An unpretentious plant for an aquarium whose bush is lush and beautiful. The most popular name in Russia is hemanthus. It is also called pearl grass, because with proper care, the air bubbles deposited on the leaves look like pearls.
The popularity of using it at home is due to a number of factors:
- unpretentiousness in leaving. The plant develops well in hard water and has a pH of at least 6. An additional influx of CO2 ensures the fastest growth of the bush;
- decorative properties of the bush allow you to give it any shape. Rapid growth requires frequent haircuts, and makes it possible to change the landscape.
The bush has a long flexible stalk on which bright green leaves grow. Its height reaches 30 cm. Leaves grow in bunches of 3-4 pieces, on each stem several bunches. Leaf sizes: width up to 4 mm, length - up to 1 cm. There is a type of plant on which 2 leaves are contained in a bunch. It is less lush and rarely used in an aquarium.
The root system is weak, creeping, does not require a strong deepening. This allows the plant to take root quickly in a new place.
The presence of lateral sprouts allows the plant to grow rapidly. It turns out a colony of homogeneous bushes that create the effect of a green hat. This property is widely used to give a group of plants the appearance of a ball or oval, or any other.
Aquarium growing conditions
Given the poorly developed root system, hemianthus micrantemoid grows in the sand of the middle fraction. Feeding in the form of clay. Minerals and the addition of CO2 will provide growth of up to 10 cm per month and a beautiful bright green hue of the plant.
A water temperature of 16 to 22 degrees will create conditions for the abundant growth of hemanthus. Water hardness requirements are also quite simple to fulfill - from 3 to 15 units.
A prerequisite is a weekly change of part of the water in the aquarium. This will help prevent colony contamination with green algae.
Another important aspect will be the lighting of the aquarium. Minimum requirements - 0.5 W per liter of water. Daylight hours at least 12 hours. With a low level of illumination, the plant grows rapidly upward, darkens. Its leaves are less dense and do not reach the desired size. The collection of plants ceases to look like a single bush.
In general, the plant is not whimsical. Its content in the aquarium does not cause any difficulties even for beginner aquarists.
Planting and care
The plant has a simple method of reproduction. It is enough to pinch off the stem or take the shoot from the root. In a new place it needs to be dug in the sand, takes root quickly.
Hemianthus micrantemoides in breadth propagates. It has abundant growth under favorable conditions.
It is better to plant bushes in groups. They can decorate the background of the aquarium, or create a composition in the center. Given that you have to cut the bushes often, that is, the possibility of changing the composition.
Proper care will give the plant the opportunity to gain a foothold in the aquarium for a long time. This is due to the constant updating of the bush with new shoots and fast growth.
The bush may be susceptible to disease. Growth arrest is most often associated with the conditions of detention - a lack of carbon dioxide or a change in the pH balance of the water. The main signs are a slowdown or complete cessation of growth, the leaves at the top become pale.
Long shoots with a height of more than 30 cm, weak sparse leaves indicate insufficient lighting. Red or yellow shade of the leaf indicates the scarcity of top dressing.
Compatible with fish species
Hemianthus micrantemoids is not compatible with some fish species. All cichlids, barbs, pecilli and snails use it instead of food and nothing can remain of the beauty of the bush.