Pruning timeline... - Page 2 - Aquascaping - Aquatic Plant Central

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Old 12-11-2008, 06:51 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Pruning timeline...

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Originally Posted by BryceM View Post

With taller aquariums it's important to not let the growth get too high before cutting it way back. If you do the lower portions will be too far gone to regenerate nice growth.
An excellent point. This is part of the reason for sloping the substrate so much higher in the back of the tank.
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Old 12-12-2008, 02:57 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Pruning timeline...

Great thread!!

Will the trimming technique and timing be the same if one is interested in preserving a good looking scape long term (as opposed to maximizing the appearance for the perfect shot)?

Last edited by Bunbuku; 12-12-2008 at 03:20 AM..
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Old 12-12-2008, 06:01 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Pruning timeline...

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Originally Posted by Bunbuku View Post
Great thread!!

Will the trimming technique and timing be the same if one is interested in preserving a good looking scape long term (as opposed to maximizing the appearance for the perfect shot)?
No, the technique is the same for long-term scapes. I've topped the same group of Rotalas 15+ times before replanting them.
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Old 12-13-2008, 06:41 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Pruning timeline...

Great post! This was VERY helpful to me as I am just now considering whether a good 'hacking' of my stems would help or hurt me. My stems are at a point where they need to be shaped, but I have let them get lanky at teh bottoms and bushy at the tops. Now I see that I should not be afraid to hack it off!

Off to get my scissors...

-Dave
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Old 12-13-2008, 06:59 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Pruning timeline...

This would be a good site to list those stem plants and tanks conditiosn that might not be appropriate for "hacking" to get the stems to be bushy and still look nice. For example: Rotala macrandra. I typically hack off the tops many times but have noticed that eventually the bottoms develop a large mass of roots and have to be replaced with the tops. In the past, i have mostly had low amounts of nutrients in the water column and did not have rich substrates.

So, ...
(1) what are the stem plants that dont like hacking?
(2) are there certain tank conditions that are more appropriate for the hacking approach?
(3) can we prevent the lower stems from developing too many roots?

If there is interest, this should move to a separate thred. If so, add a link from this popular sticky.
--Neil
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Old 12-13-2008, 07:11 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: Pruning timeline...

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Originally Posted by AaronT View Post
No, the technique is the same for long-term scapes. I've topped the same group of Rotalas 15+ times before replanting them.

I might consider doing this with flourite added to the substrate when I do. that way I can yoink out the old plants, replace with new ones but mingle flourite or remove old substrate alltogether in spot areas. Think that would work? That would keep my happy bacterial alive in other spots and not cause a full cycle. Hmmmmmm
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Old 12-13-2008, 07:34 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: Pruning timeline...

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I might consider doing this with flourite added to the substrate when I do. that way I can yoink out the old plants, replace with new ones but mingle flourite or remove old substrate alltogether in spot areas. Think that would work? That would keep my happy bacterial alive in other spots and not cause a full cycle. Hmmmmmm

I'm not sure I follow what you're asking? The method of trimming stems discussed in this thread doesn't involve uprooting any plants at all.
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Old 12-13-2008, 07:37 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: Pruning timeline...

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Originally Posted by nfrank View Post
This would be a good site to list those stem plants and tanks conditiosn that might not be appropriate for "hacking" to get the stems to be bushy and still look nice. For example: Rotala macrandra. I typically hack off the tops many times but have noticed that eventually the bottoms develop a large mass of roots and have to be replaced with the tops. In the past, i have mostly had low amounts of nutrients in the water column and did not have rich substrates.

So, ...
(1) what are the stem plants that dont like hacking?
(2) are there certain tank conditions that are more appropriate for the hacking approach?
(3) can we prevent the lower stems from developing too many roots?

If there is interest, this should move to a separate thred. If so, add a link from this popular sticky.
--Neil
There's not real way to avoid adventitious roots. Some plants will have them and others won't. A well planned aquascape always hides the lower portions of stem plants in the backround.

Rotalas are by far the easiest to hack back and let them regrow. It can also be done with Hygrophilas, Limnophilas, Ludwigias and several others.

Tonina fluviatilis is one that will not respond well to being hacked down.
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Old 12-13-2008, 08:02 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Default Re: Pruning timeline...

Quote:
Originally Posted by nfrank View Post

(1) what are the stem plants that dont like hacking?
(2) are there certain tank conditions that are more appropriate for the hacking approach?
(3) can we prevent the lower stems from developing too many roots?

Aaron is right on the money with his answer there. Rotalas, hygros, ludwigias - basically any stem plant that produces side shoots readily can be hacked back. The more easily the plant produces side shoots, the better it will be suited for this type of pruning. That said - this type of pruning is usually used for scaping. Before you start scaping, you should always know how specific plants grow in your tank / conditions. Most folks already start off that way - experimenting with different plants - gaining experience growing them, pruning them etc. With that knowledge, you should be able to make a good decision weather to hack back or not.

Tank conditions more appropriate for the hacking approach - high growth stem plant tanks are best suited. You don't want that tank to look bare for more than a week or two - just ugly!

As for the lower stems producing roots - I haven't found a way to prevent that - not that I've tried - the bottoms don't usually pose a problem because they're always well hidden beneath or hidden behind the hardscape. If you're able to see the ratty bottoms, you're doing something wrong - either from the pruning perspective or the scaping perspective - or it may just be time to start that group of plants over again with fresh stems.
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Old 12-13-2008, 08:20 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Default Re: Pruning timeline...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghazanfar Ghori View Post
The stems come back really thick - ratty bottoms I assure you are there - but you don't see them.
Each pruning is done at a slightly greater height than the previous one - that way you're pruning the side shoots, not the exact stem you planted. After 3-4 of those types of prunings, you'll get a nice thick bunch. Eventually,
you'll need to really hack it back to 'start over'. Some stems bounce back from this easily (rotalas) - others, not so much (stellatas).
Thanks for this thread. It's very informative. I am somewhat amazed/confused by this last statement. I understand what your saying but, when I look at the last px of the trim you did, I can't imagine that the 3 or 4 previous trims were actually shorter than this one, in all the plant sections! Some of them are so short now, that if they had been trimmed 3 or 4 times, how would there have been any left to grow out!??

By your statement 3 or 4 nodes left you are referring to leaf groupings along the stem, is that correct?

So as Neil brought up - what does one do with R. Macrandra? Do you just go ahead and trim not worrying about the massive root systems it gets? It does branch out some but not as much as some of the other stemmies.

The other thing I find, is that I end up with massive tops, fully branched, that become so heavy in proportion to the bottoms that they end up floating up. Perhaps I'm waiting too long to trim and therefore trimming up to high? All I know is the big tops can't be secured by the little bottoms.




Last edited by Tex Gal; 12-13-2008 at 09:29 AM..
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