With growing interest in planted tanks, hobbyists are always on the look-out for what’s new or different in the hobby. Aquadip’s Joey Abrahams has hints of what retailers can stock
Many retailers will be familiar with Hemianthus callitrichoides ‘Cuba’, also called ‘HC’ for short and ‘dwarf baby tears’.
However, I often get asked, ‘What is the difference between Micranthemum micranthemoides, M. umbrosum and Hemianthus callitrichoides?’. At first glance they all look the same, but I would like to highlight their differences.
M. micranthemoides (pictured left) is a fragile, fast-growing plant that is not recommended for beginners. Growing to a height of about 20cm, its leaves are lancet and ellipse-shaped. Light requirement is high, so hobbyists will have to trim regularly otherwise the bottom areas of plant will be shaded. It also requires CO2.
Because of its speed of growth, it does require some trimming but cuttings can be easily transplanted elsewhere in the tank. M. micranthemoides grows both upwards as well as spreading along the ground.
Micranthemum umbrosum (centre) has larger leaves than M. micranthemoides – although still small at +/- 7mm! – which are round. It is a hardier subject than M. micranthemoides thanks to its sturdier leaves. It is a shorter plant, achieving a maximum height of 15cm.
Last but not least, Hemianthus callitrichoides (right), which I think is really the best of the three to grow a carpet. This species has tightly packed small leaves and creeps along the ground forming a dense carpet, and does not grow taller than 3cm. However, it too requires a high light density and CO2 supplementation, so is not recommended for beginners.
All three need temperatures of 22-28 degrees Celsius.