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[APD] Re: Help With My New Tank!!

Dave Millman writes:
"Having said that, after 3 years at this, I absolutely cannot fathom how you
can uproot, move, replant, or do anything else to a plant in a tank with a
soil substrate. Given that stem plants require trimming and replanting every
1-3 weeks, this is not an idle question. I tried it, failed miserably, and
dumped the gravel and soil in a flower bed where it sits to this day
reminding me of my ineptitude."

Sorry Dave, I'd tell you, but it involves ancient rituals and my secret
society would get mad at me.

Seriously, I also wish Diana Walstad had gone into more detail on this
point, as I had some disasters too. After a while you wonder if she has a
good answer, since she says that her tanks have mostly slow growers such as
Cryptocorynes and her stem plants are things like Limnophila that have very
limited root systems.

My tanks are soil-based, and I've developed some good approaches. For stem
plants I hardly ever uproot them. I simply cut them off at the base. If
you're trying to plant something else there (rather than just pruning) it
may take two or three iterations before the root system dies, but it's
generally not too bad.

Rosette plants are a bit harder, especially larger swords. I pull up on the
base until it looks as if I'm starting to dislodge dirt. Then I cut the
roots as long as I can. You have to make sure to keep enough length to the
roots to anchor the plant again, but short of that I haven't had a problem
with hacking off much of the root system.

I haven't yet tried to move a Crypt. I suspect there will be a few learning
experiences before I figure out a good approach.

- Jim

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