The Fish Guru

Growing and Caring for Dwarf Hairgrass in Your Aquarium

Growing Dwarf Hairgrass in an Aquarium

Having an aquatic plant in your aquarium can add an extra element of aesthetic beauty to your tank. One plant that can achieve this effect is Dwarf Hairgrass.

In this guide, we will show you how to grow and take care of Dwarf Hairgrass in your aquarium.

Types of Dwarf Hairgrass

Dwarf Hairgrass belongs to the species Eleocharis. Two common types of Dwarf Hairgrass used in aquariums are Eleocharis parvula and Eleocharis acicularis.

The difference between the two plants is their curly nature and maximum height. Eleocharis parvula boasts a thinner blade, grows up to 4 inches high and is more light in color.

Eleocharis acicularis grows up to 6 inches high and has slightly stiffer leaves.

Distribution and Habitat

Dwarf Hairgrass is distributed in brackish pools, saltwater environments, marshy areas, and mudflats. Notable areas where you can find Eleocharis parvula include Hawaii, Southeast United States, Cuba, and the Caribbean, while Eleocharis acicularis is common in northern regions of both hemispheres.

Identifying Dwarf Hairgrass

Dwarf Hairgrass is easy to identify due to its grass-like appearance. The grass blades grow from short runners to produce a thick mat of hair-like strands.

Dwarf Hairgrass has curly leaves with a lighter shade of green than most aquarium plants. The plant can grow up to 6 inches in height, and the blade can grow to a maximum of 1mm thick.

Water Conditions

Dwarf Hairgrass requires specific water conditions for optimal growth. The optimal temperature range is between 68F to 82F.

Dwarf Hairgrass can withstand a pH range of 6.0 to 7.5, making sure your water hardness is between 3-8 KH. It would help if you kept the water clean and clear with regular water changes.

Tank Size

Dwarf Hairgrass requires a minimum tank size of 10 gallons and is perfect for a smaller aquarium.


Lighting is crucial for the optimal growth of Dwarf Hairgrass since it goes through photosynthesis. Low-light aquarium lighting will not be enough, and regular aquarium light is the preferred source.

The light should remain bright for 10-12 hours daily. Adjust your lighting according to the depth of your tank.

It is also essential to keep your light source close to the surface of the aquarium for optimal growth and visual appeal.

Water Circulation

Dwarf Hairgrass requires sufficient Co2 and nutrients in the water to grow well. Algae growth can also occur if there is an excess of nutrients.

It is essential to keep your water moving and filtered with devices like an external canister or power filter. These devices will promote nutrient distribution, limiting algae growth and ensuring optimum plant growth.

Choosing and Caring for Dwarf Hairgrass

To grow healthy Dwarf Hairgrass, begin with healthy plants. When purchasing your plant, avoid those with missing or crowded roots.

Regular trimming, every so often, will help maintain your Dwarf Hairgrass growth. Root tabs or liquid fertilizer can also be useful for Dwarf Hairgrass health.

Experts suggest treating the water with an aquarium-safe fertilizer for optimal results.

Ideal Tank Mates and Fish Species to Avoid

Dwarf Hairgrass establishes the perfect environment for shrimp and other small creatures to thrive in. It would help if you avoided plant-eating fish, no bottom-dwelling diggers, and snails to maintain your Dwarf Hairgrass’s healthy growth.

Keeping Dwarf Hairgrass with Other Plants

Dwarf Hairgrass can be grown along with other aquatic plants in an aquarium. However, this requires pruning and trimming to keep the excess nutrients under control.

Troubleshooting Dwarf Hairgrass

Many problems can arise while growing Dwarf Hairgrass in an aquarium. New plants will occasionally die in the first few weeks.

This is normal. However, you can create a thriving environment for your aquatic plants by ensuring optimal lighting, water conditions, and overall maintenance.

Algae overgrowth can also be a problem. Algae can grow easily if there are excess nutrients in your tank.

Planting Dwarf Hairgrass

Preparing your Dwarf Hairgrass for planting involves removing it from its cup and planting it in a coarse, sandy substrate. You can plant the grass into your aquarium’s substrate with the help of aquascaping tweezers, leaving the tips of the blades exposed.

Planting in bunches and planting a few strands apart and waiting for runners to spread is an effective technique in growing a beautiful Dwarf Hairgrass carpet.

Availability and Price

Dwarf Hairgrass is a popular aquatic plant, readily available in most fish stores and aquatic plant specialists. You can purchase a pot for up to $10.

However, you might require several pots depending on the size of your aquarium.


Maintaining a healthy and thriving Dwarf Hairgrass in your aquarium requires specific conditions unique to this aquatic plant. Therefore, it is essential to meticulously follow the above guide on growing and maintaining your Dwarf Hairgrass to attain maximum results.

By following the guidelines outlined here, you can create an aesthetically appealing and healthy environment for your aquatic plants. Dwarf Hairgrass is a popular aquatic plant in aquariums that can serve as a perfect foreground carpet or background filler.

However, some questions arise concerning how to grow it, and we will address these questions in detail. Can Dwarf Hairgrass Grow in Gravel?

While it is possible for Dwarf Hairgrass to grow in gravel, it is not advised. The plant requires a fine substrate since it has shallow runners.

Should you choose to go with a gravel substrate, ensure that it is fine and not too big that it chokes the plants’ growth. Large-sized gravel will not give the plant’s roots the stability they need, making it hard for the plant to thrive.

Experts recommend fine sand or other fine-grained but non-toxic substrate options. Does Dwarf Hairgrass Need Soil to Grow?

No, Dwarf Hairgrass does not need soil to grow. A sandy substrate is sufficient to grow and maintain the plant.

Sandy substrates are compatible with aquariums and are easy to clean and maintain. If you do choose to use soil, ensure that it is intended for aquarium use.

Will Dwarf Hairgrass Grow on Driftwood? The answer to whether Dwarf Hairgrass will grow on driftwood is a hit and miss.

It is hard for the plant’s roots to attach themselves to the wood since the roots require contact with the substrate to grow. However, if the driftwood is buried into the substrate with the root system, the Dwarf Hairgrass can grow as it would in any other submerged substrate.

Driftwood also has its advantages in providing hiding spots for small fish and invertebrates.

In conclusion, growing Dwarf Hairgrass is an excellent way to add some greenery to your aquarium.

It is essential to ensure that the substrate, temperature, lighting, and water conditions are optimal for optimal growth. Maintaining the plants’ health requires regular trimming, sufficient nutrients, and carbon dioxide.

Although Dwarf Hairgrass can grow in gravel, the use of a sandy substrate is highly recommended for maximum growth. The plant does not require soil to thrive, and using driftwood can be a hit and miss in terms of growth.

With careful attention and maintenance, you can have a beautiful and healthy Dwarf Hairgrass in your aquarium. Dwarf Hairgrass is a popular aquatic plant that can add beauty and aesthetic appeal to any aquarium.

To grow a healthy Dwarf Hairgrass in an aquarium, one must ensure optimal water conditions, lighting, circulation, and substrate. It is not recommended to grow Dwarf Hairgrass in gravel, and it does not need soil to grow.

While growing on driftwood can be hit and miss, using a sandy substrate can help ensure maximum growth. Regular trimming, sufficient nutrients, and carbon dioxide will maintain the plants’ health.

With proper care and attention, one can have a thriving Dwarf Hairgrass in their aquarium, adding beauty and environmental benefits.

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