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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My background plants are getting out of control again, growing like weed covering the top, and roots everywhere on the stem.

I am looking for some backgrounds plants that are:
1) good nutrient absorbers
2) does not send out runners all over the place (ie no vals)
3) do not expand like weed (ie no watersprite/ludwigia repens)
4) easily maintained meaning i dont have to keep trimming it every week, the leaves grows to certain size then stop (ie: vals)
5) looks nice without ugly roots all over the stem (ie: vals)

does such plants exist? i know some of my requirements are contradictory. Right now i have ludwigia repens in my tank, and it is just madness. Every 3 days i need to a full round of trim, otherwise it would almost completely cover my biocube top blocking all the lights, not to mention the whole back of the tank is COVERED with their roots. Only the top by the water surface has leaves.

I thought about switching to vals, which looks nice and stays the same, except the runners would go all over the tank...
 

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Vals make a nice thicket, but they do send runners all over. Most tend to send out long leaves which will shade out the rest of the tank. If you look on the Tropica site, you can see they claim to have some varieties which are shorter.

Your choice will, of course, depend on your tank, lights, etc. Some suggestions: Blyxa aubertii- will stay around 12-14 inches and get thicker; Cyperus helferi, this is a beautiful green, but can be difficult to grow, and if not happy, will be an algae magnet.

You can always go the Crypt wendtii route. I have it in my 2 50's in a rear corner. I just plant a few of them, and over the span of a few months they will completely cover the area and reach the surface of the tanks. At that point, I pull the whole mass, thin, and re-plant.

One other thing which you can do to control runners is to get some flat stones, like slate, to create a border barrier to keep the runners from going beyond a certain area of the tank. I've used that with C. spiralis and the wendtiis I mention above. Val runners tend to be more superficial, so it may not work as well with them.

HTH.
 

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I am looking for some backgrounds plants that are:
1) good nutrient absorbers
2) does not send out runners all over the place (ie no vals)
3) do not expand like weed (ie no watersprite/ludwigia repens)
4) easily maintained meaning i dont have to keep trimming it every week, the leaves grows to certain size then stop (ie: vals)
5) looks nice without ugly roots all over the stem (ie: vals)
Depending on how tall your tank is, you could try java fern. I think it fits all of your criteria except perhaps #1, being a good nutrient absorber.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
yes i want something exactly like java fern but can absorb nutrients better and does not require tieing to drift woods (exposed roots). Vals would be perfect except i cant control their runners, i had personal experience with this, even asked a few guys who put a thin acrylic blocker all the way into the dirt to seal it, and the val runners would just jump right over them lol...

Bert thanks for the suggestion i will look into those, my tank is high tech at 3+ wpg so i can grow anything i think.
 

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One thing that you can do to slow down the growth of your plants is to reduce the lighting.

Lighting is the primary factor that controls the growth of plants. If you reduce it, the plants won't grow as fast. Even vals. Simple!

If you do that, reduce the amount of nutrients accordingly.

Bill
 

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yes i want something exactly like java fern but can absorb nutrients better and does not require tieing to drift woods (exposed roots).
I've been tying my java fern to small rocks or marbles (depends on what's handy at the moment.) This is heavy enough to keep them in place, but they're still easy to move if I want to.

Maybe a sword plant? I hear that they are heavy root feeders. I don't have any myself (shallow tank), so I'm just guessing here. It seems that people use them more as a specimen plant than a background, so it might not be quite right for your purpose.
 
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