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Re: Eleocharis montevidensis

Chuck MacNaughton wrote:

> I got a potted Eleocharis montevidensis at my local LFS (they got it from
> Florida Aquatic Gardens) and it's doing okay for me. It's actually grown up
> out of the water, and I have a 55g so that's a pretty tall plant! With this
> type of plant (hairgrass) it's hard to notice if it's actually growing
> horizontally and as it's at the back of a densely planted tank I can't
> really see the bottom of it to know for sure. I also had trouble finding any
> info on it, other than at trueaquariumplants.com where it has a brief
> description.

I have some "giant hairgrass" that may be E. montevidensis, but it
wasn't sold by that name.  I bought it a little more than a year ago. 
The leaves initially were about 8" high and I planted it in a 10-gallon
tank.  It didn't do very well there and I think it was because the
leaves dried out about as soon as they got above the water, and at 8
inches those leaves were hardly even developed yet.

I transplanted it to my 55 and after a lag the plant really started to
take off.  My photos from last year's AGA contest show the plant just as
it was starting to grow well; most of the leaves are only 4-5 inches
long, but you can see a few that are reaching to the surface.  The giant
hair grass is on the right side of the tank, in front of the barclaya.

Since then the plant has grown very well.  In fact, I removed all the
val and put the hair grass in their place.  The leaves are about 2 feet
long and normally grow above the water level before I bend them over. 
They grow and spread (with fine root runners) at a moderate rate and do
an good job as a background plant.  They're *way* more manageable for
that purpose than the 4' long val that grew there before.  It might be
interesting to move a group of them to the mid ground to provide a
strong vertical accent. 

The 55 gallon tank has 160 watts of NO fluorescents, DIY CO2, a light
fish load and light fertilizing.  They don't need much maintenance; I
lay the leaves over into the water (they make a nice, graceful curve at
the water surface) and pull out the odd browning leaf.  The plants seem
to be happy growing at a high density and I don't see any evidence of
alleleopathy (a potential problem with eleocharis spp.)  As a potential
problem, the plant is easily uprooted, at least until they form a dense

This seems like a versatile, plant that could become standard in larger

Roger Miller