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Tufted Hairgrass

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Tufted Hairgrass  is  a larval food plant for a variety of butterflies scattered throughout the region.
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Tufted Hairgrass it ideal for use in Dutch-style layouts

Tufted Hairgrass is a common plant seen in the aquatic hobby. It is found throughout South America and can be used as an oxygenating plant for your tank or decoration. It is also called Coontail, but the true Coontail is a different plant. This plant can typically grow to be around 4 inches tall or more under good lighting. Although it is commonly found in nature being planted directly into the substrate, you should not do this because it will die off and cause problems to your tank. Instead, purchase a small root tab inside the plant's pot that you have, which will easily stick onto your driftwood or rocks within your aquarium. 

 The roots are very brittle, so the idea here is that the tab only has enough strength to support the weight against gravity, not hold up any heavy plant. When planting hair grass, make sure you either have another plant holding it down. The grass-like leaves of this plant are typically 1-2 mm wide, though some grow wider at around 4-5 mm (these larger leaves are sometimes referred to as 'fluffy'). When young, Hairgrass stays low to the ground; it will creep upwards once the root system has developed enough to support it.

 The creeping habit of this plant makes it ideal for use in Dutch-style layouts where the substrate is allowed to rise over the edge of the aquarium frame; by filling these areas with Tufted Hairgrass, you can create very natural looking aquascapes. In addition, this plant is one of the most commonly used in paludariums due to its ability to tolerate anoxic (low oxygen) conditions.

Tufted Hairgrass does not require any special fertilizers

 Hairgrass is found naturally in tropical climates where water temperatures are high all year long, though it can also be grown in slightly cooler temperatures with some success. That makes it a good choice for all but the coldest aquarium setups. It will benefit from CO2 supplementation and should be planted in the substrate with a pH of around 5-6. However, it does not require any special fertilizers beyond regular aquarium plant nutrients that come included with your CO2 supplement or multipurpose fish/plant fertilizer.

 The plant can be grown emersed (above water) and in the aquarium, though it will look best when grown submerged in a nutrient-rich substrate of sand, gravel, or clay balls. Tufted-Hairgrass produces all of its leaves from the tip of each stem, meaning older leaves will start to turn brown and die off as new ones develop alongside them. In some cases, this can lead to a 'messy' appearance around the base of the plant but more often than not results in a natural-looking aquascape with young tufts at various heights.

 Though this is one of the few grass-like plants considered hardy enough for beginners, you should still treat it by removing any excessive algae build-up from the leaves so as not to harm it.

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