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Re: Trimming/pruning/maintaining crypts (fwd)

Alex Ling wrote with questions about maintaining C. wendtii in his 20
gallon "long" tank.


First, you might consider trading your C. wendtii in for more low-growing
plants.  The C. x. willisii that you thought you bought would be more
appropriate for your tank.  I have C. wendtii in a 20-gallon long and
without a lot of attention the plants simply get too tall for such a
shallow tank.  Unless of course you want them draped across the surface,
shading everything else in the tank.

If you're going to keep them then I think your best chance of maintaining
attractive plants will come from using bright light and keeping the stand
of plants rather meticulously thinned.  That way the plants won't be
reaching for light and will be free to spread out rather than growing
straight up.

I wrote a fairly long letter a while back (which went into the AGA
magazine, as well as APD) about maintaining C. wendtii.  You might find
that interesting.  For your specific case, I think you could remove the
daughter plants rather soon after they show up; I probably wouldn't wait
for them to put up their third leaf.  When it's time, gently uproot the
daughter, try to trace the runner back to the parent plant and snap the
runner off there.  If you leave any of the runner in place it will quickly
start putting up new daughter plants.

I do this with some success on C. wendtii under 3/watts per gallon
lighting in 10 gallon tanks, but they require attention every week.

As far as trading the daughter plants is concerned, you can probably do
it, but not immediately after you remove them.  If you have some extra
space, try to replant them in a fertile substrate under moderate to bright
light, then trade them in once they have good roots and 6 or so leaves
about 4-5 inches long.  Your LFS will probably find that those are very
sellable plants; plants that you thin out of a dense stand and don't
replant before trading them in probably won't be very sellable.

Roger Miller