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Discussion Starter #1
I have been researching with no success on how to properly prune Vallisneria spiralis. I bought a plant package and it has been growing very well. My Vallisneria has gotten out of control. I have C02 with ph meter and lighting of about 2.25 watts per gallon. How exactly do you prune this plant..Can you cut it half way down stem and replant. I am hoping to get it thicker as opposed to taller. If you do cut it half way down can you replant the stems that were cut or transfer them to another aquarium. Thanks..I am planning a planted Discus Tank and also would like to know the best plant for cover over substrate. My substrate is mixed..Small gravel and some plant substrate.
 

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You can't trim them and plant the tops. They will make new plants and thicken up. I have cut the tops off so that they don't shade my other plants but they get a nasty brown where the cut is.
 

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So what is the best way..Maybe I misunderstood your response but Do the brown tops stay brown where they are trimmed. I would like to thicken them up without all the length. Is there a certian place to cut them.
 

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By thicken up, you mean that you want more leaves, not longer leaves?

My vals spread runners like crazy. I've found that if I cut off the runners, the plants put out more leaves instead of putting their energy into new baby plants.

Keep in mind that you're not cutting "stems" when you trim a val. You're just cutting leaves. The plant has a rosette which grows leaves rather than a stem.

Regarding covering your substrate, if you like vals, you might want to try a chain sword species. They have a similar grasslike appeal and will carpet your tank with CO2 and good lighting.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Ok I feel pretty ignorant right now but i gotta ask. I guess I am confusing leaves and stems, so if i want to shorten plant by 6-8 inches do I snip the plant at the length I want it to be in the tank. If so can you replant the tops that are cut. Also will vals withstand water temps of 82. Thanks for your help
 

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Hi chipster55,
You can trim the leaves to any height you would like (just leave enough for the plant to continue to grow), you may get a brown edge where you cut. The tops of the leaves that you cut off will not grow if planted and should be thrown out.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
So is that what most people do with these plants or do they just let them go? What happens to the brown edge..Does it stay brown. Thanks
 

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Hi chipster55,
I just let my val grow, but my tank is 24" tall so the leaves don't block the light. If your val gets so long that it blocks the light or effects the circulation in the tank, then I would trim. I trim with very sharp scissors, and I don't get brown edges at the cut.
 

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There is something of beauty when v. spirallis bends across the surface of a tank. If you look at the center portion of my tank you see that I let them be. They provide a low light environment below which I plant with anubias, java fern and java moss.

Whenever I have cut the tops off, I have been disappointed. The tops get progressively raggedy looking, extending downward where the eye sees them.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Beautiful Tanks..Mine has really grown and spread out over the top 1/3 my tank and it does look good..Will it keep growing and continue to spread..Maybe I planted to much of it..One more question. I just got done removing root like brown grass from the bottoms (most of it) to the top of my Rotala rotundifolia. I actually pulled the plants out of substrate to remove what I could without damaging plants. It looked like the color of the roots and was like a thick spiderweb. I am new to this part of aquarium projects so i do appreciate any help I can get. Could anyone tell me what this was, what caused it and how to avoid it in the future. My aquarium is planted very heavy as was suggested. I have C02 with ph meter and am slowly lower my ph to 6.5. My gh is 13 (which I am trying to lower) and my KH is 7. Phosphate is 0 to .5(hard to read color) all other parameters are as they should be..Thanks
 

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Hi chipster55,
They were probably aerial or feeder roots, some plant types seem to generate them more than other types. The roots tend to form at the leaf / stem junction. They look unsightly, I just remove them when they form. My Ludwigia repens tends to form feeder roots but my Rotala 'Nanjenshan' and Bacopa australis does not.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Whats the best (and easiest) to remove it. As I said in an earlier post I uprooted them and tried to pick this stuff off...Of course I lost a few stems or runners along the way...Would cutting the root system down help any?..is there any way to prevent this or should I just look at another plant for that area..Thanks for the advice.
 

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chipster55,
I just pull mine off while holding onto the stem. The roots I get usually pull off fairly easily. Sometimes they grow back, sometimes not. The roots seem to occur more frequently on stems I have trimmed.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thats what I was doing but these things were wrapped up tight and went up about half way on alot of stems.Maybe thats just the way it is but i would think that if this were a common issue, no one would want these plants..mine do look great from half way up..nice red tint at top..Hate to lose them.
 
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