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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Stem Plants (mostly Rotalas) getting thinner and leaner at bottom part, after multiple trims. the bottom parts are mostly stems, and not growing anymore. despite top shoots coming out big and fat. why is this happening? do i need to uproot and replant the healthy shoots?
 

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Yes. After 5-6 trims my Rotalas are showing the similar pattern, so we need to trim them to the substrate level or uproot them. Then replant the tops as you would be planting for the first time. Bunches with 1 cm gap between them and then grow them out.


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I have this same problem. I have eco-complete substrate so re-planting is a pain in the neck. I need to get that stuff swapped out soon.
 

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Not just rotala, all stem plants need to replant the tops to rejuvenate after a finite number of trimming. If you don’t want frequent replanting, stay out of stems and grow only rosette and rhizome plants.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yes. After 5-6 trims my Rotalas are showing the similar pattern, so we need to trim them to the substrate level or uproot them. Then replant the tops as you would be planting for the first time. Bunches with 1 cm gap between them and then grow them out.


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TQ for your kind reply! trim them to substrate level meaning? mind to brief a little bit on this.

Not just rotala, all stem plants need to replant the tops to rejuvenate after a finite number of trimming. If you don’t want frequent replanting, stay out of stems and grow only rosette and rhizome plants.
TQ for your kind reply!
 

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I have a question about the video in post #6. After trimming down to the substrate, he replanted the tops shown in the screenshot. Did he plant them right in amongst the roots of the trimmed plants? Is that what you do, or do you always pull up the old roots? I would think that if you plant into the old roots the whole grouping would be too dense - from the new tops plus the rootstock which presumably will sprout again ... ?
Plant Ingredient Recipe Terrestrial plant Grass
 

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@*Ci* I do this nearly every time with my rotala 'H'ra because they grow so damn fast, and I get better color out of them doing this. I only cut down as far as what's visually exposed. My group sits behind a rock, so I just cut a little below the rock height. That leaves me with a 2" or so of height of a blunt cut stem bush. Then I take out all cut tops of the plant and sort them by height. I align the top leaves of the stems, and then the bottom cuts are a little irregular and I trim the bottoms again so they are all uniform. I usually have 3-4 heights doing this, and I plant my shortest in the front and ramp up towards the back using the tallest ones. For whether you plants it in the roots. Yes definitely, At first I thought that would cause crowding as issues. Not at all, they regulate themselves, and you'll have fancy tops visible, and can keep your original plant placement the same. I sometimes don't even push into the soil, if there's some height left over from the previous plants like I described above, you can even just tuck them into what is still there, and they will root themselves into the soil, no problem. For slower growing stems though, I would still encourage you plant them into the substrate. I can take some photos next time I do this, (probably this weekend) if that's helpful.
 

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Alright, here are some photos of the process from earlier today. It would've probably been better to do a time lapse video, but yeah, let me know if you have any questions.

Ok, here's the 2 week overgrowth in a high light tank with co2. This needs some love haha.
1030176

  1. Trim aggressively, you can go down near the soil or a higher, but consider what you leave as parts of the plant you don't really want to see. What you leave will grow as well if there's an opportunity for it to catch some light. Don't worry about what this looks like, the goal is to put your cut tops back into this.
    1030177
  2. Collect your floating cuttings. Put them somewhere where you can sort them out. Spray them with water if you're taking too long to get them back into the tank. (I just want to say a lot of this is ocd and you can do whatever you want). I basically sort the stems out based on species and general length. I remove some of the random smaller or irregular pieces that I don't feel like using. The bunches are aligned to the top of the plant. That last photo shows where the bottoms getting cut again so the piles are uniform-length.
    1030178
  3. Here you can see taking those bunches and cleaning the bottoms up. The reason this could be helpful is if you have a lot of cuttings and want to plant a few stems at a time rather than individually. The last photo shows tweezers holding it at the very bottom of the plant in the same angle you intend to plant it.
    1030179
  4. Alright at this point writing, I'm wondering what I'm doing with my life on this forum. Ok, so grab a single stem, or a few at a time, and push them down into the blunt cut bush. You'll be able to feel if you hit soil, and if you do, just cram it in there (you don't have to put it in the soil if it's somewhat close). Try to cover the general area you want to plant from the start, don't put them right next to each other from the beginning, or you may run out and have some glaringly blank areas.
    1030180
  5. And this is what you'll end up with. If some are too high for your taste, just carefully pull them back out, and replant them deeper. It will stay like this and grow out well. The plants look a little distressed but by the next day or two they will be fully opened, and looking pretty natural.
    1030181
    View attachment 1030175
    Good luck everyone,
 

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I suspect the OP rotala issue is not just pruning, but likely caused by subpar growing conditions. There must be deficiency in light and/or CO2 that cause early bare bottoms. Rotala rotundiflora is one of the easiest stems and under good conditions, they tend to spread horizontally rather than to grow tall and skinny. They do eventually develop bare bottoms but it takes a long while or not until they take over and self shade.
 

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Around 2:00 for trimming stems down to the substrate level.
thanks for sharing this!!

i have rotala as well, and this is my third time trimming then but it won't grow back...but here's the full story. i had an algae outbreak and decided to blackout my tank for 5 days. it worked like a magic, algae gone almost 100%, and while all of my plants survived, the rotala getting thinner as expected. the leaves from bottom up to middle section of the branch are all gone, melting away...and so i decided to trim the healthy portions and re-plant them

do you think this part will grow again? it's been 4 days since i trimmed them but it won't shows any new growth..
1030301

i did notice that there are several roots (or maybe rhizome??) coming out from the very bottom of the branch...is that normal for stem plants?
 

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do you think this part will grow again? it's been 4 days since i trimmed them but it won't shows any new growth.
i did notice that there are several roots (or maybe rhizome??) coming out from the very bottom of the branch...is that normal for stem plants?
This portion of the trimmed stems may not grow back. In the case that some shoots emerge from the trimmed tops, growth will be too leggy.
I would suggest that you cut them back to the substrate level or uproot them and plant the trimmed tops in their places. Good luck.
 

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This portion of the trimmed stems may not grow back. In the case that some shoots emerge from the trimmed tops, growth will be too leggy.
I would suggest that you cut them back to the substrate level or uproot them and plant the trimmed tops in their places. Good luck.
thank you the advice..one more thing good sir...if i'm afraid to disturb my soil by uprooting them, will cutting them all the way to the bottom be safe? in terms of the branch will rot and organic waste will piled up...or if i have enough plants they will take care of by itself?
 

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I agree sudhir. The stem parts aren’t going to be worth salvaging in that state. Leaving the roots underneath the soil shouldn’t bother anything. The soil should keep the nutrients capped in the substrate and your other plants can feed from it if it breaks down. It may actually send up new shoots from under the soil if your lucky as well. If you uproot everything you could give yourself a different nutrient problem by disturbing the substrate and causing clouds of broken down material and soil to get into the water column. If you go that route prepare to do a big water change at the same time.
 

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I agree sudhir. The stem parts aren’t going to be worth salvaging in that state. Leaving the roots underneath the soil shouldn’t bother anything. The soil should keep the nutrients capped in the substrate and your other plants can feed from it if it breaks down. It may actually send up new shoots from under the soil if your lucky as well. If you uproot everything you could give yourself a different nutrient problem by disturbing the substrate and causing clouds of broken down material and soil to get into the water column. If you go that route prepare to do a big water change at the same time.
Aye, thank you so much!!

Btw, only rotala or all of stem plants will have the same treatment?
 

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Aye, thank you so much!!

Btw, only rotala or all of stem plants will have the same treatment?
I would only cut away the clusters that look like bamboo shoots with no leaves - the bottom portions you had left. I also see some replanted tops or stems that have kept their leaves. I would definitely keep them as is. It may take a little time for them to acclimate to having light again and being trimmed, before you see new growth.
 

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I would only cut away the clusters that look like bamboo shoots with no leaves - the bottom portions you had left. I also see some replanted tops or stems that have kept their leaves. I would definitely keep them as is. It may take a little time for them to acclimate to having light again and being trimmed, before you see new growth.
Much appreciated! Thank you so much dor the help. Definitely gonna trim the bamboo shoots and order some new stem plants as I'm sure my tank is ye to mature. And i don't want to risk algae outbreak the second time hahahhaa

Have a good day guys!
 
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