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Hey Mike

Here's a pic of my red lilly and how it just goes shooting for the top of the tank vs how nice and compact yours stays. Any clue why mine grows huge leaves and becomes so tall like this?



 

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ahh...okay, too much light then. I didn't think of that. Like them when they stay small and pretty.
No, it's not too much light. (At least that's not how it is with the 4 different types of lillies I have kept.) They like to shoot their leaves up to the top and float on the surface to get MORE light. If you pinch off the leaves it will put out more leaves. Keep pinching and they will get shorter and shorter - like a dandelion in your yard. It will stay short for a while and then try to shoot long-stemmed leaves out again.
 

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I think mine stays so compact because of the lower light and no co2. When I had one of the lilies in my co2 tank a few years ago, I would pinch off any stem that tried to go to the surface. I would pinch it off as close to the bottom as I could. After awhile, it would stop trying to send one to the surface.

In a large tank like mine and yours, those are neat plants. They do add a lot of color and unique leaf structure to an aquascape.
 

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Yes, pinch them back to take the entire stem off. I've kept these for years in no CO2 and low light. The only ferts I had was root tabs. They always wanted to go to the top. Pinching them off is the key. They'll stay short for a few months and then try again to get to the top. Just keep pinching the long leaves off. It'll get like a dandelion - stay short and put out leaves. :D
 

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My green and red both grow under 3+w/gal T5 HO lights and they stay very low to the substrate. About 6 months ago the green one put up a single leaf to the surface and it sat there like a lily pad for about a week. Quite nice, actually. But after that no more.

So it's not high light causing this. I keep them trimmed to only 5-6 leaves so that might be helping me....
 

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There are different types of lillies. Some grow larger leaves than others on average. I have some small ones that put out a ton of small leaves and had a large one that put out the occasional large leaf but that's it.

I've heard that when a leaf reaches the surface, it will slow or stop putting out tall leaves. I might have that wrong. If nothing else, you want to keep them cut back so they don't block light to the neighboring plants.

Michael
 

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>>>>I've heard that when a leaf reaches the surface, it will slow or stop putting out tall leaves.

Actually I've heard the exact opposite.
 

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I was reading up on my Nymphaea lotus red, and remember something about how you can train the lilly to grow.

From APC's "Plant Finder"

N. lotus �Red� is a bulb plant which produces both submersed and floating leaves. Though the plant will grow under low light, higher light values should be favored by the aquarist if the formation of floating leaves is to be avoided. If these floating leaves do develop, however, it is often best to trim them before they get to the surface, since it will be difficult to discourage further foliage of this type once the plant knows where the surface is. Along these same lines, plants that already develop predominantly floating leaves can be trained to discontinue this growth habit if a vigilant trimming of developing floating leaves is practiced.
Hope that helps...

Todd
 
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