Dwarf Sagittaria: Care Guide, Breeding, and Tank Size

The Dwarf Sagittaria is a low-maintenance aquarium plant that grows in various environments and is a popular plant among new fish keepers. It is native to various locations, notably the United States and Columbia. Still, it has recently been discovered as an invasive plant in wetlands and along waterways in the Azores, the United Kingdom, and Indonesia. 

Dwarf Sagittaria

Dwarf Sagittaria is a low-maintenance, resilient aquatic plant that is ideal for beginners. It’s prevalent along the shore, where it thrives in saline marine waters in marshland and bays, though it can also be spotted in ponds and streams. It may grow half-submerged and fully submerged, allowing it to adjust to a variety of conditions in the residential aquarium.
We hope you find this Dwarf Sagittaria care guide helpful. 

Dwarf Sagittaria Quick Stats

Information ChartDwarf Sagittaria
Scientific Name:Sagittaria subulata
Care Level:Easy
Plant SizeUp to 12 inches tall
Growth RateFast
Minimum Tank Size5 gallons
Temperature72-82 degrees Fahrenheit
WaterConditionsHard Water and high pH (6.5-7.5)
LightingT5/T8 bulbs or LED lights

What Does Dwarf Sagittaria Look Like? 

The Dwarf Sagittaria is a perennial plant with small, arrow-like blades that vary in size from.04 to.28 inches (1 to 7 mm). The plant is 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 cm) high and vibrant green color. 

What Does Dwarf Sagittaria Look Like

Beneath the water, the Dwarf Sagittaria produces small white blooms on slender, pale green stems that are about.4 inches (1 cm) long. Male and female flowers bloom on each stem, with the females carrying the seeds. There are generally one to two female flowers and two to five male blooms.

Types/Varieties of Dwarf Sagittaria

Sagittaria subulata is the scientific name that corresponds to roughly 45 separate species and several variants that are sometimes confused with Dwarf Sagittaria. 

The Narrowleaf Sagittaria, genus Sagittaria subulata var. gracillima, is one instance. When small, it bears a striking resemblance to the Dwarf Sagittaria. The leaves, in particular, are nearly identical in size. 

Sagittaria subulata var. kurziana, sometimes known as Broadleaf Sagittaria, is also another variation. The Broadleaf may easily be distinguished from the Dwarf because the former has large leaves, and the latter has thin, arrow-shaped leaves.

Natural Habitat and Origin

Dwarf Sagittaria is native to the Atlantic coast of North America and South America, where it grows in estuaries, wetlands, and freshwater habitats. They can be found along Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, New Jersey, Massachusetts, South Carolina, and North Carolina in North America.  

Dwarf Sagittaria can be found in Colombia and Venezuela within South America. It is regarded as an invasive species in several locations, including the Azores in Portugal, the Great Britain, and Indonesia, Java. Dwarf Sagittaria thrives in both freshwater and brines, which is why it can be found in estuaries.

Dwarf Sagittaria can withstand harsh waters as well as organic-rich waters. They also flourish at any temperature of the water and do not demand that the water temperature be kept constant. Dwarf Sagittaria can be grown in any tank volume. 

Dwarf Sagittaria can be cultivated in a nano tank with a limit of 5-gallon volume, but they can also be produced in a giant tank. Of course, if you’re using a smaller tank, you’ll have to keep trimming dwarf Sagittaria and crop more frequently to keep the Dwarf Sagittaria from taking over. 

Dwarf Sagittaria can adjust to a wide range of water conditions, including temperature, pH, and GH.

Size and Growth Rate of Dwarf Sagittaria

Although each Dwarf Sagittaria is around 4-6 inches (10-15 cm) tall, they span the complete tank like grasses when they gather.

The Dwarf Sagittaria can be propagated with little effort on the part of the planted aquariums enthusiast. It grows on its own, and it grows swiftly. (One of the reasons the Dwarf Sagittaria is considered an invasive species in many areas naturally is because of this feature.) 

Size and Growth Rate of Dwarf Sagittaria

The tank base is carpeted with Dwarf Sagittaria runners. Gently snip off the excess runners and reinstall them where you would like to prevent the spread. 

The runners will start growing a few weeks after you sow the first Dwarf Sagittaria. As with most plants, trimming and pruning foster new growth and create the lawn-like aquascape many enthusiasts’ desire.

How Big Do Dwarf Sagittaria Get?

Dwarf Sagittaria typically grow to 4-6 inches in size. However, the maximum it can grow is 12 inches.

How Fast Does Dwarf Sagittaria Grow?

Dwarf Sagittaria Growth Rate – Fast 

Runners normally sprout in a few weeks after the initial one is planted and pruning just a few leaves now and then boosts the propagation rate and encourages the development of the desired carpet look.

Caring for Dwarf Sagittaria

Trimming And Pruning Dwarf Sagittaria

Dwarf Sagittaria is an easy-to-care-for plant. Sagittaria has a modest growth rate and can reach a height of 30cm if properly cared for. Since their blades can reach up to 2 feet in length, Dwarf Sagittaria plants should be only trimmed and pruned as needed. 

If you clip the leaves, keep at least 1 inch of leaf on each side to recover the freshly cut portions before being subjected to moisture again (which promotes rot).

Nutritional Requirements for Dwarf Sagittaria

Though dwarf sag isn’t picky about its maintenance, there are a few things you can do to maintain health and thrive well indoor or outdoor. Standard aquarium gravel or other stones/pebbles other than limestone or other pebbles work just as well as limestone or other rocks for supporting this plant. 

It is advantageous to have an iron-rich base (such as laterite). This is because it includes enough nutrients and many essential minerals for vegetation; nonetheless, providing fertilizers to the surrounding water, such as liquid fertilizers, is also a smart option as aquatic plants require them.

Injection of carbon dioxide into the aquatic environment can offer nutrition to Sagittaria in a form that living things can use through a biochemical process called photosynthesis. Otherwise, based on the brand and the amount of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, iron, or other trace minerals in the nitrogen, the liquid nutrient can be given to the surrounding water or ground of exterior planted plants once every few weeks. Plants grow better in such conditions. 

Dwarf Sagittaria Tank Requirements and Setup

Dwarf Sagittaria Tank Size and Specifications

It thrives in a tank with at least moderate lighting and carbon dioxide injection. If soil is present, it can be utilized as a foundation for open-air potting; if not, gravel would suffice. To maintain a pH range of 6.0-7.5, the water must be acidic and alkaline; aquatic plants must be planted on a soil mineral such as iron or laterite, with lots of peat moss blended in.

Minimum Tank Size 

Minimum Tank Size

Water Requirements for Dwarf Sagittaria

During actively growing, conditions should be kept around 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celsius). Sagittaria may thrive in many tank aquatic habitats, while soft water is preferable to hard water since it contains fewer dissolved salts (such as calcium). 

Dwarf Sagittaria can withstand low light levels, but it thrives in moderate lighting to high lighting conditions outside on land when indoors in the tank. However, it requires milder weather than most other aquatic plants and does not thrive in hotter temperatures.

Water Temperature

The ideal temperature for Dwarf Sagittaria is 20-27 degrees Celsius or 68-82 degrees Fahrenheit. 

pH Level

You should try to maintain 6.0-8.0 pH for Dwarf Sagittaria, but these plants can also withstand lower or higher levels. 

Water Hardness

2-15 GH

Dwarf Sagittaria Lighting Requirements 

Lighting Dwarf Sagittaria requires should be bright, but it can grow well in low-light circumstances as much as it is adequate to sustain it well and not too vigorous (particularly in direct sunshine). The ideal temperature for these plants is about 70 degrees Fahrenheit, with medium levels of lighting.

Substrate, Fertilizer, And Co2 for Dwarf Sagittaria

Injection of carbon dioxide into the surrounding water can offer resources to Sagittaria in a form that aquatic plants can use through a biochemical process called photosynthesis. 

Otherwise, according to the manufacturer and the amount of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, iron, or other essential minerals in the fertilizer, liquid fertilizer may be added to the water column or ground of exterior planted plants every several weeks.

How To Use Dwarf Sagittaria in An Aquarium?

Keeping your Dwarf Sagittaria clipped and trimmed is the best way to care for it. This promotes rapid development, letting you finish the wanted cover sooner. It also protects the health of Dwarf Sagittaria and the other aquatic plant species. 

Maintenance Of Dwarf Sagittaria in A Tank

It’s also crucial to look after the other plant species in your tank so that the entire biosphere stays healthy. It’s critical to isolate Dwarf Sagittaria before introducing it to an existing aquarium. 

If you’re adding a new fish species to a tank that already has Dwarf Sagittaria, isolate the fish first before introducing the Dwarf Sagittaria.

How To Plant Dwarf Sagittaria?

Use iron-rich or laterite-rich soils, nutrient rich substrate, and peat sand while cultivating Dwarf Sagittaria. Planting is best done in the springtime until mid-summer when conditions are colder outside; nevertheless, it can be done at any time of year with adequate treatment, especially during winter months when interior ocean temperatures reach about 20 degrees Fahrenheit (-6 degrees Celsius). 

These can be grown with any elevated water plant fertilizer without issue. So long as the heads of Sagittaria stay above the soil level, it has a very minimal chance of detaching owing to being placed too deeply.

How to Propagate Dwarf Sagittaria?

Propagation Level 


Propagation Method 

Vegetatively and sexually

Plant growth for Dwarf Sagittaria can be done either vegetatively or sexually. When a component of the plant is used as fertilizer for new development, this is known as vegetatively. Rhizome and tubers are the most often employed vegetative propagation components. Like potatoes and dahlias, Tubers develop below, while rhizomes grow just above or below the ground surface. 

When mated plants generate seeds in exchange for flowers with both male and female parts, sexual multiplication allows you to achieve reproductive performance. Frogs, toads, and dandelions are examples of natural vegetation that reproduce sexually through pollen being carried from one plant to another through the wind.

Tank Mates for Dwarf Sagittaria

Suitable Plants with Dwarf Sagittaria

Based on how you wish to design your tank, you may match Dwarf Sagittaria with species that have a different growing habit, such as Anubias nana, Glossostigma, or Monte Carlo.

Unsuitable Plants with Dwarf Sagittaria

Any plants like seaweed, with many overgrowths and requiring high maintenance, are not suitable with Dwarf Sagittaria.

Suitable Fish with Dwarf Sagittaria

Dwarf Sagittaria are patient fish plants that can be maintained with many water-loving creatures, especially smaller cichlids and other freshwater species social tank companions.

Unsuitable Fish with Dwarf Sagittaria

  • Cichlids
  • Crayfish
  • Crabs
  • Goldfish

Benefits of having Dwarf Sagittaria in your tank

Low Maintenance  

Many individuals who appreciate having aquariums dislike maintaining them, unable to preserve them tidy; this may be a time-consuming process, particularly if you have a tank with many plants. 

If you have a Sagittaria plant in your aquarium, though, this isn’t a big deal because they don’t need any pruning or fertilization.

Attractive Tank Addition 

Another advantage of keeping a Sagittaria plant in your aquarium is that they are lovely and can be used as decorations. The vibrant green colors that they use to look appealing blend very nicely with other tank plants. 

Another interesting feature of this plant is that it has both short and long growing conditions, which means that you may expect flowers year-round, albeit some varieties bloom more often than others.

Extremely Co2 Sensitive

Growing quicker in freshwater tanks with elevated Co2 levels involves winning a leg up on all the other species. Still, it also involves having more out of your illumination because a faster growth rate means the Sagittaria plants can use all of your saltwater aquarium’s illumination spectra more effectively. 

Consequently, if you want to help this specific plant achieve even better outcomes in your tank, you might consider investing in a CO2 setup.

Removes Nitrates from Water

Another empirically proven benefit is that Sagittaria plants are extremely efficient at capturing nitrates. As a result, they’ve been known to be employed as part of natural tank water filters, particularly when kept with other aquarium plants that might profit from any nitrate-rich sections of the water in your tank. 

Furthermore, it was revealed recently that when these aquarium plants take nitrates, they do not instantly dump them on the bottom or in other portions of the water in your tank; rather, they save them for whenever they need to grow.

Disadvantages Of Having Dwarf Sagittaria in Your Tank 

Dwarf Sagittaria are robust plants, but they are vulnerable to certain modifications. Their leaves may melt if they are relocated to some other tank and are harmed in some way.

Dwarf Sagittaria can also grow submerged (totally submerged) or rootbound in water.  If the circumstances of a Dwarf Sagittaria are altered from submerged to emersed or conversely, the plant may melt.

  • Although the Dwarf Sagittaria grows deep into the soil, the crown will perish if it digs too far. When this occurs, you should consider purchasing a new Dwarf Sagittaria since one with top rot will not live because root and stalk would be unable to receive the important nutrients.  
  • Discoloration or yellow leaves are most likely the results of an iron deficiency. Low iron levels cause the Dwarf Sagittaria to lose its vibrant green hue, replaced with a rotting yellow.

Common Issues and Diseases of Dwarf Sagittaria

Plant Pests

On fresh plants, plant pests and unwelcome inverts frequently find their way into home aquariums. Take the time to inspect your plants, know about dwarf Sagittaria care, and eradicate any bugs you uncover before adding a new species to your tank.

Any unwanted bugs can be killed by dipping Sagittaria subulata in bleach. Make a solution of 20 parts water to 1 part bleach, then soak your Dwarf Sagittaria in it for 90 seconds. Before making these your aquarium plants, rinse them thoroughly in conditioned water after dipping.

Alternatively, you can buy a tissue culture specimen of this species that has been produced in a pest-free environment. These examples are slightly more expensive, but it’s a reasonable trade-off for pest-free, healthy leaves and dwarf sagittaria care. 

Is Dwarf Sagittaria suitable for your aquarium?

Dwarf Sagittaria is a wonderful addition to any tank of any size. We believe them to be a great live plant option since they are resilient plants that develop quickly and are tolerant of water parameters and its variations. 

Experienced fish keepers adore the aquascape created by Dwarf Sagittaria, while rookie enthusiasts adore how easy these are to grow and maintain. However, even your aquarium’s residents will enjoy the Dwarf Sagittaria’s numerous advantages!

Dwarf Sagittaria FAQs

What Is the Maximum Height of Dwarf Sagittaria? 

When maintained in optimal circumstances, Sagittaria subulata can reach a height of 12 inches. On the other hand, these aquatic plants typically produce a low blanket across the bottom, making them an excellent option for front-of-the-aquarium planting.

What Is the Best Way to Plant a Sagittaria Subulata?

Sagittaria subulata develops in the soil, producing runners and eventually creating a blanket across the aquarium’s floor. Just sink the plant’s roots into the ground and let nature take care of the rest!

Is It Possible to Trim Dwarf Sagittaria? 

Since these plants can crowd out lesser, slower-growing organisms in the tank, you may wish to thin them out or prune them as needed. Then, simply squeeze the main stem through and eliminate superfluous foliage to flatten out the plants. Finally, pull the leaf as near the stalk as necessary to stop it; it can just pop off.


This is the bush that will never let you down. Dwarf Sagittaria is good for growing in the foreground and semi of tanks because of its tiny/medium size. It’s beautiful, and it mixes in well with the various green plants in the aquarium, giving it an illusion of distance.

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