Dwarf Hairgrass Care Guide

Dwarf hairgrass, also known as Eleocharis parvula, is a popular aquatic plant among aquarium enthusiasts. Its delicate appearance and ease of care make it a favorite for creating a lush carpet in freshwater tanks. In this article, we will explore the characteristics of dwarf hairgrass and why it is a great addition to any aquarium.


Dwarf hairgrass is a small, grass-like plant that typically grows to be 3-7 cm tall. Its thin, bright green leaves grow in dense clusters, creating a carpet-like effect in the aquarium. The plant also produces small, white flowers that add a touch of beauty to the tank. Its roots are delicate and hair-like, giving the plant its name.

Care Requirements

One of the reasons dwarf hairgrass is so popular is because it is relatively easy to care for. It can thrive in a wide range of water conditions, but it does best in soft, slightly acidic water with a pH of 6.5-7.5. It also requires moderate to high lighting and a nutrient-rich substrate. Adding CO2 to the tank can also help the plant grow faster and healthier.


Dwarf hairgrass is a fast-growing plant that can quickly spread and cover the bottom of the tank. It propagates through runners, which are thin stems that grow horizontally and produce new plants at their nodes. These runners can be trimmed and replanted to create a thicker carpet or to fill in any bare spots in the tank.

Benefits for the Aquarium

Aside from its aesthetic appeal, dwarf hairgrass also offers several benefits for the aquarium. Its dense growth helps to oxygenate the water and provide hiding places for small fish and invertebrates. The plant also absorbs excess nutrients in the water, helping to prevent algae growth. Additionally, dwarf hairgrass can help to stabilize the substrate and prevent erosion.


Dwarf hairgrass is a peaceful plant that can coexist with a variety of fish and invertebrates. However, it is important to note that some fish, such as goldfish, may nibble on the delicate leaves of the plant. It is best to research the compatibility of any fish or invertebrates before adding them to a tank with dwarf hairgrass.


Maintaining dwarf hairgrass is relatively simple. Regular trimming is necessary to keep the plant from becoming too tall and to encourage new growth. It is also important to remove any dead or decaying leaves to prevent them from rotting and affecting the water quality. Adding liquid fertilizers and root tabs can also help to promote healthy growth.

In conclusion, dwarf hairgrass is a beautiful and beneficial addition to any aquarium. Its delicate appearance, ease of care, and ability to create a lush carpet make it a popular choice among aquarists. By following the care requirements and maintenance tips outlined in this article, you can enjoy a thriving carpet of dwarf hairgrass in your own tank.

Growing Tips for Thriving Dwarf Hairgrass

Dwarf hairgrass, also known as Eleocharis parvula, is a popular aquatic plant among aquarium enthusiasts. Its small size and vibrant green color make it a great addition to any tank and the perfect carpeting plant. However, many beginners struggle with keeping this plant alive and thriving. In this article, we will discuss some essential tips for growing dwarf hairgrass in your aquarium.

Choosing the Right Substrate

The first step to successfully growing dwarf hairgrass is choosing the right substrate. This plant requires a nutrient-rich substrate to thrive. A good option is a nutrient-rich soil specifically designed for aquarium plants. You can also mix this soil with a layer of sand or gravel to create a stable base for the hairgrass to root in.

Proper Lighting

Dwarf hairgrass requires moderate to high lighting to grow and spread. If your tank does not receive enough natural light, you may need to invest in artificial lighting. LED lights are a popular choice among aquarium owners as they provide the right spectrum of light for plant growth. It is recommended to have the lights on for 8-10 hours a day to mimic natural daylight.

CO2 Injection

While not necessary, CO2 injection can greatly benefit the growth of a dwarf hairgrass carpet. CO2 is a vital nutrient for plants and can help them grow faster and healthier. You can purchase a CO2 injection system specifically designed for aquariums or use DIY methods such as yeast or citric acid reactors. It is important to monitor the CO2 levels in your tank to avoid any harm to your fish.

Regular Trimming

Dwarf hairgrass is a fast-growing plant and can quickly take over your tank if not properly maintained. It is important to regularly trim the hairgrass to keep it at a manageable height. Trimming also encourages new growth and prevents the plant from becoming too dense, which can lead to rotting.


In addition to a nutrient-rich substrate, dwarf hairgrass also benefits from regular fertilization. You can use liquid fertilizers specifically designed for aquarium plants or root tabs that can be inserted into the substrate. It is important to follow the recommended dosage and not over-fertilize, as this can lead to algae growth and harm your fish.

Micro Sword vs Dwarf Hairgrass

Micro Sword

Micro sword, also known as Lilaeopsis brasiliensis, is often confused with dwarf hairgrass due to their similar appearance. However, there are some key differences between the two plants. Micro sword is a slower-growing plant and requires less light and CO2 compared to dwarf hairgrass. It also has a more compact growth pattern, making it a better choice for smaller tanks.

By following these tips, you can successfully grow and maintain a lush carpet of dwarf hairgrass in your aquarium. Remember to be patient and make adjustments as needed to find the perfect balance for your specific tank. Happy planting!


Do you have any Dwarf Hairgrass tips or stories? We would love to hear them in the comments!

Chad Latta
Chad Latta

I have over 20 years in the aquarium hobby! My love for writing and passion for helping people have led me to bring you the most effective and up to date information possible, in a way that is easy to understand. Enjoy!