Hemianthus callitrichoides (HC, Dwarf Baby Tears, Dwarf Helzine, HC Cuba) sometimes called "Micranthemum callitrichoides"
One of the most desirable carpet plants for aquariums, - our HC adapts instantly and grows fast. If you are looking for a carpet plant, you cannot go wrong with this stunning, fast growing groundcover used in some of the most spectacular aquascapes in the world!
HC can also be grown as a bushy foreground plant in lower lighting without CO2.
Difficulty: Moderate to challenging.
Type: Carpeting plant, foreground bush
Size: Max. height of 1cm in high light conditions and up to 5cm in lower light conditions
Position and Usage: Foreground
Growth rate: Medium to very fast
Lighting: 3/5 – 5/5
Water Conditions: Slightly acidic to neutral pH; recommended temperature of 25°C (tolerates 18 - 30°C). Prefers soft water but tolerates all but very hard water
Propagation: Spreads quickly and naturally via runners; cuttings can be re-planted.
Special Requirements: Bright light and CO2 recommended for short, carpeting growth but can also be grown in medium lighting without CO2.
Hemianthus callitrichoides (HC, Dwarf Baby Tears, Micranthemum callitrichoides)
Hemianthus callitrichoides (HC Cuba) is one of the most magnificent aquarium plants. With millimeter size leaves, dense growth and a vibrant green color, it breathes life into any aquascape. With bright light and carbon dioxide, it grows as a short, dense, creeping carpet. It is extremely flexible and can be used to great effect in the smallest nano aquariums to the largest display tanks. It is especially stunning with shrimp and small, brightly colored fish.
Though it really shines in ‘high tech’ setups where it grows into a vast, pearling lawn of green. HC can also be grown as a normal, albiet tiny stem plant in low tech tanks, bowls and nano-aquariums. Due to its diminutive scale, it can make small aquascapes appear huge and huge aquascapes appear colossal.
To accommodate its small dense roots, we recommend a fine substrate. Plant in small clumps just a few centimeters apart. When acclimated, H. callitrichoides will grow quickly, and these small clumps will grow into each other, spreading over surprisingly large areas and carpeting the exposed substrate of your tank. Occasional trimming is recommended to tame vertical growth and may be used to intentionally shape the terrain and even creating terrace-like effects.
While nutrient supplementation is not required, a fertile substrate will encourage healthy growth. The accumulation of detritus could choke this plant, so we the occasional gentle vaccuming during water changes.
Herbivorous or digging fish will uproot and damage H. callitrichoides, shrimp will not. In fact, we recommend the addition of shrimp to your tank as they will clean leaf detritus gently, maintaining aquascape health and aesthetic. We also recommend a slightly acidic to neutral tank pH as hard alkaline waters can cause mineral deposits on the small, delicate leaves and slowing growth.
HC is without a doubt one of the most rewarding aquarium plants. It has a je ne sais quoi that transforms a glass box with water into a slice of natural paradise. If you have an aquascape that feels like it's missing something, a carpet of HC is an almost magical way to make your aquarium look and feel complete.
Though it can be grown without, for many people, HC alone, is a compelling reason to set up a CO2 system. If you already have CO2, this plant makes great use of your investment and should be seriously considered. A lush green lawn of HC is frequently considered the epitome of the planted aquarium - well worth the challenge! Given the right conditions you might be surprised at how easy it is to achieve...