Eleocharis Sp Mini (hairgrass) Lighting Advice

  1. M

    Mega_Cabbage New Member Member

    Hello! I would like some recommendations for the lighting needed for the plant. I currently have a 6500k cfl bulb that is 13w with a 60w equivalent. I also have one that is 23w with a 100w equivalent. I am using the lightbulb with a hooded reflector above my 5.5 gallon tank. The 13w bulb works fine with my water wisteria and cardinal plant. Which bulb would be more suitable for growing hairgrass in case I need to switch bulbs when the plant arrives?

    Thank you for any advice!
     
  2. Lorekeeper

    Lorekeeper Well Known Member Member

    The problem with hairgrass is that in order to grow a healthy plant, you need good light, ferts, AND good CO2.

    I'd use the more powerful bulb for sure.

    Get a light timer, and allow the tank to get 8 hours of light throughout they day, split up into 2 hour periods. So 2 hours early in the morning, 2 hours late morning, 2 hours afternoon, and 2 hours in the evening. This prevents algae.

    You're going to need ferts, and I recommend Flourish Root Tabs (or make your own osmocote tabs) and Flourish Comprehensive. For a basic planted tank, that'll be enough, but for better color/growth you may want to look into powder ferts.

    CO2- this is tricky. For a 5.5 gallon tank, you have a few routes you can use.

    1). Pressurized CO2 system - now this is a money dropper, but is the best on the list BY FAR. Look up one of the cheaper paintball co2 systems online, and while it'll cost you a lot upfront, you save over time.

    2) Excel. This is a CO2 substitute, which works well. This is a perfectly usable substitute that many people stand by. You may want to do this option. It does get a bit expensive after a while though.

    3) DIY CO2 kit. I've done this myself, and can be done with a couple of 2-liters, yeast, and sugar.

    Here's some links to help with DIYing some CO2:

    Yeast and sugar method:

    Citric Acid Method:
     
  3. -Mak-

    -Mak- Well Known Member Member

    Agreed, just be careful that you don't give too much light for your CO2 and fert levels, because too much light without CO2 and good ferts equals algae.
     
  4. dcutl002

    dcutl002 Well Known Member Member

    As Lorekeeper stated above, haigrass will need lots of light, ferts, and CO2. If you are dead set on hairgrass, try the 60 Watt equivalent first, if it is not enough then try the 100 Watt equivalent.

    I would like to bring to your attention another carpeting plant that is not quite as demanding as grass. It is called Monte Carlo,  
     
  5. Lorekeeper

    Lorekeeper Well Known Member Member

    Another, easier to care for carpeting plant, is Monte Carlo (dcutl002 beat me to it), S. Repens, or a java moss carpet.

    S. Repens doesn't really carpet, it just grows in on the substrate thick enough to appear to be a carpet sometimes. To get it to do this, you'll still need lots of light, ferts, and CO2.

    The java moss carpet is the easiest of all of them. Get some java moss.

    Of course hairgrass is still a viable option. It can be grown, and you can definitely do it. If you're not up for the extra care, then there are some more options, as listed above :)