Ultimate Guide to Caring for Utricularia Graminifolia (UG)

Ultimate Guide to Caring for Utricularia Graminifolia (UG)

Welcome to Hakkai's comprehensive plant care sheet for Utricularia graminifolia, commonly known as UG. This fascinating aquatic plant, with its lush, grass-like appearance, is a favorite among aquascapers. Known for its vibrant green carpets and unique characteristics, UG can be a stunning addition to your aquascape. In this guide, we'll cover everything you need to know to grow and maintain a healthy UG carpet.


**Scientific Name:** Utricularia graminifolia
**Common Name:** UG
**Family:** Lentibulariaceae
**Origin:** Southeast Asia (India, Sri Lanka)
**Type:** Carnivorous, aquatic plant
**Growth Rate:** Moderate to fast
**Light Demand:** Medium to high
**CO2 Requirement:** High
**Difficulty Level:** Intermediate to advanced

Tank Setup


UG thrives best in a nutrient-rich substrate. Aqua soil is highly recommended due to its ability to provide essential nutrients and maintain stability. A fine-grained substrate allows UG to root effectively, forming a dense carpet over time.


UG requires medium to high lighting to grow optimally. A light intensity of around 0.5 to 1 watt per liter is ideal. Ensure that your lighting system provides a spectrum that supports plant growth, typically in the range of 6,500 to 7,500 Kelvin. Maintain a photoperiod of 8-10 hours per day to prevent algae growth.

CO2 and Fertilization

High CO2 levels are crucial for UG. Aim for a concentration of 20-30 ppm. Consistent CO2 injection not only promotes healthy growth but also prevents algae issues. In addition to CO2, regular fertilization is essential. Use a comprehensive liquid fertilizer that includes micronutrients and macronutrients. Root tabs can be beneficial if you notice slower growth or yellowing leaves.

Water Parameters

UG prefers soft, slightly acidic water. Here are the ideal water parameters:

- **Temperature:** 22-28°C (72-82°F)
- **pH:** 6.0-7.0
- **KH:** 1-5 dKH
- **GH:** 1-5 dGH

Regular water changes (30-50% weekly) are crucial to maintain water quality and prevent nutrient build-up, which can lead to algae growth.

Planting and Propagation


When planting UG, divide it into small clumps and spread them evenly across the substrate. Use tweezers to gently insert the roots into the substrate, ensuring the plant is secure. This method encourages faster spreading and establishment.


UG propagates through runners, which spread horizontally across the substrate. Once established, UG will naturally expand, creating a dense carpet. You can also propagate UG by trimming and replanting the cuttings.



Regular trimming is essential to maintain the carpet's health and appearance. Trim UG to a height of 1-2 cm (0.4-0.8 inches) to promote new growth and prevent the lower parts from decaying due to lack of light.

Algae Control

High lighting and nutrient levels can lead to algae issues. Maintain a balance by adjusting your light intensity and duration, and by ensuring consistent CO2 and nutrient dosing. Introduce algae-eating fish or invertebrates, such as Amano shrimp or Otocinclus catfish, to help keep algae in check.

Common Problems


UG is susceptible to melting, especially when transitioning to a new tank. This is often due to a lack of CO2 or unstable water parameters. Ensure consistent CO2 injection and stable conditions to minimize melting.

Yellowing Leaves

Yellowing leaves can indicate nutrient deficiencies, particularly nitrogen or iron. Increase your fertilization regimen and consider using root tabs for additional nutrients.

Slow Growth

If UG growth is slow, check your CO2 levels, lighting, and nutrient dosing. Ensure all these factors are within the optimal range for UG.


Utricularia graminifolia can be a challenging but rewarding plant to grow in your aquascape. With its vibrant green color and unique texture, UG can transform your aquarium into a lush, underwater meadow. By following the care guidelines outlined in this guide, you can successfully cultivate and maintain a healthy UG carpet. Happy aquascaping!

For more tips and expert advice, visit our website at Hakkai.com or join our community of aquascaping enthusiasts.

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