How do you prune 'yer Vallisneria? - The Planted Tank Forum

View Poll Results: How do you prune your Val?
I cut the leaf at the base. Never tried cutting tips. 7 31.82%
I cut the leaf at the base because when I cut the tip, my plant/leaf died. 2 9.09%
I cut the leaf at the tip to the desired height. Plant/leaf survived 13 59.09%
Voters: 22. You may not vote on this poll

 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-11-2005, 08:20 AM Thread Starter
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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!
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-11-2005, 01:05 PM
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Thats how I cut my vals, chop the top
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-11-2005, 01:07 PM
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When I kept Vals I used to cut off the ends just like you're experimenting with now. I never had the whole leaf die off as a result of trimming this way. The cut edge did brown, but by the time it was noticable it was time to trim the leaf again.

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-11-2005, 05:26 PM
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I make a line in the sand and trim all runners that dare pass (often I do not catch them so a small plant forms) to keep the stand compact. When the forest gets to wild I pull/sell/trade the large plants to thin the numbers. Watch out for shrimp. On two occassions a shrimp jumped out of the plants at the store.

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-11-2005, 05:52 PM Thread Starter
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Bill

Interesting that the cut leaf kept growing -- did you find that the leave keeps growing from the base of the leaf (that would be my guess) or it grew beyond the cut.

I noticed a touch of browning, or a chipped looked to the leaf flesh this morning where I made the cuts, but sounds normal.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-11-2005, 06:19 PM
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I've always cut Vallis species from the top to the desired height. I see no reason for there to be a problem with this. Firstly, this is what you do with hairgrass and other such grass and thin leaf species, and secondly, each leaf is a repetitious structure and so trimming one partially, will reduce it's effectivity at photosynthesising for the plant, but not critically kill it.
Leaf pruning is done with terrestrial bonsai to reduce leaf size, and does not harm the plant.


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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-11-2005, 06:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motifone
Bill

Interesting that the cut leaf kept growing -- did you find that the leave keeps growing from the base of the leaf (that would be my guess) or it grew beyond the cut.
The leaf keeps growing from the base (like hair) so eventually the cut edge would again be floating and need to be trimmed off.

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-14-2005, 07:45 AM
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I have been a valis farmer for a while, and I take a few different approaches.

As valis gets older the base does tend to go a little funny, but that's usually not a problem as but that stage it's sent out about 5 or six healthy runners.

With good leaf growth I trim the top, but usually only after they do a lap of my tank, I'm a lazy trimmer once a week at best.

Of course you'll occasionally come across some leaves that are prone to algae or just look a little weak, I usually trace these down and pluck them from the base.

I've often got vals that are 5 feet long popping out of my tank thse days.

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