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RE: Pruning plants
In response to G.Kadar :
Well it seems like all's well in your tank ! Now comes dealing with your
jungle ! With the fast growers you have , you'll be pruning weekly to
keep any balance in the tank. You can cut these stem plants back pretty
severly and plant the top portions .I tend to replant in groups of 5-7-9
etc and trim off whole bunches rather than each stem one at a time. I
would suggest trying the plants you like , little by little .Swords are
fast growing monsters and most out grow tanks fast .I sold a 40 inch
Uruguay sword with abizillon leaves and other's on the list have had
some take over 2/3 of a 135 gallon tank with one plant. They have
serious root systems also .The chain swords such as E.tenellus stay
small but will grow like your Glossostigma .When the monster is pulled
out (and killed and eaten on salad) and sold or whatever , often there
is a lagging in the tank due to this monster plant sucking all the
nutients out. Algae sometimes sets in after removal of such a dominent
plant. Keep this in mind when adding/ replacing plants/trimmimg .Try to
do alittle each time. Big changes are generally not a good thing and
swords are asking for it .I couldn't resist using swords so I'm just
warning you <g>!
Slow growers are a great option. I like to keep some fast growers in
every tank to suck up any nutients fast that might be present .This
strikes a balance between what you like and are willing to trim and with
what keeps the algae under control.
Lowering the light amount is an idea but I don't want to suggest you do
anything different due to your sucess with plants. I would hate to see
someone thown off track !
Indicator plants are a good idea to keep an eye on nutient levels.
Riccia is good for CO2,most red stem plants for iron, most hygro's act
weird if things aren't to their liking .Fast growers let you know how
fast nutients are being used and overall health of your tank without
using all the test kits etc.
If everything is doing great, then the test is not needed, but when
something is not right , then test.
Buy some good scissors. Save and replant only the best cuttings.
Depending on your desired effect ,many folks cut the stem plants after
they hit the surface and start to block light of the other plants. Vals
look weird cut like hair IMO so I just use the daughter plants when they
are young and try to plant them in the far corners of the tank so they
can grow out along the surface were they won't block as much light
.Terracing using stem plants is an idea.
If your burnt out cutting and trimming ,try 1/4 -1/2 of the tank being
trimmed every time instead of all at once. Keep the fast growers were
they will be easy to prune. Sell your leftovers for more shrimp !
I have always kept some clown loaches. A long time ago I saw them biting
holes in some tender sword leaves .No real damage but looked ugly
.Loaches need something to chew on and algae sticks seem to have mine
happy. They haven't touched a plant for many,many years .Love snails
though ! Being active , they often uproot plant but adding them after
the plants have had a chance to take root will aviod most problems
unless they are very large loaches.
Ferns, Crypts , Anubias ,low growing plants-Gloss,Marsilia,chain swords,
dwarf hairgrass ,adding rock , wood etc to displace some of the plants
that need constant trimming can ease some of your "pain". Many folks
would love to have such problems !!!!!
Hope something here helps .
Tom Barr AGA/SFAS