With so many photographs of aquarium setups using hairgrass going viral on social media these days, we have noticed more and more people reaching out with various questions about trimming dward hairgrass correctly recently.
We actually thought the use of hairgrass in most aquariums would just be a fad so we put this article off for months due to how many questions we see people asking each month.
That said though, the dramatic increase in the number of people getting involved in the aquascaping space does look like using dwarf hairgrass in an aquarium be it as a carpet or as a main feature is hear to stay.
Due to this, we decided to publish our own article going over how you should go about cultivating and trimming dwarf hairgrass to make sure that you get the best possible results.
Thankfully, everything that we will be covering in this article is very beginner friendly allowing someone new to aquascaping to get great results from the dwarf hairgrass in their tank.
As with most things in the aquascaping hobby though, some prior planning with what you actually want the tank to look like when grown in will make everything much easier.
Tips For Trimming Dwarf Hairgrass Correctly!
Here are our six tips for trimming dwarf hairgrass correctly but we will go over each of them in more detail throughout the article below:-
- Divide The Hairgrass Correctly!
- Trim The Roots!
- Place The Hairgrass Correctly!
- Fill Patches Of Hairgrass With New Hairgrass!
- Plant The Hairgrass Deep Enough!
- Trim As Required!
We would always recommend that you follow the cultivating and trimming process in this order to make everything as quick and easy as possible.
Divide The Hairgrass Correctly!
One of the most common mistakes that we see people making with their dwarf hairgrass is that they will not divide the hairgrass correctly prior to adding it to their tank.
Not only does this cause clumping in some areas and patches in other buts it can also cause problems with the actual growth rate of your dwarf hairgrass too.
You should usually be trying to stick to clumps of between three and five blades of dwarf hairgrass per placement.
This will usually offer you a good balance between growth rate and coverage while also helping to keep your costs for your initial dwarf hairgrass as low as possible.
Trim The Roots!
So many people fail to trim the roots of their dwarf hairgrass prior to placeing the dwarf hairgrass in their tanks and this will definatley slow the growth rate of the plant.
Dwarf hairgrass grows via runners that are spread off the plant’s root system so taking a little off the roots of your dwarf hairgrass prior to placing it in your tank can actually encourage rapid root growth.
This then helps the runners for quicker and will also help to bring your dwarf hairgrass carpet in much faster than you would otherwise be able to achieve.
The amount of root that you have to trim off your dwarf hairgrass will depend on the current side but as a general rule of thumb, you should always leave at least an inch of root left on the dwarf hairgrass to make sure it can grow.
Place The Hairgrass Correctly!
Planting tweezers are essential for this stage.
We know that there are discussions about this on social media on a regular basis but we really do think that you need planting tweezers to actually place your dwarf hairgrass correctly.
A decent set will cost you around $10 and drastically improve the accuracy and quality of your dwarf hairgrass placements.
They are well worth the money and prevent some of the most common problems that we see people make time and time again when using their fingers.
Not only is it more accurate to use planting tweezers when planting your dwarf hairgrass in your substrate of choice but it also helps to remove compaction of the substrate that your fingers can cause.
Depending on the substrate that you are using, this can make it harder for the dwarf hairgrass to spread out and form a solid carpet for you in your tank.
Fill Patches Of Hairgrass With New Hairgrass!
We usually recommend that you place your dwarf hairgrass one inch apart from each other in clumps of around four blades.
You can definitely grow a great dwarf hairgrass carpet in your tank planting your dwarf hairgrass closer or further away from each other but for the most part, you really should be looking at the one inch spacing.
In our opinion, it is the best option for beginners with it being close enough together to grow in at a uniform, level rate while also being far apart enough to keep your costs down.
If this if your first dwarf hairgrass carpet for your tank then the one inch spacing really should be used initially.
Plant The Hairgrass Deep Enough!
Two things people always make mistakes with is the depth that they plant their dwarf hairgrass in their substrate as well as how they retract the planting tweezers.
The majority of people will say that you should be aiming to place your dwarf hairgrass between one third and one half of an inch deep into your substrate and we totally agree.
What many people forget to tell you is that you should slightly shake your planting tweezers as you retract them out of the substrate.
This allows most good substrate options to collapse in on themselves to hold the dwarf hairgrass in place and form a seal around the dwarf hairgrass.
In time, this tiny little tip can accelerate the growth rate of your dwarf hairgrass carpet in your tank and definitely make the additional second or two required during the planting process worth it.
Trim As Required!
From here on, all you have to do is trim the length of the dwarf hairgrass in your aquarium to keep it as uniform as you like.
You will always have climbs that out grow others so getting some suitable, aquarium plant clippers allows you to keep your dwarf hairgrass carpet level with minimal effort being required on your part.
You really should be doing this at least once per week but as your dwarf hairgrass carpet fills in, the need for you to trim your dwarf hairgrass will become less and less.