Stopping Runners - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-14-2006, 03:40 PM Thread Starter
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Stopping Runners

First I want to thank everyone for the help over the past 6 months, I don't post much, but I read a lot.

A month ago I got some dwarf harigrass that I wanted to grow into a single into a little clump. It has done that and is now sending out runners trying to grow itself into a full lawn. Is there any way that I can stop the runners? I was thinking about burying a barrier into the substrate, possibly the plastic sheets that are used for laminating or a blank overhead projector slide. (These are just the things I have laying around the house.) Even if I don't stop all of the runners, at least I won't have to trim it back every other week.

Could I also use this idea to persuade the hairgrass into growing into different shapes, meandering streams, etc?

Has anyone tried doing something like this?
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-14-2006, 04:02 PM
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I know that people who want to control terrestrial plants that spread by runners like bamboo or mints will sometimes bury a barrier that goes down as far as the runners typicall go all around the area where they want to contain the invastive plant. I don't see why that wouldn't work for an aquatic plant. Of course you'd want to make sure that whatever you use is aquarium-safe. But it would certainly be an interesting experiment!
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-14-2006, 04:06 PM
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I've read several times about folks recommending the transparancy sheets, some also recommend cut up milk cartons. Haven't tried either yet, but that's what I'd try is I had the need.

Let us know how it works out!
Brian.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-14-2006, 04:38 PM
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place river sand stone / round flat rocks over the designated no-grow area. Bury with substrate if you wana hide the rocks. Makes nice contours.


Peace
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-14-2006, 04:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by airnewt
Could I also use this idea to persuade the hairgrass into growing into different shapes, meandering streams, etc?

Has anyone tried doing something like this?
I love this idea. Using plastic inert barriers you could have an exceptionally thick wandering river of hairgrass. If you try, please photo document the process and share with us.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-14-2006, 06:19 PM
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I don't know how it would affect the aquatic plants, but I know when putting down a barrier for bamboo you want it very deep and slanted very slightly toward the bamboo to sort of direct it back on itself. Otherwise it just sort of goes "Wheeeee!" as it meets the barrier and goes over. The other technique is slanting it outward but keeping a close eye on it as the rhizomes seek the top, making circuits of the grove and snipping off the "escapees." Of course the barrier for hairgrass or whatever would only be a couple three inches tall so I doubt it'd matter.

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-14-2006, 06:27 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoseHawke
I don't know how it would affect the aquatic plants, but I know when putting down a barrier for bamboo you want it very deep and slanted very slightly toward the bamboo to sort of direct it back on itself. Otherwise it just sort of goes "Wheeeee!" as it meets the barrier and goes over. The other technique is slanting it outward but keeping a close eye on it as the rhizomes seek the top, making circuits of the grove and snipping off the "escapees." Of course the barrier for hairgrass or whatever would only be a couple three inches tall so I doubt it'd matter.

Hmm, thanks for the tip. It wouldn't be the end of the world if a few runners escaped, but I would like to keep it to a minimum.

The reason that I like the barrier idea more than burying rocks is that I hope the runners would bounce off the barrier and fill in faster.

I have some spare time this weekend and need to do some work on the tank anyway, maybe I will play with this. If I can get some good pictures I will post them.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-14-2006, 07:15 PM
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Eleocharis has pretty shallow roots and runners, so a barrier could possibly work, however in a confined space it will grow in so thick that it will start to grow on top of itself and may eventually cover the barrier itself. The most effective way of containing a plant like that is by simply thinning it out, removing runners, cutting it back.

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