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RE:Plant gardening Q's

Hi Jennifer,
I suppose your E. pavr var.tropica is getting plenty of nitrates and
NH4+ so it will grow more plantlets. Phosphorus often causes flowering
for many plants so this MIGHT be the reason(P levels being very low in
your water perhaps?). If your getting plantlets it's often better as far
as growing plants rather than from seeds .Aquatic flowers are way cool
though...............Try the weighing down approach of the floral stalk.
Should work fine .
     The spike on your A.ulvaceus is a flower stalk. It will flower and
produce seeds if you pollinate the flower yourself. I'm raising some now
with the good advice of Paul Krombholz (thank you Paul)
 and the lace plant also.The flower will have twin spikes and be
fragrant also.The lace plant is very fragrant BTW.
  If you wish to keep this plant going without a dormant period cutting
this stalk off before it flowers is sometimes recommended .This keeps
the plant from completing it's life cycle. Now this isn't always true
with all these Aponogetons but as a general rule /trick. A biovianus
doesn't follw this dormant period in my experience. I personally love
flowers and don't cut them off but I have in the past.
    Check out Amano's and other's tanks for a background ideas and
plants that are suitible. Vals can get going but are managable.
Limnophila,Mayaca,Mexican oak,Gymnocornis,Hygro's of all
types,Rotala's,Watersprite(narrow leaf works a little better IMHO) and
moneywart(Bacopa's) should do great for the purpose.
Your hygro's roots are normal and I believe most folks would like to rid
themselves of these pesky roots but  some plants go to town sending
roots everywhere. I haven't heard any other way other than scissors to
get rid of them.
    Cutting plants from the top works with the Vals but looks
unappealing(unatrual). Perhaps some one else has a suggestion for you
for this but most stem plants look alot better on the top than the
Trim the bottom off and replant the top cuttings is what most Aquatic
gardener's do........Hard to get around this unless you plant  plants
other than stem plants....Aquascaping is an art form in and of it's
self. We all can get better and create new beautiful aquaria!
Hope this helps
Tom Barr