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When plants are just the right size

837 Views 7 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Aqua'd
Just curious what everyone does when they have a mature tank where all of the plants look great the size they are. you trim them a few inches and get rid of the roots and just replant the nice looking tops or is there another secret to keeping things looking the same once you get things right?

Guess it may be time to sell some things on S&S but if I keep the tops then who really wants the roots with 3 inches of growth?

Like I said I am just curious what others are doing.
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I just trim the top, I find it a PITA to replant things that don't have roots since I have MTS they uproot it.
i'll clip some of the tops and sell them off. when you have a rooted stump sticking out of the substrate it tends to shoot out a few more stems. then i will trim and replant tops and sell off whatever extras i have.

i personally think my tank always looks best when i cut it down short and let it fill in on itself
Care should be used with certain plants if you trim the tops. This will result in bushier growth and the plant spreads outward. This can look attractive but then the lower part of the plant does not receive sufficient light and this can cause issues with the health of the plant at the base. A good example of this is Rotala Rotundifolia, it gets very weak and loses leaves at the bottom and then looks odd. This type of plant I pull up and trim the bottom and them insert back into the substrate.
You can stretch replanting times by trimming one node lower each time. Eventually you start getting down towards the gravel line and it's time to replant. If you keep trimming in the same area, you eventually find yourself throwing away 5 gallon buckets of rotala stems every couple weeks. I like to cut taller stems back about a foot or more each time so you can go a couple weeks before you have to trim again. This of course, is dependant on tank height.
Care should be used with certain plants if you trim the tops. This will result in bushier growth and the plant spreads outward. This can look attractive but then the lower part of the plant does not receive sufficient light and this can cause issues with the health of the plant at the base. A good example of this is Rotala Rotundifolia, it gets very weak and loses leaves at the bottom and then looks odd. This type of plant I pull up and trim the bottom and them insert back into the substrate.
exactly what I am talking about. Maybe I should try cutting every other stem of the same plant from the top or from the bottom and try to alternate at each trimming. When the base of the plant becomes an issue I can just cut a lot of the bottom out and regrow from a smaller plant like mentioned above
You can stretch replanting times by trimming one node lower each time. Eventually you start getting down towards the gravel line and it's time to replant. If you keep trimming in the same area, you eventually find yourself throwing away 5 gallon buckets of rotala stems every couple weeks. I like to cut taller stems back about a foot or more each time so you can go a couple weeks before you have to trim again. This of course, is dependant on tank height.
This makes sense too. I don't think I would let it get to the gravel line for most plants but I could do this and stagger the plants lengths so as a whole the tank still looks healthy an l;ush.

I am mostly talking about stems of course and they are in a 55 so I can cut most of them pretty short if i want. Seems about once per month I am doing a minor rescape/major trim and I guess that is just the way it is if I want a planted tank. I have low /med light and jsut added pressurized co2 so think I will change things around some this morning :D
The only problem I have with trimming from the top is that I end up with the plants splitting into two, like a " Y ". So I trim the two off and replant.
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