Aquatic Plant Forum banner

How to "shape" plants?

1567 Views 2 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  dennis
I have noticed and often marveled at how nice many of you more experienced scapers palnts look. I don't jus tmean color or short internode growth or even health, although often these are impressive also, butt he "shape" of the plants. To me many of your palnt groupings, especially in regard to stem plants, look wondefully natural yet sculpted at the same time. Yours look like what nature would admire, while mine tend to look a little to "natural" My plants look liek they are growing but they always look a littel out of place. I am sure tht there are tricks or techniques that are used to give that well amnicured look. I would love to learn. Here is a pic of my tank, taken yesterday. Please, feel free to advize me. The indica on the left looks rely nice to me but a little to messy while the repens and L. nummelaria grouping looks wrong. How can I improve things, especially on the right side of the tank?

1 - 3 of 3 Posts
I think one problem has is that it contains too many species. I can count about nine in the picture. To have big bold groupings, you will need to cut down on the number of species and take out this random little 1 or two stems of X plant.

Second, I think you are working with some species that are difficult to manipulate into large bunches. Lysimachia nummularia does not tend to get as bushy as, say, Hemianthus micranthemoides and Micranthemum umbrosum. It can be down though. Simply top and replant the stems of Lysimachia nummularia. Do you have tweezers? I would plant them 2-3 stems at a time as close as possible to achieve the best effect. Either plant shorter stems of Lysimachia nummularia or plant a shorter plant in front of the taller stems of L. nummularia to cover the lower stems. Or you could replace it with a naturally bushy plant like Micranthemum umbrosum.

The Rotala indica needs to grow out a little more on the left hand side. Is there Didiplis diandra mixed in there? Personally, I would segregate them into separate bunches. To make Rotala indica really bushy, cut the tops off with a pair of scissors and replant the tops between the rooted portions.

Do you have a pair of scissors or a pair of tweezers for your tank? I find it nearly impossible to have compact, tight bunches without a pair of tweezers no matter how skinny my fingers are. :)

What are your tank conditions? Only trying to help... but I think the health of your plants can be improved even further. That's a really important factor in aquascaping (working with _really_ healthy plants).

See less See more
Thanks for the reply Carlos. How are the finals going? Just remember, spring break is almost here:) First, I actually don't know what I was thinking when I said my tank plants were healthy. They are not that good, but I am working on it. I was just trying to keep this post to one topic. I figured to post my other problems in other posts. I was trying to stick with "technique" for this one. Yes, I have tweezers and sissors. Don't know if I could live wiht out them.. It is all rotala in the left, wiht the obvios excetions of the java. There is one stem of difformis trying to hide the bottoms of the indica, but just for now. I realize that my plants health is starting to go down lately but I hopefully will be remeding that wiht the addition of frourish, trace and if necessary P (kit is on the way). I have 3 wpg, diy co2, penguin 125 wiht out the biowheel. kH 4.5 ph 6.6 temp78`. No3 is climbing quickly, doubles in 3 days after wc wihtout adding any and the BGA starts to appear then too. I assume that my plants are not growing well. I know they are not actually, based on this info. I assume it is lack of traces. The didiplis in the middle jsut melts and melts. Time to get rid of it. Actually its already dead:( I have added hte bacopa to try to help suck up the excess nutrients...

Anyway, trying not to get to far off topic here. What else would you change? Thanks for hte help so far. I would really like to learn more.
See less See more
1 - 3 of 3 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.