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One other factor.
> 1. Pull out individual stem; cut a new length; discard
> root-bearing part; replant top part. This will result in disturbing
> substrate ...
In this case, I consider "disturbing the substrate" a good thing. It
keeps the area around the roots from becoming too nutrient poor by
mixing the substrate a little and allows any toxic buildup
(alleaochemicals, whatever) to be released.
Of course, people with a carefully assembled 5 or 6 layer substrate
may not want this mixing to take place.
> ... and is a lot of work.
"A lot of work"? Hey, it's a hobby! <g>
George in Really, Really Sunny Colorado