Has anyone tried uprooting a large plant with lots of roots and then replace it with another set of plants? How would anyone manage to keep the water clean eventhough a large chunk of substrate is disturbed by doing this?
I'm a newbie and dont know much abt uprooting or re-planting techniques.
For some plants that have extensive root structures (Amazon Swords, Cryptocoryne species, etc), I like to turn off the filter before I start uprooting them. That way, the disturbed substrate is not blown all around the aquarium.
Unfortunately, it is next to impossible to keep the water crystal clear when uprooting a large number of plants and/or plants with extensive root systems.
I actually cut the roots, leave about 3/4-1 inch of roots and that will be more than enough for the plant to get going again in the new spot, i've done this several times with Amazon swords and i've never had a problem.
Do it slowly. I just had to pull up 2 huge Ozelot Sword plants. Pull it slowly shake as you go so let the substrat fall. dig your fingers down and pull roots toward your hand while still pulling slowly shaking as you go to let substrat fall and not get pulled up with roots. May have to break some roots then pull them up singly after whole plant is out. Made some cloudyness but to bad.
If you can, get someone to help you. Do a water change while uprooting.
While you do the uprooting (mess making) have your helper carefully vacuum out the debris. Don't bother to try this by yourself, it will end up in a wet floor or livestock in your water change tubing.
This is basically what I do (by myself though ) and it depends on the type of substrate you have as well. When I have to thin the crypts, it's a perfect time to do a gravel vac as well. Will greatly reduce your TDS in the process.
I just pulled out all of my crypts that were over grown in a 30 long. (150+) When I pulled one plant, the entire substrate came up from the glass bottom in what i could describe as a rug.
There is no clean and easy way to do this. Just get after it. Crypts have strong roots so a slow pull with light tugging gets most of the roots out with the plant. I'm not in favor of cutting and leaving a mat of roots to rot into the substrate. (You're just making more problems down the road)
Keep the filter off, let everything settle. Then do a large water change to suck up all of the sediment before turning the filter back on.
I was curious about this as well....although I have a dirt base with PFS cap.....I am worried the dirt will get up into the tank and create an even bigger mess!
Have some extra PFS handy to replace the cap as you pull the roots. I would cut the roots about an inch or two from the base of the plant as I pull in order to minimize the mess and area of cap that needs to be replaced.