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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have hornwort and rotala indica stuck into my aquarium gravel, as well as water sprite floating at the top of my 40 gallon tank. I have regular aquarium gravel and 1 15 watt light. Is this a good set up? My hornwort easily reaches the top of the tank, my water sprite is pretty small (about 1.5 inch diameter), and the rotala indica is about 4 inches long for each of about 20 stems.

I'm new to this, so any help is appreciated!
 

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I have hornwort and rotala indica stuck into my aquarium gravel, as well as water sprite floating at the top of my 40 gallon tank. I have regular aquarium gravel and 1 15 watt light. Is this a good set up? My hornwort easily reaches the top of the tank, my water sprite is pretty small (about 1.5 inch diameter), and the rotala indica is about 4 inches long for each of about 20 stems.

I'm new to this, so any help is appreciated!
Not knowing what type of lighting you have I will still venture to say it is not enough. On my 40 gallon tanks I'm running 2 T-5 bulbs for a total of 78 Watts which comes out into the medium to higher lighting range. On another I'm 24 Watts of LED lighting which is about right for the water sprite which I have planted in the gravel.

Hornworth will grow nicely with a minimum amount of light so you may get away with just the 15 watts on the Hornworth. But for the other plants I would at least triple the wattage you have it it is florescent and double it if were LED's.
 

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hornwort has no roots. You can stick the lower end in the gravel if to you this looks better but the plant doesn't really care about the gravel. In nature it grows in spring with the lower parts stuck in any kind or material that happens to be there (leaves, branches and other debris), later in the year it is free floating and often forms a thick floating layer of plants (up to 30 cm think) without much of a connection with the substrate. Many small fish like to hide in this thick layer of plant material, but I haven't seen any aquarium with this kind of natural growth of hornwort ... Usually it is grown as any other stemmed plant.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for letting me know. The hornwort has done fine, and it now is several feet long, in the same lighting. I am interested in making it into sort-of a curtain of 'forest' at the back of the tank. How would I go about turning the one plant into many, and how would I position the plants and keep them in place so that they don't move out of their position. I want to have taller strands at the very back, and slightly shorter just in front of that. I can do regular trimmings.
 

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Separate the stems and trim it to how YOU think it looks best. Depending how small your substrate is you should be able to simply plug a stem down into the gravel. Do regular trimmings. The more you trim the hornwort the more it will grow. Keep the Rotala towards the front though so it will get more light. As an aesthetic suggestion: Plant the Hornwort in triangles. That is, if you look at it from the front of the tank have the tallest pieces at one side sloping down in height from a back corner towards the middle of the tank. And if you were looking at the tank from above do the same thing. Back right or, left corner. Basically plant in an Isosceles triangle from the front and top. Then, use the Rotala the same way either in front of the Hornwort or on the opposite side. This will look rather natural and more pleasing visually. Then, get a nice piece of driftwood or rock formation jutting out of the plants.
 

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If you cut the top part of a stem of hornwort, the lower part will grow several new tips. The more tips a hornwort stem has, the thinner the individual tips are. When you leave only a single tip on a stem, it develops better and thicker, but can become very firm and somewhat brittle.

Note that there are several strains of hornwort in circulation, those which originate from temperate areas tend to do very well for about half a year and then decline (in nature they would overwinter as very firm and compact top-parts of stems, which sink to the bottom, but these rarely form properly in aquaria). It may be needed to get a new plant after about half a year because of this.

You can cut a long stem of hornwort in pieces, basically as many pieces as you like. I think that a bit longer pieces regrow faster, so I would myself not cut them shorter than about 10 cm.
 
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