Dwarf Hairgrass

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gmc1996

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HI everyone.

Ive never kept this plant before and was just looking for anyone who has had any exprience with it.

Ive heard good things and that it is not challenging.

I will have to upload pictures of my planted tank so you can see what I'm working with, but I would just like any comments on how this plant grows.

Thanks
 

catsma_97504

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Welcome to Fishlore gmc1996!

Dwarf Hair Grass is a great plant. I have some in my tank. Under the right conditions, this plant can thrive.

As you have reef lighting, you may want to consider replacing the bulbs at some point. Usually reef lighting is in the wrong spectrum for plants. How long to you leave your lights on?

I also noticed your profile indicates you have .5 nitrates. This is a bit low for plants. In my tank, I actually have to dose nitrogen in order to maintain a 5-10PPM nitrate level.

Do you supplement with ferts or CO2? In order to have success with plants, you need to maintain a balance with lighting-fertilizing-CO2. When this trinity is out of balance, plants may not grow. The one component that is lacking is what is known as the limiting factor. So, for example, if you have sufficient lighting, dose ferts and supplement with CO2, your plant growth/health will be limited by the low nitrates.

Good luck with your tank. Upload pictures when you get a chance.
 
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gmc1996

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I will have to check my nitrates again, But it suits the plants I have now, so its probably not .5

I do use strong reef lighting, but I only leave the lights on for about 5-6 hours per day.

I use two different types of liquid fert, and am looking into a c02 system, but I do not have on at the moment



If you don't mind explaining.. What is a UV sterlizer? I saw you had one in your picture and I'm curious =)
 

catsma_97504

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I had a terrible time with green water/algae in my main tank. And, after much research and suggestions by others on this forum, I purchased one. It has been a lifesaver! It uses a UV-C light bulb that kills parasites and free floating algae, has a sponge filter and helps to clarify the water.

I equate it to the UV that comes from the sun in nature.

Here's a link to the one I ended up purchasing:
 

Nutter

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I respectfull disagree with the above statement that the absence of nitrate means that is a limiting factor in plant growth. It's not unusual to see very low or no nitrates in a tank & that does not mean that you need to dose nitrogen. I have two planted tanks that have 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite & 0 nitrates. If anyone tries to tell me that my nitrates are too low & they are a limiting factor, I'll laugh. Plants use ammonia as their nitrogen source & they will take it up very rapidly. Often they will take it up so fast that no ammonia ever makes it to the filter & that means there is no ammonia to be converted into nitrites & nitrates. Plants only take up nitrates as a last resort because it requires more energy for them to use biological processes to turn that nitrate back into ammonia. What many aquarists often mistake as not enough nitrate in an aquarium is usually a deficieny of another mineral that is directly related to how the plant proecesses nitrogen rather than a lack of nitrogen itself.

As for the hairgrass it is an easy plant to grow given the correct conditions. A fine substrate such as Eco-Complete or sand is essential to it spreading & covering the floor of the aquarium. Substrate fertilizers are of great benefit, fertilizing the water column with liquid ferts does little for this plant. Co2 enrichment is mandatory with the light levels required by this plant for it to grow well. Depending on your exact lighting set up there may be great benefit gained by using fluoro tubes designed specifically for planted aquaria. There is little or no benefit from actinic tubes to plants but you may not notice much of a change if the majority of your light is coming from MH lights.
 

catsma_97504

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Nutter said:
I respectfull disagree with the above statement that the absence of nitrate means that is a limiting factor in plant growth. It's not unusual to see very low or no nitrates in a tank & that does not mean that you need to dose nitrogen. I have two planted tanks that have 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite & 0 nitrates. If anyone tries to tell me that my nitrates are too low & they are a limiting factor, I'll laugh. Plants use ammonia as their nitrogen source & they will take it up very rapidly. Often they will take it up so fast that no ammonia ever makes it to the filter & that means there is no ammonia to be converted into nitrites & nitrates. Plants only take up nitrates as a last resort because it requires more energy for them to use biological processes to turn that nitrate back into ammonia. What many aquarists often mistake as not enough nitrate in an aquarium is usually a deficieny of another mineral that is directly related to how the plant proecesses nitrogen rather than a lack of nitrogen itself.
I know that plants will first consume the ammonia, but thought that some nitrate was needed to have a continuous nitrogen source. I forget who suggested I dose the nitrogen, but I was under the impression that one should maintain 5-10PPM nitrates for the health of the plant life. Maybe I was given bad advice I guess now would be a good time to stop the nitrogen dosing and see what happens with my plants....the bottle is nearly empty.
 

Nutter

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It might not necessarily be bad advice. There are certainly some tanks that do need to be dosed with nitrogen & yours may well be one of those. IME it seems to depend on whether the plants were introduced to an established tank with nitrates already in it or if they are introduced to an uncycled tank that has the presence of ammonia. In an established tank there is no detectable ammonia presence & the plants will adapt to using the nitrates but so long as there is some nitrates registering, it is unlikely that more nitrogen needs to be dosed. The processes of nitrogen & potassium are closely linked & if there is a shortage of one it will effect the uptake of the other. As nitrogen deficiency syptoms are more obvious & show up faster than those of potassium deficency, it is often assumed that nitrogen deficiency is the problem. However I have found that the underlying cause is often actually potassium deficency which is causing the nitrogen uptake to be reduced.

It's really another one of those situations where what works for one person may not apply to the next. If dosing nitrogen is working for you then I probably wouldn't change what your doing. On the other hand if you want to try something different, try dosing potassium each day & see if that gives an improvement. Rather than a commercial ready mixed product like Flourish Nitrogen or Potassium, you could try to find some KNO3 (potassium nitrate) & dose that instead. That way you will be dosing both nitrogen & potassium. If you just want to dose potassium you can dose K2SO4 (potassium sulphate). That will wrok out much cheaper for you in the long rund. I would go with the KNO3 to start with. That way when you dose enough to keep up your nitrogen supply you should also end up dosing enough to keep the potassium levels good.
 

catsma_97504

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Thank you for the suggestion Nutter!!

Sorry we hijacked your threat gmc.
 
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