-2019, 02:48 AM   #15
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Growing Dwarf Hair Grass

Co2 will benefit any aquatic plant. Its funny that you will find this parameter anywhere from 5-30ppm in most biotopes.

Growth via co2 isnít linear so halving co2 doesnít reduce plant growth by half. In fact halving it reduces plant growth to 90%. You only need small amount to see a difference. Only reason I donít use it is because it seems to build up too much at some stage during the day and my shrimp and snails donít like it. It also creates a film as the tiny bubbles bring proteins to the surface which is bad for o2. Actually Iíve never run co2 in conjunction with an airstone because most would have you believe it is counterintuitive however, thinking about it now this could work really well.

Iíve found the airstone is a fantastic way of getting both o2 and co2 in and out of the tank.

Because gas movements work via gradients and there is more co2 above the surface, bubblers pull co2 in and as plants use it it creates a sink where dissolved co2 is constantly supplied in small amounts just like oxygen. Itís a win win.

Relying on co2 from the substrate has never worked for me. Might be ok without livestock though. But with livestock and little surface movement to keep co2 from off gassing you run the risk off low oxygen. Especially in a new tank,

Maximising o2 allows decomposition to occur rapidly and will help to release co2 that the plants can capture as it rises to escape.
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Old 10-25-2019, 08:37 AM   #16
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Growing Dwarf Hair Grass

Hello...

Couldn't find florescent lighting to fit my 20 G project tank. So, went with a couple of small LEDs. These are in the 4000K range, so I'm going to position them directly above the plants. Amazon has a deal on Dwarf Hair Grass. If you buy two clumps, you get one free. The key to getting this plant to grow well, is to remove 4 to 6 strands from the clump the plant comes in and clip the roots a little to stimulate growth. Plant the strands roughly an inch apart. You really need to use some aquatic plant tools to secure the strands to the bottom material. This is a little work, but you get more even growth and this makes plant look more like a lawn.

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Old 10-25-2019, 06:12 PM   #17
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The day I thought would never come...B Bradbury acknowledges the existence of a lighting source separate from fluorescent tubes.... I need to sit down for a minute.
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Old 10-26-2019, 09:39 AM   #18
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Growing Dwarf Hair Grass

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The day I thought would never come...B Bradbury acknowledges the existence of a lighting source separate from fluorescent tubes.... I need to sit down for a minute.
Hello Brook...

Sadly, yes. In this case, I was forced to make an adjustment. If I'd had room for say a 40 G Breeder tank, I could have used my florescents. So much cheaper than standard aquarium lighting and just as effective for growing aquatic plants. But, the LEDs weren't a whole lot more than the florescents. Am hoping to get my plants the middle of the week.

Am using a layer of course, peas-sized gravel, then the Eco-Complete, Avtiv-flora and then some small pea-sized gravel to top everything. This should allow the water to move easily through the plant roots. About 3 inches of bottom material should be enough. I'll use some root tabs too. I'll add a small air stone to keep the water movement constant to supply the O2.

So far, so good.

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Old 10-28-2019, 12:35 PM   #19
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Growing Dwarf Hair Grass

Hello AA...

It occurred to me that those following this thread may want to grow aquatic plants other than Dwarf Hair Grass. There are many plants that require only low to moderate light. You don't need to use expensive aquarium lighting to keep a nicely planted tank. A small tank can be lit with a shop LED from the local hardware store. An LED in the 1,000 lumen range is enough and you can simply set it above the tank. The cost is about $35.00. A larger tank is perfect for shop lighting. A two to four bulb fixture is about $40.00. Get a bulb in the 5500 to 6500K range and try for 2 to 3 watts for every gallon of tank volume. The watts rule is only for florescent lighting. Again, the fixture works fine just by hanging it directly above the tank.

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Old 10-28-2019, 04:36 PM   #20
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Growing Dwarf Hair Grass

Hello again AA...

Some following this thread may have a question about using CO2 or not. I'm not a fan of it. To me, it's tricky to set up and run and I never wanted to get too much fertilizer into the tank water. Dealing with so much nitrogen and carbon dioxide in the tank could have a negative affect on your fish. If you plan to keep very demanding plants, they'll require very strong light and a CO2 system will definitely go with high end lighting. This system may be for you. Without it, it will be more difficult keeping demanding plants. However, to quote some of the aquatic plant keeping experts, "most can do without CO2 as long as they get plenty of light and nutrients". The main ones are, nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Iron is close behind these macronutrients.

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