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How do you trim your plants?

  • Digg'em up, cut for hight then replant

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How do you keep you aquascape in shape?

1624 Views 6 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  tsunami
I just got a hold of a bunch of Amano's aqua Journal, and since it could not sleep this night, I have been up since 03:00 am reading pages after pages. Lot's of great info here!

But, the thing I notices was that Amano recommend agains digging up your plants and replanting the top to keep them in tip top shape. He recommends only trimming (atleast in AJ no. 34) to keep them in good shap an the right height. I usually end up trimming my plantes only a couple of times, before I just dig them up, cut out the bottom part then replant the whole thing. How do you guys go about with this?

Also, do you ever trim to keep them in perfect high, or do you do a major trimming weekly og biweekly and then let is grow back into shape?
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I too don't favor pulling up plants as this really disturbs the plant. The plant has to re-grow all new roots every time you do this. Remember, first rule is to have healthy plants.

That said, trimming is very important to maintain healthy growth. You will note that Amano trims his plants below where he wants them to be. This takes into account the growth habit of the plant. As you may know, trimming a stem may result in two or three new shoots from that stem. This is a great way to create a bushy look from few plants, but also may not be what you intend.

For example, if a rotala is positioned behind a rock and he wants it to be 2-3 inches above the rock, he will trim it about an inch below the rock's top. This will allow for the plant to grow and the viewer won't be able to see the stem that has 2-3 shoots growing from it.

On the other hand, if your grouping is front and center, you may not want to have a visible stem with 2-3 shoots growing from it. In such instances, you have no choice but to replant.

Trimming is something that needs to be done often. This prevents a large disturbance to the tank and makes it easy to train plant growth. ADA staff trims their tanks daily.

When I had time :) I would trim every few days. Of course, this takes into account that plants are growing that fast.

Some prefer to have a slower growing tank and trim less often. You will probably go through different phases until you find what works for you and your tank.
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As far as I know, Amano uses substrate as the main source o nutrients. So if you pull off the plant you cut off the access to these nutrients.
Secondly, trimming is less time consuming and it allows to control precise shape of the plans.
But it's only my opinion :lol:

Amano uses a complete line of liquid fertilizers. He does sometimes add the liquid to the substrate, however.
Mr. Amano visited my country recently, he told that as long the substrate is reach with nutrients it should be should be considered as a main source. It's obvious that with time such substrate loses its properties and additional liquid fertilizers should be added.
Some plants don't do nearly as well as others with toping. Plants like L. Glandulosa, Stellata, Aromaticoides etc do much better by replanting the tops. Plants like L. repens, R. rotundifolia, D. Diandra etc do well with trimminng.
It depends on the species. Certain plants like Ammania gracilis, Ludwigia sp Cuba, and Bacopa caroliniana are topped. Others like Heteranthera zosterifolia, Rotala sp Green, and Hemianthus micranthemoides should be trimmed.

I trim as often as is necessary to keep the look I want. When a design is fully grown in, I try to maintain it by pruning it every two to three days.

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