Both micro sword and dwarf hairgrass have been seeing solid growth in their popularity within the fish keeping hobby with many people using them as a part of their aquascapes or as a reliable plant to use to carpet their aquariums.
With both plants being considered very similar to each other, we have noticed more and more people reaching out and asking for a dedicated micro sword vs dwarf hairgrass comparison article to show the various differences between the two aquatic plants.
Both micro sword and dwarf hairgrass can be great options for live plant carpeting within the aquarium keeping hobby but dwarf hairgrass does have a number of advantages over micro sword.
Not only does dwarf hairgrass grow quicker but it also grows longer, has a lower price tag, and is usually much easier to find for sale.
The only real advantage that micro sword has over dwarf hairgrass is that micro sword can do well in tanks with high light intensity where as dwarf hairgrass really is not suited for this.
If you are looking for a live plant for an aquarium that has to have a high light intensity then micro sword will sneak ahead but for all other aquarium setups, dwarf sword will probably be the better option.
Is Micro Sword Or Dwarf Hairgrass Easier To Grow?
Dwarf hairgrass is usually easier to grow than micro sword grass but both plants can work well in many aquarium setups.
If you are new to aquarium keeping or want a plant that will grow faster then we would recommend that you go with dwarf hairgrass though unless you specifically need to use a high light intensity then micro sword can take the lead.
Both micro sword and dwarf hairgrass can be beginner friendly in most situations and micro sword is increasing in popularity with each year that goes by.
As the demand for micro sword increases, its price and availability also starts to come down making it more accessible to a wider range of people but it is still hard to find in Europe and a number of areas in North America.
The lower price, ease of availability, and faster growth rate of dwarf hair grass has to cement it as our primary recommendation for most setups as we feel that it will be the better option for the majority of our readers.
Micro Sword Vs Dwarf Hairgrass – Visual Differences!
The main visual difference between micro sword and dwarf hairgrass is that micro sword has thicket blades that are usually further appart where as dwarf hairgrass has thinner blades that are closer together and a rapid growth rate.
The difference between the two is obvious when seen side by side even though they both look very similar.
When it comes to color, both should be a pretty standard shade of green in optimal water conditions but can end up slowly turning a shade of yellow if the CO2 levels in the aqurium are too low.
Dwarf hairgrass will often start to turn yellow or brown in tanks with a high light intensity as the plant really doesn’t do well with too much light with this being the only real downfall of the plant.
Another visual difference between micro sword and dwarf hairgrass is that dwarf hairgrass is usually around one inch longer than micro sword at a similar growth stage.
When fully grow, dwarf hairgrass will usually be around six inches long while micro sword will usually be around five inches long.
Does Micro Sword Or Dwarf Hairgrass Grow Faster?
Micro sword has a slower growth rate than dwarf hairgrass with optimal nutrient levels in the aquarium and dwarf hair grass will usually grow much quicker than micro sword in a low nutrient tank.
Dwarf hairgrass will usually spread at a much faster rate than micro sword too making it a much better option for anyone who is wanting to create a carpet in their aquarium.
If you are working on an aquascape for your aquarium and time is of the essence then dwarf hairgrass will usually be the better option for most people.
That said, as an aquascape is madeup of a wide range of different types of aquatic plant that will all have their own unique growth rates, it can be easy to integrate micro sword into some aquascapes in the early stages that have other slow growing plants.
If you are a beginner, we would recommend that you go with dwarf hairgrass though, it tends to be slightly more forgiving than micro sword in most conditions and will usually be a better fit as the common mistakes that people new to aquascaping make will not effect it as much as micro sword.
Micro Sword Vs Dwarf Hairgrass – Lighting Requirements!
The only real downside of dwarf hairgrass is that it really does need to have consistent moderate light intensity to thrive and even slight fluctuations can cause problems for the plant.
Micro sword can have do well in both moderate light intensity and high intensity lighting making it an excellent option for high intensity light setups.
In our opinion, this is the only area where micro sword becomes the better option than dwarf hairgrass as the dwarf hairgrass will struggle and possibly perish in a high light intensity tank setup.
If you are keeping a moderate light intensity aquarium then dwarf hairgrass is probably going to be the better option for the majority of people.
If you are running a low intensity light aquarium then both micro sword and dwarf hairgrass will probably end up having problems in the tank and we would not recommend either.
Something like Christmas Moss will usually be a much better option for an aquarium carpet plant in a low light setup and drastically out perform both micro sword and dwarf hairgrass with low light intensity setups.
Micro Sword Vs Dwarf Hairgrass – CO2 Requirements!
Both micro sword and dwarf hairgrass can work with no supplemental CO2 setup in your aquarium but their growth rate will end up being much slower than it would be with CO2.
Both with and without additional CO2 in your aquarium’s water supply, dwarf hairgrass will almost always grow at a faster rate than micro sword making it a better option for the majority of people.
That brings our article going over our ultimate micro sword vs dwarf hairgrass comparison to an end. We hope that we have been able to help as many of our readers as possible better understand the advantages and disadvantages of these two aquatic plants and how you may be able to use them in your own tanks. For the majority of our readers, you really should be looking towards dwarf hairgrass in our opinion as it offers more advantages than micro sword for more people making it the obvious option.