Dwarf Hairgrass Care Guide: Carpeting And Planting

Last updated on December 24th, 2022 at 11:05 am

If you need carpet grass species for your home aquarium, there are few options. Dwarf hairgrass is one of those. This species makes a green bed at the bottom of your tank with a grass-like appearance. It oxygenates the water, removes contaminants, and acts as a shelter for bottom-dwelling fish.

Aquarium plants come in all sizes and shapes, so it cannot be easy to know which one is right for you. Those who don’t have enough experience with aquatic vegetation will not face much difficulty with this species as it is hardy and acceptable.

This article will know everything regarding dwarf hairgrass, the appearance, the condition of the tank, and the tank’s mating and propagation.

Dwarf Hairgrass Care


Dwarf hairgrass has two species, Eleocharis parvula and Eleocharis acicularis. It is a freshwater plant of the Cyperaceae family. These species are widespread throughout the world, from North America to Europe, Asia, and South America. It can be found in shallow freshwater with plenty of light.

Most dwarf hair grass use as carpet, coating the bottom of the tank in a green area. It is a fast-growing plant so that you can create this with little quantity. These carpets provide shelter for bottom-dwelling fish (such as peacock catfish), produce oxygen for the tank, and purify the water.

As a non-essential aquatic plant, it is popular in the fishing industry. It’s easy to maintain, so beginners can manage it without spending too much time.

Dwarf Hairgrass Look

The name of this plant gives a good description of what it looks like. It has a smoother look like grass with strands/blades like leaves. Each strand is as thin as hair and uses for photosynthesis.

The white roots are as thin; once planted, you will not see this much. It is known as the “dwarf” because it grows relatively short compared to other related species. When fully grown, the blade will reach 4-6 inches.

It is a popular choice for people who want to add color to the bottom of the tank. The blade is so thin, and it is solidly packed. This not only makes the grass carpet more complete to cover the bottom of your aquarium, but tightly packed strands enhance the colors.

Dwarf Hairgrass Look

The light green color looks stunning when under aquarium lights. As the plant rises, the blade is pulled by the water flow around the tank. Your fishes will enjoy living in this beautiful environment.

Both species look alike and difficult to distinguish. However, E.acicularis develops a curved blade and rises slowly. The similarities between the two types could propose they are often mislabeling in stores, so be careful when buying.

Benefits of Dwarf Hairgrass

Dwarf hairgrass has many practical uses.

  • It oxygenates the water, helping to control nitrate levels and remove contaminants.
  • Dwarf hair grass is a carpet species.
  • The primary benefit is as a shelter for bottom-dwelling fish.
  • It is also a source of food sources.

Benefits of Dwarf Hairgrass

Caring For Dwarf Hairgrass

Tank Conditions:

Although dwarf hairgrass found worldwide, it tends to live in similar conditions wherever found. The most important of these is the shallow tropical freshwater that has plenty of light. They are usually found in sandy or muddy areas along rivers or lakes.

You can quickly rebuild this habitat at home, and as a hardy plant, it can live healthily in a variety of settings. The first thing to notice is the size of your tank. It is a small plant for the bottom of the tank. You can put hair grass in 10 gallons tank.

The aquarium should be coated with a substrate layer, not more than 1.5 inches thick. Sands are ideal because the tiny seeds make it easy to grow roots.

How To Plant Dwarf Hairgrass:

It would help if you planted your dwarf hair grass in a soft substrate so that the roots will not damage by the grain. Some people prefer to cover the bottom of their tank completely with this plant. The idea is that there is plenty of light for photosynthesis.

Unlike some plants, dwarf hair grass cannot photosynthesize in shaded areas. When planting, bury the roots entirely in the substrate and place all the strands on top of the substrate.

How To Plant Dwarf Hairgrass


Dwarf hairgrass does not cause much trouble and is an easy plant to maintain. You can trim the plant strands when it looks too long. Its blades grow fast, so you have to do this often.

Some people prefer to keep the plant short at the front and allow it to grow taller at the end of the tank. This gives the mid-level fish somewhere to hide but doesn’t block your view through the aquarium. If you see your plants grow at the rate they are, and then limit their growth by cutting. Check that they are not planted in shaded areas where they do not have access to light.

 If the light is not a problem, it could be CO2 or a lack of nutrients. You can get supplements for both of these from the store; be careful about its effects on your fish or algae growth.

Dwarf Hairgrass Propagation:

These plants propagate rapidly but are more difficult to manipulate in the propagation process than other species such as aquatic wisteria. With many aquarium plants, you can speed up propagation by taking cuttings and planting elsewhere.

As these plants grow, the runners form a root area. This is hard to manipulate because you can’t create your roots.

Luckily this is not a problem as dwarf hair grass grows very fast. This means that grass is regularly producing, and the carpet spread over the entire tank in no time. You can also speed it up more by ensuring the plant has everything it needs for its growth.

Make sure the aquarium is not depleted of nutrients or CO2 and has plenty of access to light. Raise the water temperature within the acceptable range to accelerate the growth rate.

Dwarf Hairgrass Propagation

Compatibility & Tank mates 

There are not many problems with compatibility with these plants. It can keep with most other plants or tropical fish.

If you keep other plants in your tank, be careful not to let the dwarf hair density get out of control. Dense carpets will force plants to fight for resources. This is a fight that dwarf hair grass does very well, so you will see your other plants start to die.

Wide-leave plants drive the fishes to eat them as they have long strands and can grow in a short time. You have a lot of choices when thinking about the fish you want in the tank. Small, peaceful fish are ideal; they are less likely to be harmed.

Danios, guppies, moles, and tetras are some excellent examples. This plant forms a carpet, so the bottom-dwelling fish can get more benefits from being around it. Avoid big fish with a reputation for being enthusiastic. 

Oscars are a great example; they search for food in rooted plants. Snails can easily rip the plants, thus damaging your hair grass. Some species (such as killer snails) do not like to eat plants.

Shrimp is another popular invertebrate for the aquarium, and its effect on your plants should be minimized as long as it is healthy.

Dwarf Hairgrass Suitable For Your Fish Tank

Dwarf hairgrass is rigid and requires little maintenance over occasional trimmings. It can keep in an aquarium of all sizes and be kept in a wide range of setups, as it can adapt to various conditions.

It is a good choice for people of all experience levels. As a carpet, it will add color to the bottom of the tank.

Turning your tank into some dwarf will make it beautiful. The water will oxygenate, remove some of the pollutants before raising the toxic level.

Dwarf Hairgrass Suitable For Your Fish Tank

Guide for Buyers

The reputation of this grass keeps it in high demand. You can find this grass in most aquarium stores. It is also cheaper to buy. Prices vary depending on how much you buy, but you will get enough in $5 – $10 to start a carpet.

Dwarf hairgrass brown color is easy to look for unhealthy plants. Ideal specimens are bright green blades. Its long roots help them absorb nutrients. The whole plant should able to support its weight.

Finally, check for any signs of damage, such as tears or brown patches. A healthy plant will efficient in photosynthesis and will struggle to adapt to the new environment.

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