Planted Tank Enthusiast
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Los Angeles, CA
How do you prune 'yer Vallisneria?
The long-winded version --
I have a bunch of vallisneria in my tank that has produced prolific runners and healthy leaves. As much as I like the look of long Val leaves draped over the surface of my tank, it reached a boiling point today with far too many Val leaves on the surface -- becoming a tangled spaghetti-like mess making it hard to feed the fish and shading the plants below. A few leaves draped on the surface is nice; too many was looking far too messy.
In the past, I've always made my pruning cuts at the base of a Val leave. I had a problem with this technique though today for two reasons. One, it became hard to navigate each leaf to its plant of origin -- too much of a pain to cut each leave at the base one by one. Secondly, in order to clear the surface adequetly of leave crowding, I would have had to have cut away too many leaves, ruining the nice reed effect underwater.
So, instead, I decided to try cutting twenty or so leaves at their tip down to the desired tank height -- a few inches above water level so the leave would look natural and still drape. I'm going to see how this works out. It seems some have success with this, while others do not (ie the leave dies). Seems to depend on plant variety, too. I was resisting this pruning method, but can understand its usefulness.
What's the latest word on how you cut your Val? At base? From tip? Did the leave/plant survive?
FYI - One of the leaves I pulled out today was easily 5 feet long!