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Bonsai tactics in planted tanks

1695 Views 7 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  fishscale
We have lot of gardeners engaged in under-water gardens. :icon_cool

I wish to know how many of you follow 'bonsai tactics' like root pruning, low-ferts, judicious trimming to keep the rank grower in check in your low/long aquariums? :cool:

Can you give some feed-backs of your experience? :drool:
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how many of you follow 'bonsai tactics' like judicious trimming
what a refreshingly astute question; thank you for asking it here.
this is actually a subject I have been pondering and I may have
stumbled over something that many could have noticed, but few
ever discuss as a method of managing plant growth.

Hydrophila polysperma "Sunset" aka "Rosanervig" is a gorgeous
pink leaf plant, yet many avoid it because it grows like a weed.
but what if I told you there is a way to not only slow it's growth
but even make the leaves come in smaller and denser than usual?

here's how it works. take a 4x4" spot and plant 9 short stems
within an inch of each other and an inch away from other plants.

O X X X O O=Other
O X X X O X=Sunset

now leave the Sunset to grow fast into a tall rambling bush.
after a few weeks, you will notice the top leaves shading the
bottom leaves, and the bottom leaves grow in small and slow.

now here's the tricky part; look carefully, and you'll notice a
spot on each stem where the leaves shift from small to large.
Cut the large leaf section of the stems, uncovering the small.

you will be left with nice neat bush of small slow growing Sunset!
somehow, the small leaves remember to keep small because they
were deprived of light by the upper leaves - that are no longer there.

every once in a while, a stem or two will sprout a fast large
leaf off shoot, give it an extra week to grow out, then cut it,
the same way, back to the small growth leaves on that stem.

maintain this type of Bonsai trimming vigilance, and you will be
rewarded with an gorgeous well behaved bush of Sunset leaves.

This approach also works with many other fast growing plants,
such as Hygrophila difformis aka Wisteria. It will probably work
with many plants where fast growing leaves shade and stunt
the smaller up and coming leaves under them on the same stem.
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Thank you for that post. I will try that for my sunset! :D
the plants in my low tech tank grow smaller and tighter..
soil substrate with schultz aqua soil.
no ferts.
no lights. Sitting by a south window.
Very cool spypet! Similarly you can trim your R. Rotundfolia and HM to create compact and beautiful bushes. With these plants, the only secret is to plant each stem separately and not be afraid to chop them off about 3-4 inches below the level you would like them to fill in. The more frequently you trim, the denser the bush will become. You can even mold them into very attractive hedges. Sharp scissors and patience are definitely your allies in this.

I bet most stem plants can be controlled in this way.
I was troubled by the size of the leaves and the rank growth of an amazon I added to my collection. The new leaf of this amazon is a dull red and starts turning green when they about 3/4 the matured size. The leaves are emormous, the leaf pinna itself were more than a foot long and nearly as wide at its widest. Its in my 250G but as it was creating a huge shadowed area I needed to either remove it or get it grow smaller.

I tried removing the matured leaves, but the amazon came back to original size with its next leaf. I pruned off half its side roots 4 weeks ago, the other half 3 weeks ago, and have again pruned the side roots from the side I first pruned 4 weeks ago.

The amazon leaves are now a more manageable 1/3 size. It is this that prompted to start this thread.

With branching thick stems like Bacopa, Ludwiga and Hygrophilla I do nip off the tips just below the height I wish them to maintain, to get them to branch and take a bushy shape but I have not yet been able to get their leaf to become smaller like Spypet. I would like to try out his trick.
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any trick on keeping Tiger Lotus small and compact? it will be beautiful that way.
Any specific trimming methods to keep carpet plants in line? (I'm thinking of glosso and h.m.)
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