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Re: hairgrass

> Question about E. acicularis.
> I have this plant.

You sure? Sure it's not E. parvulus? E. acicularis grows outside here in
large pools, it different than the so called dwarf hairgrass we have in our
tanks. There might be sub varieties but this one is not close to the dwarf
hairgrass in this hobby. We've ID'd this plant beyond any doubt here. I've
taken it and grown it in a tank(I could not help it) and they are quite
different plants. EP is about 2-3x shorter than the EA. The leaves are
finer(EP), the cuticle is thicker(EA). The base area is often reddish in EA
and thicker, white in EP and more delicate.
There are several acres of EA a couple of blocks from where I live in the
restored vernal pool habit. They know exactly what plants they inoculated
them with. EA represents about 50% of the local pool vascular plant mass.
Some lakes in Marin Co, CA also have several acres that grow well during the
summer when water levels are low. Lots of birds in all locations(think P).
> It grows.  But the runners stay
> very short (2-3) cm, and don't have that bright green
> color that I like.

Add some P.
> I saw that one fellow had good success with this
> species.  He had something like 6-7watts/gal, and used
> dupla tabs.

You don't need that to do well. Nice growth can be done with half or less
lighting. 3-4w/gal seems nice enough to do about anything with any plant.

> In the meantime, I have tried putting bits o' Jobes
> spikes among the hairgrass, hoping that it will help.

This won't do much. Real E acicularis is often a dominant plant in vernal
pools which are clay based substrates with low nutrient content(ie
rainwater). These tend to have a reddish base and are larger than say the
dwarf E parvulus.
Shrimps are good, snails are good and a comb to clean out. It did very well
in a 10 gallon tank with CO2, kitty litter/gravel 3 watts a gallon. That was
back in 1995 or so. It has done well in low nutrient substrates but the best
seems to be onyx gravel with nothing but some old mulm from an established
> Is there anyone on the list that can help with
> creating a lush acicularis lawn?

Not sure why so many have such a big issue with this plant. It's like the
rest of them, gloss, pearlgrasses, Riccia, Maselia, Lilopsis etc. Just don't
have fish that pick on it like Barbs, flagfish, big fish that will upset

Give it 3-4 watts a gallon, good CO2, NO3, PO4, K and traces. Some
hardness(GH/KH helps within an acceptable range above 3). Don't let it get
overshaded. It takes some time to get established(it's growing roots). Once
there it does well. One tank has pearlweeds/Hottonia, one has gloss, one has
Riccia and one has grass. There's a few other foreground plants but these
are main ones and the loin's share on foregrounds in my own tanks. The
Conditions are all the same for each tank. Most every plant doesn't not need
a "special treatment". You can plant similar to making a gloss field or
pearlweed field. Take a few sprigs of the plant, planting and spacing about
1-2 inches apart for the area needing to filled it. Give it at least a
month. Onyx sure helps but I had little problems with plain old gravel. It
can get algae easily so keep up on that. Combing can help there.
It's quite invasive once you get it going like the other foreground plants.
Check archives. Snails are an excellent clean animal for this plant or other
fine needled plants like Myriophyllums, Cabomba etc.
Try the substrate, good macro's and patience. It does grow and fill in