Name: Sagittaria subulata
Origin: North America
The Dwarf Sagittaria is an undemanding plant, that very well suits the purpose of filling in "empty spaces" from middle to front of the tank. It's emmersed and immersed forms are quite different. Often sold in emmersed form (left image), it's about 15-20 cm tall with lanceolate leaves. When placed in the tank, it goes through a transformation to achieve the grass-like immersed form. For that, it begins by shedding all emmersed leaves and an unaware aquarist may think that the plant has died and throw it away. But a more careful inspection will show that it's releasing small grassy leaves in the middle. After the transformation is finished it assumes the aspect of the right image above, forming a low grass that can be maintained that way with frequent pruning, always leaving the plant about 5 to 10 cm tall. If left to grow, depending on the variant it may reach considerable sizes, up to 50 cm in length. Under the water it propagates like the Vallisneria, shooting runners under the gravel which generate daughter plants next to the mother.
This is a great beginner plant for tanks with medium light. It sends out tons of runners and seems happy in just plain old aquarium gravel. I have it in my first planted 40 liter tank and I love it...it just keeps on growing and looks nice in the foreground.
This is a lovely plant! Since most grassy plants require lots of light, it's nice to find this gem and have it do wonderfully under low light. Currently, my 70 L tank has some of this. The tank gets approximately 1.2 Watts of light per gallon, and the Dwarf Sag has done VERY well. It propagates slowly, and would benefit from more light, but the fact that it's been in the tank for over a year without dying is good enough for me!
Dwarf sag and pygmy chain sword are quite similiar looking. In fact, the comments on this site's pages may refer to the other plant - not the plant in question.
I bought this plant when I first set up my fish tank, I'm guessing at least ten years ago. And this plant is still going. All you have to do is pluck off the dead leaves and trim the roots sometimes.
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