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Hellianthum tenellum green, common name: pygmy or dwarf chain grass)
Overview: Echinodorus tenellus is a carpeting aquarium plant used by aquarists worldwide. Echinodorus tenellus has a striking resemblance to the Hairgrass plant but differs in the texture and size of the leaf. Also commonly called pygmy or dwarf chain grass, this fast-growing plant is native to regions of South, Central and North America. Highly recommended as a foreground and mid-ground plant due to it’s stunted growth, Echinodorus tenellus is easy to grow and has very little or no demands for optimum growth. With moderate levels of carbon dioxide, sunlight and a nutrient rich substrate, Echinodorus will grow in no time. In the natural habitat, this plant grows in submerged condition.
Appearance: The leaves of Echinodorus tenellus can grow as much as 5 to 10 cms long and have a feather-like appearance. Although it bears resemblance to hairgrass plant, the leaves of E.tenellus are coarser, larger and thicker which lends a rugged natural look to the aquarium. The rosette leaves have a rich green hue when subjected to optimum lighting conditions. Otherwise, they tend to become reddish brown in color.
Hard/Soft plant: Hard plant
Ideal water temperature conditions: Echinodorus tenellus prefers a wide range of tropical temperatures between 19 and 30 degree Celsius.
Ideal lighting conditions: Echinodorus tenellus can tolerate moderate to bright lighting requirements for optimum growth.
Optimum water pH levels: Echinodorus tenellus thrives in water having pH levels range between 5 and 7.5.
Uses and Advantages:
1) Echindorus tenellus is a versatile aquatic plant. It is ideal as a carpeting plant for medium to large size aquariums and as a background plant in nano aquariums where carpeting plants are used in the foreground.
2) When planted between stones, it creates a softer tank environment. Otherwise, the dense foliage gives a rugged natural look to the aquarium.
3) The leaves of Echinodus tenellus serves as a hiding place for small fishes and fry. They provide a nesting place for spawning fishes.
Did you know?
Echinodorus tenellus sends out runners and plantlets appear along with their length. Once roots appear, the plantlets can be snipped and replanted in the substrate. New plants will develop in no time.