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Stem plants and pruning...
I have always done well with plants such as swords, crypts, and other
similarly built plants, but after a disturbing run-in with anacharis and
hornwort in the early days of my interest in plants, I have stayed away from
stem plants as a rule. What happened is this... I bought some of these at
a LFS without knowing what to expect... Classic newbie mistake. The
anacharis (save one small piece) melted, fouling the tank with thousands of
little leaves for a month or two. The remaining piece hung on, and
eventually started growing. Fast. I didn't know how big it would get. It
grew to the top of my 55 gallon tank, and proceeded to claim the surface,
growing from one end to the other, and back. I cut it off near the gravel,
and divided the stalk into about 20 small pieces, which I lined the back
wall, figuring that I could just give them a haircut every once in a while.
It all melted, once again filling the tank with the leaves. I filed
anacharis under "G" for garbage. I tried my luck with hornwort, and that
stuff just grew and grew and grew and grew. The problem is that it never
grew a decent root system, and as a result, would be uprooted and float at
the drop of a hat. Eventually, I gave hornwort the boot, as well, and I
figured I'd do ok to stay away from stem plants.
I've since forgiven the stem plants, but I am done with anacharis and
hornwort. What I need is a stem plant that will grow a decent root
structure, is a moderate grower (as opposed to three inches per day), and
most importantly, can be given a straight-across haircut when it gets out of
hand, without fouling the aquarium. I also would like it to be a plant that
will branch and become more bushy as it is cut this way. I don't want to
have to keep pulling out the bottom part and planting the tips, as that gets
pretty tedious, after repeating it a couple hundred times. It also stirs up
the substrate too often, constantly ripping out and replanting. Does such a
plant exist? Suggestions?
Thanks in advance!