Mixing Eleocharis acicularis and Eleocharis acicularis mini

Sandgrownun

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Hi, first post so you please be gentle. I have a bad feeling I made a mistake. After weeks of planning for the bank holiday last weekend I planted my first scape. Last thing on list was to order plants to arrive for the weekend. I have a dwarf hairgrass carpet but could only get 3 in vitro so added 2 pots to make up the quantity.
Just watched a Green Aqua vid and realised that the in vitros are mini whereas the pots are not. Apart from the height if left to grow are they the same plant or is it going to look odd. Only on day 5 so not to late to pull the pot clumps and replace with mini. All advice appreciated.
 

Simon Cole

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They are very different in my opinion, and you might want to read this.
Grown in optimum conditions I find that the 'mini' is very slow to form dense carpet. It does spread but it is so small that it unnerves me to trim it. It will form larger clumps overtime, but they take a while to connect, whereas its runners rarely add value how quickly it packs out.
I think that the acicularis is faster to grow, it is taller, the leaves are straighter, and the clumps connect together faster. I would say that it does benefit from a regular trim.
Both can be used together, but I would not like the idea of accidentally trimming the 'mini'. I think that the mini is in fact a form of parvula. The mini will go yellow under sub optimal conditions and will only really perform in full light. Trimming it could trigger it to go yellow - could somebody comment on this?
Personally I do not like the mini. It is better because you do not need to trim it, but the blade of the mini has a curve to it which makes it a bit too informal. It works well in some scapes, but you need to decide if this is something you actually want. As with all carpeting plants, small differences individually can amount to a noticeable magnitude. I think that in some rockscapes it looks great, but in many of my tanks I felt a bit disappointed with it.
It only costs about £2.50 for enough to do a foot square, so do swap at this stage. Just think about the maintenance, design aesthetic, and whether it could be beneficial to mix. Do you have a photo?
 

Sandgrownun

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Hi Simon, thanks for the response.

It is the curve aesthetic I want, more of a wild meadow look then a garden lawn look if you know what I mean. The mini I have curves straight away which I really like and has a soft feel whereas the standard acicularis goes straight up and has a wirey feel which I don't want. I only want to grow to 3cm or so with occasional pruning (if needed) to maintain scale so I think I will remove the standard acicularis despite your advice. I planted the mini 7 days ago and the small plugs of 3-5 blades 1" apart have really clumped out already and with the curved blades "appears" to be carpeting but actually this is just overlapping blades above the substrate rather than spreading via runners as you point out. The biggest challenge is them floating up as they grow. I am using Tropica powder soil as the substrate and really struggling with keeping culture cuttings in the soil before they have developed root systems.

It seems Tropica have dropped the parvula in favour of the acicularis "mini" and I cant tell the difference visually and as far as I am aware the main difference is the mini will grow shorter that the parvula and may not need trimming much if at all. I have a lot of other culture plants just planted anywhere at the moment to get them established. I think I will wait until they are moved to final positions before plugging the remaining gaps in the carpet. I am reluctant to pay £5.99 or so for more Tropica pots of mini that have limited coverage when as you say acicularis or parvula is readily available on eBay in much larger portions for half the price and with free delivery.

Will try and post some pics over the next day or so.
 

Simon Cole

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I never had much luck holding the "mini" down in Tropica soil by itself. I now add a thin (5mm) cap of crushed black basalt (2-3mm) on top of the Tropica. The basalt is highly elongate and very angular, and it's quite dense, so it is ideal at interlocking and holding down almost any cutting. It interlocks so well that you can actually place rocks and what not on top with out fear of them moving if you went slightly deeper, whilst keeping the aquasoil underneath. As a crushed natural volcanic rock it is packed full of minerals, it appears to have a large pore surface area and looks a bit like a crunchie bar under the microscope. It acts like a natural biological filter.

I'm sure you'll be impressed with the "mini". It does have an interesting quality. I think it looks better with a gravel of some kind as opposed to a black aquasoil. I love the idea of a meadow look. Unfortunately I have too many shrimp and my tanks tend to more like sitting next to an ants nest.
WP_20190516_00_47_58_Pro[1].jpg < 5mm deep crushed black basalt cap (2-3mm grain size)
WP_20190516_00_52_18_Pro[1].jpg < 10mm deep Love Fish Natural Green Aquarium Gravel cap
 

alto

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24 Dec 2014
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It seems Tropica have dropped the parvula in favour of the acicularis "mini"
At last check, Tropica offered E parvula in pots, E parvula, E acicularis & E acicularis ‘mini’ in tissue culture

Not sure why their website doesn’t reflect this :confused:

They also offered some 10cm x 10cm “pads” for carpeting plants - though perhaps these are limited production/availability, I first saw these listed on Green Aqua a year or so ago (but “No Comment” from our rep so who knows)
 

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