Eleocharis sp. ‘mini’ is a relatively new plant species on the aquascaping market. As a result of that, it can provide the aquascaper with an opportunity to explore new creativity by experimenting with layouts, designs and uses.
This plant is a medium level difficulty in that it is not quite as easy as Acicularis and standard Parvula, but it is not much more difficult and with the correct advice from a reputable and experienced aquascaping store you shouldn’t have any problems.
Eleocharis sp. ‘mini‘ is very similar to Eleocharis parvula in appearance but it is a smaller plant which grows shorter than its predecessor. As a result this plant is very useful for creating a beautiful, lush, green carpet in your layout which has the added benefit of not requiring as much maintenance as the standard Eleocharis parvula since it does not grow as tall so trimming is reduced.
This plant is very striking when used in nano aquariums because its smaller size lends itself well to achieving a greater sense of scale, as well as making maintenance easier in smaller aquariums.
This plant is very effective when used in a simple, elegant and traditional Iwagumi. An Iwagumi is an aquascape in which the only hardscape material is stone, however more modern twists on the Iwagumi style have included wood and more heavily planted styles. For more information on Iwagumi’s read our article on Iwagumi Aquascapes: an Introduction.
This plant was used to great effect in James Findley’s aquascape entitled ‘Crimson Sky’ (above). You can read more about ‘Crimson Sky’, see a video about the making of Crimson Sky, and an interview with James Findley about his inspiration for the aquascape, the challenges it presented and how he overcame them here. Crimson Sky also invented a new layout style: the Linear Layout.
1. Take the plant out of its container
2. Wash off the gel if using a 1-2-Grow, or remove the rock wool if using a standard potted plant
3. Separate the plant into small portions, no more than 1cm large
4. Fill the aquarium with an inch or two of water
5. Using some good quality pinsettes, gently push the portions into the substrate with a slight shaking motion (try Do!aqua Pinsettes M)
6. Plant the portions in the repeated pattern of the shape of a number 5 on a dice as this will ensure good, fast and even growth across the desired area.
Top Tip! Use ADA Aqua Soil Powder Type because the smaller granules make it much easier to plant the small portions into, and the plant roots prefer the smaller granules since they are easier to grip and to grow through. The powder Type is also great for achieving a good sense of scale within a layout, and excellent for use in nano aquariums.
Using a good pair of aquascaping scissors, trim the hairgrass back to the desired length. This will ensure that you get a lovely, dense, healthy carpet of Eleocharis sp mini.
Read more about Eleocharis Parvula Planting Techniques in our article here.