Eleocharis Parvula

Origin:Australia and New Zealand
Growth Rate:Medium to Fast
Light Demand:Medium
CO2 Demand:Medium

Eleocharis parvula is also known as “dwarf spikerush”, “small spikerush”, or “dwarf hairgrass” which is an aquatic plant species belonging to the Cyperaceae family. According to some sources, the natural habitat of the plant is Australia and New Zealand. There are also habitats in Asia, North America, Europe, and some parts of South America. The reason for this confusion comes from the name difference of the plant. Although the name of this plant is Eleocharis parvula, which has been in the trade since 1997 (according to Kassellmann – 2010), the real name is Eleocharis Pussila from Australia and New Zealand.

This plant shows itself with a carpet appearance in brackish and salty environments in nature. On the other hand, Eleocharis parvula is a shorter, curly, and darker green than Eleocharis Acicularis, even though it looks very similar to each other. It reaches approximately 10 cm in length and is shorter than the E. Acicularis that can reach up to 30 cm.

The name “dwarf hairgrass” is the best name to describe what the plant looks like. Under proper conditions, Eleocharis parvula blooms oval-shaped and tiny flowers, about 2-3 mm in length.

40 liters and larger aquariums are suitable for growing the plant. The ideal water pH for this plant is 6,5-7,5 and the water hardness is between 0-30 dGH. These values show that it can tolerate both soft and hard water. The water temperature between 12-28°C is ideal for the plant to grow healthy. If it is desired to cover the aquarium bottom like a carpet with E. Parvula, medium or high-intensity lighting is necessary to support its growth. Also, carbon dioxide injection into the tank will increase the growth rate. For keeping the plant roots healthy and let the plant develop runners, the aquarium substrate must be fine-graded loose sand or similar. The plant acts as a shelter for small fish and is particularly popular with small fish and shrimps keepers. On the other hand, this plant is generally consumed as food by most snails and very vulnerable with its tiny leaves. So, most of the snails are not proper to live in the same tank with Eleocharis parvula.

One of the most common problems that can come upon in the care of this plant is that its color turns brown and then dies. This situation is indicative of nutrient deficiency. In that case, the addition of potassium, phosphorus, and nitrogen will help to recover the plant’s health. But the significant point to note is dosing these nutrients in the correct doses. Otherwise, they may lead to algae blooms in the aquarium. The second most common problem with caring for Eleocharis parvula is its low tolerance for algae accumulation. If the amount of algae increases in the aquarium due to the water parameters, this can damage the plant. Thus, algae growth must be kept under control.

Since it is a plant with a fast growth rate, if it grows slowly, the main problem here may be that it cannot get enough light. Therefore, if the plant is in the shade for some reason, you need to create an environment that will receive enough light again.

The propagation of this plant is slightly different than other aquarium plants. Cutting and replanting the plants like other aquarium plants will not work with Eleocharis parvula, because the cut pieces (leaves) cannot form their roots. For this reason, the only method to propagate the plant is using its runners from the main body. The runners grow their roots and grow as independent plants and can be separated from the main plant and replanted to a different place. By this type of propagation (by runners), the plant grows in all directions and uncontrollably covers the aquarium floor like a carpet.

The plant will propagate when it reaches a sufficient height, and appropriate environmental parameters are provided. So, the parameters should be checked if propagation is considered to be insufficient.
Although it has different names in different places, this plant very preferable for aquarists of all levels with its carpet-like appearance and benefits such as oxygen, nitrate control, cleaning of pollutants.

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