An Article on Echinodorus tenellus – a Carpeting Plant

This plant was used by James Findley in his work entitled ‘Blue Planet’ (below), after the public aquarium that commissioned it.

Blue Planet by James Findley

Echinodorus tennellus is a carpeting grass that is, in many ways, similar to Eleocharis parvula (otherwise known as ‘hairgrass’), but has slightly larger, coarser leaves which have an almost feather like appearance. As a result of that difference, it has a coarser, thicker appearance in the aquarium which creates a more rugged, wild atmosphere that can be very appealing and a little bit different.

Echinodorus tenellus

James often uses this plant in between stones since its feathery-like, slightly wild appearance has a great softening effect that creates a warmer, more subtle atmosphere. If, however, you want your stone work to appear very dramatic, then Eleocharis parvula may be a better choice to achieve that look.

In addition to using it as a carpeting plant in medium to large aquariums, it can be used to great effect in nano aquariums too. In nano tanks it works well as a background plant where the foreground is covered largely by carpeting plants like Eleocharis parvula or Micranthemum ‘monte carlo’.

Echinodorus tenellus grows by sending out runners, making it a perfect carpeting plant which can form a very dense carpet. It is a fast growing plant that can achieve great results in a relatively short period of time.

Eleocharis tenellus will form a much better carpet if CO2 is used in the aquarium and adequate lighting is also important. If algae develops on the plant, simply prune it by cutting off the affected leaves and removing them from the aquarium.

This plant needs a rich substrate and good fertilisation. ADA Aqua Soil Powder Type is particularly good for carpeting plants and other small plants since the smaller granule size allows the plant portions to be placed into it safely and securely. The small granule sizes also allow the roots of these plants to delve into them more easily and therefore to grow stronger, faster and healthier.

Key uses:

  • As a carpeting plant in medium and large aquariums;
  • As a background plant in nano aquariums, particularly where carpeting plants are used in the foreground;
  • Between stones to soften their appearance and create a warm atmosphere

Preparation and Maintenance

As with all plants, good preparation and maintenance is essential. To prepare Echinodorus tenellus for planting;

  • Remove the plant from its pot
  • Using pinsettes, remove any material it was planted in
  • Then, using pinsettes, separate the plant into small portions
  • Plant the portions into the substrate with pinsettes, in the shape of the number 5 on a dice
  • Use ADA Aqua Soil Powder Type for the best results
  • Aquascaping pinsettes are available in various sizes from; Aquascape Pro Pinsettes, Do!aqua Pinsettes or ADA Pinsettes

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