Helanthium tenellum, also known as Pygmy Chain Sword or Dwarf Chain Sword, is a popular aquatic plant that brings a lush and natural aesthetic to freshwater aquariums. It belongs to the Alismataceae family and is appreciated for its grass-like appearance, making it a favoured choice for creating carpeted foregrounds in aquascaping layouts.
Leaf Structure: Helanthium tenellum features thin and narrow leaves that closely resemble blades of grass. The leaves are typically light to medium green in colour, creating a subtle and elegant look in the aquarium.
Growth Form: This plant has a spreading growth habit, with runners extending horizontally across the substrate. As the runners develop, new plants emerge, forming a carpet-like effect composed of the grass-like leaves.
Root System: Helanthium tenellum develops a network of fine roots that anchor it in the substrate and absorb nutrients from the surrounding environment.
Lighting: Moderate to high lighting is recommended for Helanthium tenellum to promote healthy and compact growth. Proper lighting encourages the formation of a dense carpet of grass-like leaves.
Substrate: A nutrient-rich substrate is essential for cultivating this plant. The roots of Helanthium tenellum draw nutrients from the substrate, supporting its growth and overall well-being.
CO2 Injection: While not strictly required, providing the aquarium with carbon dioxide (CO2) can enhance the growth and vibrancy of this plant. CO2 supplementation is especially valuable in setups with higher lighting.
Water Parameters: Maintain water conditions within a pH range of 6.0 to 7.5 and a water hardness level of soft to moderately hard. The temperature should ideally be between 20 to 28°C (68 to 82°F).
Propagation: Propagation of Helanthium tenellum is achieved through the growth of runners. As new plants develop along the runners and form their own root systems, they can be carefully separated and replanted to expand the carpet.
Maintenance: Regular trimming of damaged or excessively tall leaves is necessary to maintain the desired carpet appearance. Pruning overcrowded areas can encourage healthy growth and prevent shading issues.
Aquascaping Use: Helanthium tenellum is a favoured choice for creating carpeted foregrounds in aquascaping layouts. Its grass-like appearance adds a sense of realism and depth to underwater landscapes, creating a visual transition between the substrate and taller plants in the background.
Challenges: Ensuring consistent lighting and providing adequate nutrients are essential for the successful growth of Helanthium tenellum. Suboptimal conditions can lead to slower growth and reduced carpet density.
Helanthium tenellum is a versatile and visually appealing plant that contributes to the beauty of freshwater aquariums. Its ability to form dense carpets of grass-like leaves offers aquarists an opportunity to create captivating and natural-looking aquascapes. By providing the right care and conditions, enthusiasts can enjoy the beauty and elegance of Helanthium tenellum as it transforms the foreground of their aquariums into a vibrant and dynamic scene.
Plants with great success!
Tissue Cultures are very young plants cultivated and delivered directly from the laboratory. The plants are guaranteed to be free from snails, algae and pesticides and, therefore, are harmless for sensitive shrimp and fish.
Success with your aquarium depends largely on the proper plant choice. In a Tissue Culture cup, you get many plants that can be divided into small portions and cover a larger area. Plants are compact from the start, so you will experience dense and beautiful growth if you give them the right fertiliser and CO2!
- Carefully take the plant out of the cup and rinse off the growing media.
- To prevent mildew and algae, rinse with chlorine-free water.
- Split the plant into portions using your fingers or scissors.
- Plant portions into the substrate using tweezers or attach to the hardscape in case of rhizomatous.
Then watch them grow!
Country or continent where a plant is the most common. Cultivars arise or are bred in cultivation.
Growth rate of the plant compared to other aquatic plants.
Average height (cm) of the plant after two months in the tank.
The average or medium light demand of an aquarium plant is 0.5 W/L.
A medium need in CO2 is 6-14 mg/L. A high demand in CO2 is approx. 15-25 mg/L.