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Re: Trimming swords

Dave Kotschi wrote:

> I'm getting some sword plants that are growing to the top of my 90 gallon 
> tank and are doing some serious light blocking. Is it okay to trim these 
> leaves by cutting them off at the bottom or is it better to up-root and 
> replant smaller younger plants?  This situation also creates open shaded 
> spots between the swords.  I'd like some suggestions as to what to put in 
> there.  I guess Anubias would work but is there anything else?


I wouldn't try trimming new growth off from a sword plant.  I think it
would damage the plant.  You can safely remove old growth and that tends
to create a less bushy and more upright growth pattern.  You can also
uproot the plant and either trim the rhizome or split the rhizome to
produce two or more plants.  Either of these will give you a smaller
plant to deal with.  However, if you have a type of sword plant that
grows too big for your tank then nothing is going to solve the problem
in the long term.  You probably should just replace the plant with a
smaller species or cultivar. 

You might be able to put anubias between big sword plants.  Java moss or
some other kind of moss might work as well.  You can also but rocks or
wood into that space, or put something in front of the space to hide it
from view rather than trying to fill the space.

Roger Miller