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Plant gardening questions
I have a Echinodorus parv. Tropica that has put up two flower shoots. I have been
letting them develop, but they never flowered, just had plantlets develop. Should I
weight these stalks down with pebbles at the substrate, so that the plantlets root?
One plantlet is getting rather large, but I don't want to cut the shoot, until the
little ones above it develop. If I submerge the whole thing under gravel, it will
probably rot, right? I remember someone on the list recommending weighting down the
stalk between plantlets, but I couldn't find the message or remember it clearly.
I also have an Aponogeton ulvaceus that has two strange non-leaf stalks, that I am
not sure what to do with. I don't think they are misshapen leaves, but I am not sure
they are flower buds either. They are really long, with a bulge about two-three
inches long at the end, tapering to a point. If these are flower buds, should I
drape them over the side of the tank, so that they are out of the water? The stalk
is very flexible and will not poke out of the water on its own, just float across the
surface. I think they are currently getting burned by my lights, along with the
leaves. I never expected this plant to get so huge! I now have a very shady left
side to my 75 gallon, with some crispy looking leaves sprawled over the surface, with
a whole lot under them. Talk about getting your money's worth.
While asking advice about gardening, I was wondering how to go about pruning plants
in my tank. I admit to being a pessimist and never expecting such good results, so
now I am a little baffled by how to keep my tank from becoming a jungle. I know that
stem plants can be cut and the tops replanted, but I hate the look after cutting
back, and it is a lot of work. I guess I need to find a better plant for the
background, because the hygrophila needs trimming too frequently, if I don't do it
really severely. Any suggestions for what to substitute? Would Mayaca work? It is
doing well, in the middle ground and I would like to let it grow. Will it get tall
enough? Are there any stem plants that can be cut from the top, rather than having
to replant the top? Is this an appropriate forum to ask questions on aquascaping? I
want something that will conceal the heaters and filter and provide a nice green
background. The cork with plants idea, sounded nice, but isn't quite what I am
looking for. Do valisnera get out of control? If the leaves get too long and drape
over the water, can they be cut?
Also, I have been having a problem with excessive water roots on the Hygrophila
polysperma and some other stem plants. Is this a result of nutrient lack, or is it
just a natural thing for stem plants? I have not really started fertilizing, as this
is a new setup and I am trying to avoid algae. Until the plants go on strike, they
are not getting a nutrient raise!
Sorry for the long post, and the large number of questions, but I saved up all my
questions and got up the nerve to ask them. I didn't expect the
aquascaping/maintenance aspect of this to be as difficult as the research, but it is
fun to have so many options.
Thanks ahead of time for any advice/suggestions,
(in chilly Maryland, where winter has finally arrived. What is the weather
thinking? This isn't Canada!)