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Hemianthus callitrichoides “HC” is one of the world’s smallest aquarium plants. It was originally imported by Holger Windelov, who found it in a riverbed on Cuba, to the west of Havana. Its delicate stems with the tiny roundish to ovoid leaves have a creeping growth habit. When planted in small tufts at a distance of a few centimetres, the plant will soon spread and form an uninterrupted carpet. Hemianthus callitrichoides “HC” is an attractive foreground plant for small as well as large tanks.
Because of the small scale of this aquarium plant (standing at just 3-5cm tall and 10cm across) the HC Cuba makes for the perfect plant in nano aquariums, or within any type of layout where you need to achieve an idea of scale. It can create some particularly effective designs when used in an aquarium that is to house small fish and/or shrimp and produces a steady pearling as it photosynthesizes.
The “HC” can also produce wonderful results when used within a traditional Iwagumi layout (e.g. a layout where stones serve as both the focal point and only hardscape); find out more about Iwagumi Layouts in our introductory guide.
Just like fish, living plants do best when they are kept in an aquarium that best suits their needs. Selecting live plants that share common water conditions will minimize problems and make it easier for you to maintain and keep your aquarium in tip top shape.