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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently bought a plant at a LFS labeled merely "cryptocoryne XL". It has long strap-like leaves that are sometimes wavy. The Xl referred to the mass- I divided it into at least 15 plants. One went in my 20L under 48 watts of T5. That one has turned maroon, is beautifully wavy, and has more than tripled in mass, but not reached the top of the water. The others went in a regular 20 gallon with the same light. They are green, and have grown up and across the top of the tank, totally blocking the light. Now what? It doesn't seem right to whack the leaves in half to let in light. Yet I think if they could get the light, they wouldn't be reaching so high, if that makes sense. What is this plant, and how should it behave? What makes them happy?
 

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I've always trimmed crypts. by following the leaves down the petiole(?) to the base of the plant and sort of peeling the leaf away. I don't actually trim them with scissors, but with fingers. Most of the time, the outer leaves will peel right off, and, in my experience, these tend to be the older, more ragged ones that need to be trimmed anyway.
 

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Isn't it interesting how one plant can look and be so different in two apparently identical conditions?! You can't trim Crypt leaves midway - you'll just kill the leaf. BrightyK's way is the way to trim them, but that doesn't help you with the overall length. My guess is you have either retrospiralis or spiralis there.
 

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My C. wendtii plants fill whatever I put them in. I've got a 5g desktop tank w/ bunches of6-8" leaves w/ little petioles (stems) and I've got two foot tall ones in my 46g bow that have very long stems - all from the same starter plant. They also look very different in terms of leaf shape and color as a function of light spectrum and intensity. So - you've got 3 factors that can alter the appearance of the plant.

10 years from now, I think someone will come out and announce that there are really only 4 or 5 Crypt species.:rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I did like Brighty K said, and pinched off he longest, near as I could tell. I draped the whole mess over the edge, then followed any leaf back that was more than 12" out of the water. There is a lot more light now, and only a couple of stems melted. So far, so good. I think Squawkbert's right- I have one in the same tank that lays flat and gets fat leaves with wavy edges with full light, and within a day of getting it's light blocked, goes smooth and vertical. The next leaves will grow tall and thinner. Pretty cool plants...
 

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I have wendettii in my tank, several infact. One is planted in amongst the glosso. That one all the leaves lay flat against the ground. the others, stand up. Crypts are gorgeous plants, I would love more variety.
 
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