We currently trim very differently it seems....I just crammed over 100 stems of regular Macrandra as tight as I could behind a rock. I do plan to top it and let it double itís mass with new growth though. I find if trimmed at the same time, the new growth finds a way to not be shaded.
Just an example of another thing that can be dealt with many different ways. I will say giving them space and always replanting the tops will allow for the largest growth. Everything seems to hit weed status once itís happy.
Tank looks great and I loved those new fish pics a few post back.
Much depends on the plant. Even different types of Macranda need to be treated differently.
I have Rotala Macrandra Caterpillar just to the right of the driftwood along the back of the tank. It can grow into a huge messy bush and never skips a beat. I pull the whole mass out, rip off 5 or 6 inches from the root end, strip off a quarter of the mass, and shove it back in. I could also just cut it straight across with scissors and it would all grow back just fine. It can be treated rough and doesn't care.
Rotala Macranda Variegated is different. Much more delicate, and when it gets too bushy, it becomes a twisted mass that starts choking itself out. It takes a lot of care to carefully trim it down and make it happy again. It just seems to like some extra elbow room.
Therein lies some of the learning curve with plants. They respond differently, and it takes time to learn how to manage each one. Really should be more time dedicated to discussing pruning, as it's a very important piece of the planted tank puzzle.
- I have a plant question. I was looking at staurogyne porto velho and bihir. Is this a plant that could grow in bright light with no Co2? Such an interesting looking plant.
I wish I could help but I don't know.
I have had a hard time with S. Repens in my tank, so no expert with the Staurogyne types. I will say I have some Bihar and it seems pretty drama free. The only issue is it wants to become a large plant, so I keep beating it down as I don't the room.
It would look great in your tank, so it might be worth a try.