Thanks cicnatic and STS100. I love looking at it and not just to make notes as to what needs to be done either! Actually having trouble writing this as every time I look at the tank I lose my train of thought.
STS, I mostly pull and trim. I would want to top quite low and it would take forever to see the plants again. H. polysperma would take over the tank too, I think that is what that mystery stem is, the leaves are twice as long as sunset hygro though. Some stems don't do well with topping in my tank either - or I think they don't do well. One reason I have a bright, CO2 and NPK enriched tank in the first place is I am too impatient to wait for growth! The other, I am still half convinced that my plants are simply outgrowing algae rather than growing algae free.
Old leaves die, old leaves are lower in the tank, that is about all I know about it in fast growing stem plants. When I started my first journal here I cut a couple feet of mostly bare Anubias rhizome into bits and glued them all over the wood. Some ended up in nearly complete darkness and grew leaves about the size of pencil erasers where the normal leaf size in my tank is about 1.5-2" long. I wonder if java fern and Anubias and Bolbitis get too crowded and there are going to be problems but not sure that has ever happened. The rhizomes just grow out and ones inside are weaker and don't grow as fast I think. The narrow leaved java ferns aren't used where they can get shaded in my tank, Bolbitis is sort of large to place under the main shade makers in the tank and Anubias is just fine in a lot of shade.
Well this week no photos but I am not done yet. Background stems are tall and some are scraggly, there is even a Marsilea leaf up there. I pulled a lot of Marsilea and Hydrocotyle sibthorpioides out which took out the visible BBA remaining. Staurogyne repens was actually looking quite happy under all that herbage and there are several crypt weeds now visible. In spite of the quart of plants I pulled out the foreground still looks very green. One of the female Congo tetras has been supplementing her diet with Hydrocotyle sibthorpioides so I still need to clip off a couple of bare stems and keep pulling out Marsilea. I will replant the stuff with the smallest leaves, perhaps it is minuta. I need to get tough with the dwarf java fern too, it is creeping off its wood where ever it is attached and some leaves are growing the wrong way. I found a clump of sad Fissidens and tied it to wood in the light, just looked and there are some bits growing, all is not lost.