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Re: Pruning Vallisneria and little white worms

Nathanael Henderson wrote Sun., Apr 27:

>  This reminds me...a friend has a bunch of V. asiatica, and we've pulled
>3' long strands out of the tank!  IS there an inherent limit to how large
>such stem plants can get?  (I suspect they could get a good deal larger
>still if left unmolested, but it's just a 20G tank....)

Instead of saying that Vallisneria is not well suited for pruning, I could
have said that Vallisneria and all other plants that send up leaves from a
crown or creeping rhizome are not well suited for pruning.  Also included
would be the swords, crypts and Ceratopteris.  Some of these plants such as
E. cordifolia (radicans) have to be hacked back when they get too big and
start pushing the cover off your tank.  Ceratopteris can also get too large
for almost any tank.  Water lilies need to be cut back when they start
producing floating leaves.  Other than that, these plants should be left

Kasselmann has all the Vals in just two species, spiralis and americana.
If I recall correctly, most of the variety in size is in americana, ranging
from the two meter or longer former gigantea to the little variety I have
with its 6 to 8 inch (average) broadly spiraled leaves.  I have one variety
of americana, the old gigantea, that produced leaves three meters long
(over 9 feet) when I had it in a 29 gallon tank.  I have it now, believe it
or not, crammed into a two gallon tank on the windowsill, where it has been
existing unhappily for six years.  I also have a variety that has tightly
twisted leaves that can get up to three feet, but are usually only about
two feet, and a variety that is about the same size, but with straight

If the Vals get too big for you, consider the Saggitarias.  There are a lot
of vaireties ranging in size from 2-3 inches, up to about three feet.

>Subject: Little White Worms
Tom Brennen wrote, Sunday, Apr 27:
>Anyway, I noticed some, well 2,  very hair-thin white worms squiggling
>in the water column last night. They are about 1/2" long.
>Should I be worried about these ?? Anyone know what they are.
>How do I rid them from the tank ( a planted tank?)  Was
>planning on purchasing 3-4 small discuss in the next week or
>two but will delay this until I can get a handle on this
Nah! Don't worry about them.  They are probably freshwater ologochetes
(annelids in the same group as earthworms), and they are harmless
scavengers.  They also should not be considered as any kind of sign that
you are overfeeding or polluting the tank somehow.

Paul Krombholz                  Tougaloo College, Tougaloo, MS  39174
In soggy, Jackson, Mississippi