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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all -

Been away a long time, dealing with life, which includes a crap spinal injury that makes my earlier hopes with aquascaping a tough proposition.

Anyway, I've pretty much just let my 20H grow out, trimming only as necessary to allow light to get to plants choked of it, etc.

Recap: 20H, CO2, 2x54T5HO, macros/micros 3x weekly.

Pic from today:



What I'm really hoping to find is just a great suggestion for the hole of light and space that can be seen in the leftish-foreground, created as a sort of spotlight through the canopy of aromatica and other long creepers blanketing the waterline.

I'd love to a find rather bushy, bright red or purple plant, that can fit nicely in that foreground hole, nothing thin and/or longish. My local store has some nice L. Repens, which I've had in the tank before, but I guess I'm looking for something a bit squatter and brighter - like a rose bush, essentially, underwater.

Any thoughts?

Thanks. Hope all are well.

Paul
 

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There are several swordplant species and Nymphaea lotuses that seem to meet your specifications. Some are very pink/red/purple. I had a swordplant that was practically magenta. You might also consider some crypts, which are a darker maroon color.

Plus, with your spinal injury, these plants have the added benefit of not having to be trimmed regularly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
There are several swordplant species and Nymphaea lotuses that seem to meet your specifications. Some are very pink/red/purple. I had a swordplant that was practically magenta. You might also consider some crypts, which are a darker maroon color.

Plus, with your spinal injury, these plants have the added benefit of not having to be trimmed regularly.
Thanks, Frosty - great suggestions. Have never heard of Nymphaea, so looking forward to investigating.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/forumapc/plantfinder/images/Nymphaeaceae/TigerLotus2.jpg

That's a link to APC. They're the lotus plants. They will develop floating leaves, but you can trim those off and keep the colorful lower leaves (tho that will prevent the plant from ever flowering).
Many thanks, Frosty - I actually essentially dup'ed this thread over there, and did see the pic. I think your suggestion of the lotus was spot on, for what I was looking for.

Here's a pic, of today's planting - my LFS had two small lotuses, that looked healthy, if young:



Something I said over there, on APC - something I've come to realize, over the last couple of days, is that I think I'm moving more to a hybrid idea between the jungle that the tank has become, due to my total abandonment to all but health of the plant and animal life, and the prescribed aquascape idea that I began with, before my injury threw everything out the door.

I want to sort of "follow" what the plant life suggests, in terms of allowing growth patterns to guide the scaping that I do. Right now, with this opening in the plant canopy (and the de facto spotlight because of it), I'm seeing the possiblity for some kind of "arena" effect, with the lotus as the star...forget the plant that is now seen mid tank, stretching vertically up to the L. aromatica (my former computer crashed, and the plant listings were on that computer), but I see something of a nice left-side focus developing, with this pale-green plant as a kind of divider possibility, that mirrors the peak in the DW.

Anyway, many thanks again, Frosty - really helpful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The lotus looks great already. As it fills in, it's really going to pop in that green jungle you have.

What is that plant along your substrate? Is that C. parva?
Thanks, Frosty - so pleased with your suggestion. The lotus's color is already deepening, too - really unique and beautiful plant, can't wait for it to fill out.

Yep, that's parva as the low lying plant, and for the life of me, I can't remember the pale green, tallish plant in the foreground. The parva has always just kind of sat there, and it's been several months, now - I had hoped for a carpet, of sorts. Must be just too below the threshold of needed light for the parva to take off, is my guess? Overall, though, I'm just happy to give such a lush home to my cardinals, plecos and otos.

Cheers, thanks again, Frosty - re-woken my aquakeeping sensibilities a bit! :smile:
 

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I love the lotus plants. You'll have to work at keeping it low, otherwise it will overtake the canopy. If you keep the leaves trimmed off it will continue to stay low. Once it starts reaching for the sky you need to trim each of those leaves off and it will stop and stay low for a while again. The leaves can get 4"-5" long as well. The good news is you can decide how many leave you want it to have. It can't be beat for it's color. They are show stopper plants. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I love the lotus plants. You'll have to work at keeping it low, otherwise it will overtake the canopy. If you keep the leaves trimmed off it will continue to stay low. Once it starts reaching for the sky you need to trim each of those leaves off and it will stop and stay low for a while again. The leaves can get 4"-5" long as well. The good news is you can decide how many leave you want it to have. It can't be beat for it's color. They are show stopper plants. :D
Hey! - long time no talk....nice to see you again...

One question I have, based on something I've read, is it the case that the plant regrows where you cut it? In other words, say I want the lotus to grow to 1-2" below the arching "canopy" of L. aromatica, seen in the pic above - do I cut it there, and it will regrow to that length (with nothing but 10-12" stalks standing in the water, then), or cut them back to the bottom?
 

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I've never read that. From my experience it sounds silly to me. The stalks will just rot off spoiling your water quality. I always think of this plant like a dandelion. If you just leave it growing in your yard it will send it's blooms very high in the air. It's leaves will be bushy and stick up. If you begin mowing the dandelion the leaves will begin to hug the ground. Soon the blossoms will also begin hugging the ground. If you stop mowing it will return to it's full tall height.

Lotus plants are just like that. If you want them low then you need to continually pinch back the leaves. I've pinched back every leaf but one before. Then as the new leaves grow out I will leave them alone until they get taller than I want them. When they get too tall I pinch them back too. It will grow shorter and shorter leaves. Here's a px of one that is now staying mid tank short - right where I want it. Notice how many leaves and that there are none at the surface.



FYI - sorry to hear about your injury. I hope you will heal quickly. Try to heal near the tank so you can enjoy looking at it while your mending. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I've never read that. From my experience it sounds silly to me. The stalks will just rot off spoiling your water quality. I always think of this plant like a dandelion. If you just leave it growing in your yard it will send it's blooms very high in the air. It's leaves will be bushy and stick up. If you begin mowing the dandelion the leaves will begin to hug the ground. Soon the blossoms will also begin hugging the ground. If you stop mowing it will return to it's full tall height.

Lotus plants are just like that. If you want them low then you need to continually pinch back the leaves. I've pinched back every leaf but one before. Then as the new leaves grow out I will leave them alone until they get taller than I want them. When they get too tall I pinch them back too. It will grow shorter and shorter leaves. Here's a px of one that is now staying mid tank short - right where I want it. Notice how many leaves and that there are none at the surface.



FYI - sorry to hear about your injury. I hope you will heal quickly. Try to heal near the tank so you can enjoy looking at it while your mending. :D
That makes sense, Tex - of course, the stems will simply rot back...I blame the meds...:hihi:

Not to be an idiot, but when you say, "pinch back," what exactly are you doing?

In other words, right now, I've got 2 baby plants, with leaves very close to the substrate. I think I envision something like a potted flower effect, with the arched C. balansae and spiralis, and L. Aromatica in the back, forming a curved "ceiling" over the intended Lotus. So, I'd like the lotus to grow to a likely 10-12", and stay there, as much as possible, basically in something like a living "alcove."

Do I allow it to grow to just past that, then cut it all the way back - and keep doing it, as it grows past where I want it, until it grows and stays to about where I want it; or just keep cutting it while much shorter, to encourage it to just stay short (and I can't, therefore, "define" a final growth height)? (I think I understand you to say you do the first option...yes?)

Sorry if the question is unclear - if you need me to reframe it better, let me know...clarity is a bit of an issue these days....

Your lotus is absolutely beautiful, by the way!

Many thanks on the good wishes. Yep, the tranquility of this tank (and my NPT) is a bit of beauty over what has been quite a drag, the last several months. Just added more cardinals, little babies - and they school like little children, with the older "vets" of the tanks. Cute as it gets.
 

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Any leaf that gets longer than I want it to, I remove entirely from the tank - stem and all. In that way you can "define" the height - as long as the leaves grow to the height you want. Leave all the others that are "too short" on your plant. Only remove entirely the leaves that are longer than you want them to be. The shorter you keep the plant the longer it will stay that short. I don't exactly know why, other than it's trying to survive, I guess.

I doubt you will be able to keep 2 plants in your tank. Right now as babies you will be able to enjoy them. As they grow their leaves will get bigger and bigger. Enjoy them and their amazing color! :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Any leaf that gets longer than I want it to, I remove entirely from the tank - stem and all. In that way you can "define" the height - as long as the leaves grow to the height you want. Leave all the others that are "too short" on your plant. Only remove entirely the leaves that are longer than you want them to be. The shorter you keep the plant the longer it will stay that short. I don't exactly know why, other than it's trying to survive, I guess.

I doubt you will be able to keep 2 plants in your tank. Right now as babies you will be able to enjoy them. As they grow their leaves will get bigger and bigger. Enjoy them and their amazing color! :D
Ah, gotcha. Clears it up perfectly - thanks, Texgal!:icon_smil

Hadn't thought of that, that 2 would be too much for the tank (it's a centerpiece plant - duh, :iamwithst). I've got my 10 gal. NPT, another jungle, with very little red....




hmmmm....thanks again!
 
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