Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: SF East Bay Area
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One way to view and treat Water Sprite would be as a perennial plant. Eventually, water sprite will reach the surface, regardless of the height of your tank. Moreover, some of the stems will decide to grow emersed. As Water Sprite ages, the new stems become progressively thicker and top-heavy. When the stems start reaching ~1/4" in diameter, it's time to replant, unless it's in a pondEnvironment:
Floating:Either just let it float freely or (best) pull the roots over the spay bar and between the spray bar and tank's side. Floating, Water Sprite develops an extensive root system consisting of thicker roots with finer sub-roots that look very attractive, provide shelter for fry and home for micro-organisms. Individual root can make it all the way down to the substrate.
Planted:How to Trim:
- Lay roots horizontally on substrate
- Put a stone/driftwood on the roots 1/2" to 1" away from the rhizome
- Let go off the plant to check that it stays in place
- Gently push roots into substrate or add substrate over the roots up to the retaining stone/driftwood
Do NOT top the stems or remove 'leaves' from a stem: the stem will start rotting.
You have to remove the whole stem by cutting/pinching the stem right above the roots. In larger plants, some of the roots will come away with the removed stem: it's ok.
Water Sprite is a consistent self-propagating plant of impressive yield. The plant propagates via plantets (baby plants) attached to stems. The best way to 'find' new baby plants is to look for the darker areas of the mother plant. More likely then not, those areas will contain roots of new plants. The leaves (not stems) of the new baby plants and those of the parent stalk surrounding the new root system will start to decay and turn brown. The picture above has a circle around the root system of one of the new baby plants. It is not unusual to have multiple baby plants growing on a single stem of a mature mother plant. It is also not unusual to have baby plants with their own baby plants (grand-baby plants? )
How to Separate Baby Plants: