New growth on top, dead lower leaves. - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-25-2007, 02:42 AM Thread Starter
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New growth on top, dead lower leaves.

I have Rotala indica and Ludwiga repens planted fairly heavily in my tank. Well it was heavily planted until all the lower leaves and stems died and rotted. So, my question is how do I prevent this from happening? Now I'm trying to keep each stem seperated so everything gets light below the top growth but I dont like the look. The tank looks thinned out now. How do I keep the lower growth alive with all the new growth coming in on top? Any pruning techniques I should try? I'm going to try and trim each stem so there is only the main stem with no periferal stems coming off to block the light. Would that work? Or is there just a point you have to hack all the good growth off the top and rip all the dead stuff out and replant again? Thank you for any suggestions.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-25-2007, 12:05 PM
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Hi Tim,
It is natural for Rotala to grow like that. Upping the nutrients a bit can help but it is not an end all to that problem. It is a high maintenance plant requiring frequent trimmings. Cut all the stems leaving a 2" stem and take all the healthy tops and band them together in 3-5 stem bundles and just replant them. The 2" stems (if healthy not rotted) will come back with 2-3 stems from each at the cut off point.
To get a bushy looking stand of rotala you need to prune them back regularly or they become spindly and the bottoms fail. Like I just told someone yesterday... a lot of aquascape pictures that you see are only stem tops "placed" in a pleasing manner for easy removal and trimming and not really planted in the substrate at all. They do not need the roots in the substrate to grow and can get all their nutrients from the water column. Some of the most beautiful Rotala I ever grew was just floating around the top of the tank in bundles in a "spare plants tank"...
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-25-2007, 12:06 PM
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Oops... forgot to mention that the same thing applies to the Ludwigia weed... loves the water column for ferts.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-25-2007, 10:33 PM Thread Starter
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So start hacking everything down more frequently. Sounds like a plan! Thank you for the help!
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-26-2007, 02:28 AM
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that's what I do... The lower leaves on my ludwigia look horrible.. Chewed up by plecos and covered in algae.

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