Why is My Dwarf Hairgrass Melting

Why is My Dwarf Hairgrass Melting? [7 Reasons + Solutions]

A bunch of melting dwarf hairgrass is enough to make you anxious and distressed. It gets worse when you’re not sure of the reason behind it.

So, you probably want to know why is my dwarf hairgrass melting?

It happens due to a lack of individual growing space or irregular trimming of the plants. It can also be the sandy substance at the bottom, slowing down growth. Or the lighting and fertilization are not adequate depending on your aquarium size.

Whatever the reason is, it’s time to let go of your worries because we have discussed in detail the reasons and remedies for dwarf hairgrass melting.

So let’s just dig in-

How to Understand If Hairgrass Is Melting?

Apparently, dwarf hairgrass dying is really common. And we hear a lot of complaints about dwarf hairgrass melting all the time. 

So, what do we mean by melting?

Well, that means your dwarf hair grass will turn yellow. And then all of a sudden the leaves start squeezing themselves. Slowly but surely, your hair grass may even start looking brown.

So, to save your plants, we’ve decided not to keep you waiting. Let’s jump into the reasons and remedies for your melting dwarf hair grass.

Why is My Dwarf Hairgrass Melting? (Reasons & Remedies)

dwarf hairgrass melting
Source: Barrreport.com

If you’re into aquatic plants then surely you have gone through the battle between micro swords and dwarf hairgrass in mind. And finally, you might considered dwarf hairgrass to charm you with its lush green view. But buddy, life isn’t that easy. And even after all your love and care, these damn plants still won’t stay green.

Lack of Space 

Well, taking care of dwarf hairgrass is no less than babysitting. Trust me, at times they can be even more delicate than actual children.

That’s why they need extra care. Now, if you have a smaller tank and you’re trying to put big batches of dwarf hairgrass without proper spacing, then you need to rethink it, pal.

Because using bigger patches slows down the speed of growth. And when the patches are placed without sufficient gap, the overpopulation causes dwarf hairgrass turning brown.

So if you think that might be your problem then don’t worry, we got you covered. Just scroll through the solutions and you’ll be good-


So, how to solve this spacing problem?

Well, first things first, take out the patches of dwarf hairgrass in your aquarium. Then cut them into smaller patches if the aquarium is small. To ensure a smooth cut I always use the capetsma Aquascape Tools. Because it works wonderfully to trim and groom aquatic plants.

A rule of thumb for gaps suggests that half-inch gaps between the patches ensure rapid growth.

Now mark the gaps and set the patches accordingly. Wait for a few days and your dwarf hairgrass that has been melting will be right back on track.

To get you rid of any confusion regarding how many patches you should add depending on your tank size, just go through the table-

Trim Delays 

Here, we’re assuming that you’ve placed the hairgrass with sufficient gaps. Yet, the situation still hasn’t improved.

So, if you’re still wondering why your hairgrass died off, then another reason behind this can be the trim delays.

Now, you must be thinking, how in the world can this happen?

Well, let’s get through a scenario-

You’ve installed the hair grass and you get awestruck with its growth. But while you’re getting happy, it might be that the situation in your tank is anything but good.

Because to your surprise, you may see the dwarf hairgrass turning yellow in a few days. And it means that you’re not trimming it enough.

Dwarf hairgrass is quite a sensitive plant that needs constant care and attention. So, if you’ve missed giving much attention to the plants and skipped trimming, then, this might be the reason for the hairgrass not growing back

And unless you solve the problem your hairgrass won’t grow back.

To be more specific, the pre-existing blades of your dwarf hair grass might not be compatible with underwater conditions. Moreover, since you’re not trimming them properly, new compatible blades aren’t growing. 


Whether it’s a date or a regular day, looking sharp is a must. Believe it, buddy! Your plants also love looking sharp. So, trimming is probably the best way to keep things sharp or top-notch.  

Apart from looking sharp, Trimming DHG on a regular basis helps to spread the carpet horizontally.

So, why do we need dwarf hairgrass trimming?

There’s nothing wrong with trimming and keeping your plants in shape. Moreover, if the grass is not trimmed, it’ll grow to about 4 inches or more. If this happens then you can say bye to a uniform carpet. So, try to maintain your hair grass’s height to about 1.5 inches or so. 

Long story short, blades at 1.5 inches in height will allow the plant to grow new roots. Moreover, it’ll bring out new blades that blend just perfectly with your tank water. And lastly, you put a stop to all this hairgrass melting issue. 

After knowing important it is to trim your plants, you might be looking for the perfect trimmer, so here are our favorites –

If you want to see how to trim dwarf hairgrass watch the following video-

Inadequate Lighting 

Be it your Christmas tree or aquarium, proper lighting is a must. Plants as delicate as dwarf hairgrass need perfect lighting all year round.

To ensure proper lighting, the tank size might be considered. So, you might have just bought a big tank. But your tank LED light isn’t good enough to provide it with enough light. Or it’s just not perfect for the plant that you have grown.

So, if your light is unable to fulfill the needs of plants they might start melting. It is a carpeting type of plant and so it has higher requirements when it comes to proper lighting.

Don’t just be upset yet because we got the solution as well.


Light is one of the basic needs for your plant. No matter whether they are aquatic plants or not, they will need light to bloom.

As you’ve planted dwarf hairgrass inside your aquarium it will need enough light to flourish.

And the right amount and type of light are more than just significant. The lighting varies on what type of tank you are using to nurture the hairgrass carpet. So what are the dwarf hairgrass light requirements?

All you need to do is provide 2 watts per gallon or more light in the tank. And the required color temperature should be aroun 5000-7000 kelvin.

If you’re struggling to find the perfect one for your tank then here is a short guide on the tank and lighting compatibility-

Setup according to species and fisheriesLight-based on watt/inchTank volume(gallon)
Easy breed species
i.e: Guppies, Angelfish, Swordtail
10 watts5
Difficult breed species
i.e: Zebra Pleco, Yellow Tang
10-12 watts5-10
Difficult sp. Mixed with reef
i.e: Dragonettes, Mandarin Fish
12-23 watts5-40
Reef with difficult sp.165-300 watts50-180
Easy breed species
10-23 watts10-40
Mixed species with reef
i.e: Steepled Cling Fish, Madagascar Clownfish
Mixed breed species
i.e: Butterfly Fish, Gobies
55- 70

Now that you know which light is perfect for you, just set it. And you’ll be on your way to getting rid of melting dwarf hairgrass.

Apart from all the information above, we prefer these lights for hairgrass growth-

Recommended Product Price
MARS HYDRO TS 1000W Led Grow LightBuy from Amazon
MAXSISUN PB 1000 LED Grow LightsBuy from Amazon

Now that we shared our favorites with you, we hope this will help you with your melting hairgrass. Now let’s move on to the next probable reason behind the trouble with your hairgrass.

Wrong Fertilizers

Dwarf Hairgrass Bunch Eleocharis Parvula Aquatic Aquarium Plants  BUY2GET1FREE- Buy Online in Honduras at Desertcart - 96411487.

Source: https://honduras.desertcart.com/

At this point, you’ve tried out trimming, lighting, and spacing. Well, we guess that none of these worked well for you. And you’re wondering how to keep hairgrass from melting. If that’s the situation then it’s time to step up. 

Now, if you’re a foodie then you know the drill buddy. Eating a lot is fun but might upset your stomach at times.

So, turns out that your dwarf hairgrass is a foodie as well. But what’s its favorite meal?

Mainly nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. These three make one hell of a fertilizer. And lack of these ingredients in fertilizers is one of the main reasons why you’re not getting a thick lively carpet.

So no matter how much you’re feeding the dwarf hairgrass with fertilizers, a lack of proper ingredients will result in melted hairgrass.

What’s the solution then? Scroll down and you shall receive what you asked for-


So the answer is perfect fertilizers. Fertilizers will do wonders for your plant.

As we know nutrients are the basic need for any kind of plant. Thus, you need to ensure that your dwarf hairgrass plant is getting the right proportion of nutrients at the right time. And if you keep feeding the nutrients on a regular basis then, you can start dreaming of green hair grasses again. 

But choosing the right type of fertilizer is super confusing. Because when you start searching for fertilizers for hairgrass growth, you’ll hear names like root tabs and others. 

In case you don’t know what root, tabs are, then these are just mini tablets, containing all the essential nutrients.

So, to put an end to your confusions, we’ve dug up some fertilizer types for Dwarf Hairgrass aka ‘Magic potions for DHG’ for you-

Now depending on your aquarium type, select the best fertilizer for your dwarf hairgrass. Using fertilizers regularly will help you keep a healthy dwarf hairgrass carpet.

But to get the desired results, it would be best to add fertilizers twice a week for the first month. Then carry on fertilizing once a week for green dwarf hairgrass.

Sand Based Substance

If you’ve filled the bottom of your aquarium with sand to give it a more aesthetic look then it’s good for your shrimps. But apparently, it’s not so good if you’ve planted dwarf hairgrass inside.

Aquarium Sand Vs Gravel - Which Substrate Should You Choose

Source: https://www.tankarium.com/

Because hairgrass needs a substance from which it can consume the nutrients. However, sand is not that kind of a substance. So even if you planted hairgrass on sand, then you will need something extra to hold onto the nutrients.

So that your plant can have an adequate amount of nutrients even on the sand surface.


So if the above reason keeps you worried about how to supply nutrients to hairgrass on sand surface then root tabs are here to your rescue.

In case you’re wondering- will dwarf Hairgrass grow in sand?

Of course, it will but only in sand substrates only. All you need to do is place root tabs around the sand. A quick tip is that the sand depth should be 2 inches or more to plant the root tabs.

In case you have doubts about which root tabs work better, then to clear that we shared our preferred root tabs-

Recommended Product Price
Seachem Flourish Tabs Growth Supplement Buy from Amazon
API ROOT TABS Freshwater Aquarium Plant FertilizerBuy from Amazon

Now that you’ve got the idea about which root tabs we prefer, hope that it works for you as well.

Growth of Algae

If you find your dwarf hairgrass turning white then there’s a possibility of algae attack. There’s no need to panic. If you don’t clean the water often this happens. The thing is, nowadays people grow algae on rocks for their aquariums. However, hair algae are common causes of melting a dwarf plant.


No need to worry, you can still fix this. Hair algae are common and can be easily removed. All you need to do is increase the amount of carbon dioxide in the tank. For that, I use the following co2 enhancer-

If that’s not helping try to decrease the amount of light and keep a smooth water circulation.

Another interesting solution for removing algae is using nerite snails. How? Will nerite snails eat hair algae?

Yes! Along with their unique colors, nerite algae are extremely beneficial. They clean off the algae from the aquatic plants. They also keep the sand substrates clean.

CO2 Deficiencies 

Remember how your elementary school teacher explained we breathe out carbon dioxide. And we know how helpful that emitted CO2 is for plants.

Well yeah, CO2 deficiencies might also be the reason why your plant looks depressed. If you’ve been ignoring the fact of injecting some extra CO2 into your underwater hairgrass, then it’s time to change it.

Because the truth is dwarf hairgrass needs CO2 more than any other plant to remain lively. And this is one of the main reasons behind DHG melting.


Well, I personally prefer to use CO2 regulators because I’ve seen that it ensures healthy and fast growth for DHG. 

Many would suggest that it isn’t that necessary but I got my results. Now, there are many types of regulators. But the ones that you would want to use are those which have solenoids and needle valves. So here’s are some that we recommend-

The reason we recommend solenoids is that their main function is to turn off the regulator when there isn’t light. Now, you can relax in your pajamas and watch that exciting football match without having to check the lights.

We also endorse having regulators with needle valves for healthy dwarf hairgrass. Because a needle valve maintains the steady and desired pace of CO2 flow. 

Both these regulators will help keep the rate of bubbles 1-3/s or around 30 ppm (parts per million) and your carpet will be rocking!!

Apart from these, you can also count on synchronized CO2 injections in accordance with the aquarium lighting to help the DHG growth issue. 

How To Take Care Of Dwarf Hairgrass?

Dwarf Hairgrass Is Dying ? | My Aquarium Club

Source: https://www.myaquariumclub.com/

In order to keep your dwarf hairgrass plants healthy, try and keep the temperature constant. Which is around 50-83°F. Keeping the pH neutral can also help the plants. Also, the intensity of light should be monitored. Along with the CO2 level. You can do that with the help of a gh/kh test kit.

Quick Tips

Well, by now you have surely understood that the lush green carpet that you wanted needs some serious maintenance. But why should you worry? Taking care of a dwarf hairgrass is very easy.

As always, we’re here to your rescue. Here are 3 amazing rules of thumb to help you with dwarf hairgrass melting.

Tip 1: Fertilize During the Day

You remember how we were taught that plants are more active during the daytime. This is the same for dwarf hairgrass.

So, if you’re thinking of adding fertilizers to your plant, daytime is the best.

Tip 2: Give Iron Shots

If you’re looking forward to rapid growth or an instant result for your DHG growth, then we advise you to add extra iron shots.

Don’t get all worried about the name “Iron shots”. The shots aren’t as heavy as it sounds. 

Besides, putting an iron dose is just as easy as giving a co2 dose. Just inject it on the dwarf patches and you’re all good.

Tip 3: Know Your Plant

So, apparently, it’s important to know your plant because some varieties of dwarf hairgrass are slow growers.

Underwater tolerant dwarf hairgrass is mainly of three species. These are- 

  1. Eleocharis Parvula,
  2. Eleocharis Acicularis,
  3. Eleocharis Belem

Among them, the E.Parvula has the fastest growth rate and that’s why it is more popular.

However, that doesn’t mean you have to ignore the other types. Even though the other two are comparably slow growers, they are just beautiful. If your tank is 10-15 gallons and you like to watch those little fishes swim around then you should probably choose the other types.

When you know which variety of dwarf hairgrass you’ve planted, it’s easy for you to predict the growth rate without panicking. Because different species have different growth patterns.

Tip 4: Make The Perfect Tank Set Up

Here are some key things you need to keep in mind while making a tank for your dwarf hairgrass-

Water Temperature 50-85°F
Water pH level6.5-7.5 pH
Tank volume [minimum]10 gallons
Tank size [maximum]6 inches


Does any other surface prevent the growth of hairgrass?

Yes, apart from sand surfaces, coarse gravel is another substance that is hard to grow hairgrass on. The main challenge in growing hairgrass on gravel is setting up the hairgrass is hard. If you want some help with setting up the dwarf hairgrass on gravel, aquatic plant tweezers will help you with it.

How long does it take for a hairgrass to start rooting?

Depending on the time it might take 6 to 8 weeks. If yours is the breed that starts growing fast enough then 6 weeks is the exact time. For slow growers, it can take up to 8 weeks.

Does dwarf hairgrass spread?

Yes, dwarf hairgrass spreads in an adequate amount. If put under perfect circumstances it can spread to create a nice fluffy carpet.

Why are my aquarium plants melting?

There are many reasons for aquarium plants melting. But some of the main reasons are the fluctuation of carbon dioxide level, algae infection, unhygienic water, and insufficient nutrients.


By now you’ve mastered dwarf hairgrass melting reasons and remedies. So, it’s time for you to see which reason is behind your trouble and act accordingly.

Don’t forget to let us know if our solutions worked for you by commenting.

Thank you and have a good day.

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