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Trimming Hygrophila

8863 Views 4 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Sasquatch
Hello all.

In the quest for perfection, I've decided to try and improve the looks of the plants in my aquarium. I have a 10g tank which has about 15 stems of Hygrophila polysperma in it. Water conditions are good and we supplement with a mineral fertilizer (Nutrafin Plant Gro).

There are two problems that I'm hoping to resolve.

1. When we introduced the plants, we had salt in the water. We have since removed the salt, but the damage seems to have been done. The original leaves are dying slowly, covered with algae and are getting nibbled by our platies. There has been some growth at the top of the stems and some leaves/stems are sprouting on the bottom, but the mid levels are full of ugly, dying leaves.

If I trim off the dying leaves, will new leaves grow back? But before answering, see #2.

2. I only have a 10g and Hygrophila can get pretty tall. A good part of the new growth that has happened on the top of the stems is at or above the surface of the water. Can I trim these off and replant them? Will they grow roots and establish themselves? If I trim the tops, will the lower levels (which aren't in great condition) be ok?

Thanks for any answers.
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Skip #1 entirely. Pull out all the Hygro, trim off the healthy new growth and replant these stems. Discard the bottoms into the trash/compost heap. Do not allow them to find their way into the local waterways.

Hygros aren't an ideal plant for smalll aquariums as they grow very large and very fast. Just keep up on your pruning have fun with it. :)
Many people who are just starting out seem very afraid to trim their plants. One time I trimmed the roots of a crypt at an aquarium club meeting, cut off more than half of them, and a friend gasped and said "Oh no! Won't that hurt it??". The answer, "Nope!".

If you have any healthy growth, any at all, your hygro will recover. It is much hardier than you give it credit for! Take Bill's advice, even if the stems are only a few inches tall. It'll grow new roots wherever you cut and replant.
Yup, they are weeds. Just rip off the good pretty looking stuff and re plant it in your substrate, throw the rest away. If your really worried about doing that then wait until some roots start to form on the stem (doesnt take long at all) and then trim just below the tallest root and plant that. Also if you dont want to throw away the bottom part, keep it in the tank trimmed down to the healthiest leaves and it will sprout 2 new stems. This is how i keep mine bushy just nip the tip and it grows 2 more heads (like that mythical dragon creature the hydra or whatever its called)
Thanks for the advice, I was pretty certain it was a hardy plant, but I just wanted to make sure.

I'll trim them next weekend when I do the water change. I'll probably trim the worst of the plants and rearrange things a bit and just work my way around the tank eventually trimming all of them.

Thanks again.
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