Nature Aquarium

Lilaeopsis novaezelandiae

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Lilaeopsis novaezelandiae, commonly known as Micro Sword or New Zealand Dwarf Grass, is a small and grass-like aquatic plant that belongs to the family Apiaceae. It is native to New Zealand and is popular in the aquarium hobby for its fine, green blades and its ability to form a dense carpet in the substrate. Here are key details about Lilaeopsis novaezelandiae:

  1. Appearance:

    • Leaves: The leaves of Micro Sword are thin and grass-like, resembling blades of grass. They are typically bright green in color.
    • Growth Form: Lilaeopsis novaezelandiae has a creeping or spreading growth habit. It sends out runners that allow it to create a lush carpet in the aquarium substrate.
  2. Lighting:

    • Micro Sword prefers moderate to high lighting conditions for optimal growth. Adequate light is essential to support photosynthesis and maintain a healthy, compact carpet.
    • It can tolerate lower light levels but may not grow as densely.
  3. Water Parameters:

    • Temperature: 68-82°F (20-28°C)
    • pH: 6.0-7.5
    • Hardness: Soft to moderately hard water is generally suitable.
  4. Substrate and Planting:

    • Lilaeopsis novaezelandiae is often used as a foreground or midground plant, and it benefits from a nutrient-rich substrate.
    • Planting small clusters of Micro Sword in the substrate and providing space for runners to spread will encourage the formation of a carpet.
  5. Compatibility:

    • Micro Sword is generally compatible with a variety of aquarium fish and other aquatic plants.
    • It can be used in both freshwater and brackish water setups.
  6. Maintenance:

    • Regular pruning and trimming may be necessary to control the spread and maintain the desired carpeting effect.
    • Removing any debris or decaying plant matter will help prevent issues with plant health.
  7. Propagation:

    • Propagation is primarily achieved through the production of runners. Once the plant establishes itself, it will send out runners that develop into new plantlets.
    • These plantlets can be separated and replanted in the substrate to expand the carpet.

Lilaeopsis novaezelandiae is valued for its aesthetic appeal and its ability to create a vibrant green carpet in the foreground of aquariums. Its fine blades add a delicate and natural look to aquascapes. As with any aquarium plant, providing stable water conditions, appropriate lighting, and regular maintenance will contribute to the health and success of Micro Sword in your aquarium.