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More aquascaping questions

I've always liked this Amano setup as one of my personal favorites

African characins and dwarf cichlids as a nice foil to the more common South
American setup.

A couple questions raised by the aquascaping in this particular setup...

I've found sod forming plants like glosso and lileopsis to be rampant enough
growers once they get going but keeping the runners from trailing around the
perimeter of the tank which can be a headache since having the plants right
up to the edge is something frowned upon in the aquascaping competitions.
How do you go about edging the lawn.  Currently I've been trying to
carefully slice the edge growing plants using an exacto blade.  This leaves
a lot of slashed looking ends and pulls up the occasional node so I'm left
with a lot of white roots showing up.  I've always had problems thining out
patches of sod plants for the same reason, no way to surgically remove thick
buildups.  So my method usually pulls up large clumps and then lines of
plants that were attached and werent cut off properly.

The second part is the plantings among the roots in this setup.  I see
Hydrocotyle peeking out from some of the root gaps.  Is this plant growing
from the bottom and trailing around unseen to appear in the roots or do you
think he's positioned a pocket of substrate up in a pocket where the
hydrocotyle is positioned so it can grow alongside the epiphytic Anubias?