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Discussion Starter #1
i was just curious what you guys do with the roots that grow in the water column do you trim or just let them grow or what? i read somewhere on this forum that it is normal and healthy buti have a ludwigia repens and it just has so many roots growing off of it that it is almost ugly.


thanks, chris
 

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You will never get rid of these roots by trimming. They always will grow and L.repens is a champion in growing these roots. These roots will mostly grow on the lover parts and will be much more if you top the plant a lot. The best way would be to hide those plants with some lower ones in front.
 

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You will never get rid of these roots by trimming. They always will grow and L.repens is a champion in growing these roots. These roots will mostly grow on the lover parts and will be much more if you top the plant a lot. The best way would be to hide those plants with some lower ones in front.
Yep! Some plants do it lots more than others, and if anyone ever figures out a way to minimize them, I'll be very happy to try. Personally, I have never seen any effects of how you dose your water column in regards to these roots. L. repens, and recently I have discovered that L. arcuata also, put out tons of these.
 

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About a month ago I think I read that it was a sign of impending nitrate deficiency. I think it was in an article on trimming fast growing stems. I can't remember when or where, and more importantly if it's a valid statement, but it'd be cool to know exactly why it happens.
 

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my ludwigia drops a TON of those, especially since i tend to top the plant off quite a bit. i think it looks kind of cool... make a spooky looking black hole under the plant :) but if you don't like that, you're best served by trying a different plant i think.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
thanks for the quick replies. i kind of like the plant so since trimming doesnt hurt i think that i am going to try and put something a little shorter in front of it and try and trim some of the stuff a little higher up to try and keep in semi under control.

andrew as for the nitrate deficiency i dont know, that could be it is a new tank. i have been testing nitrate and i havent seen any in my tests yet so i will watch my nitrates as they come up and see if that has any effect on the roots.
 

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About a month ago I think I read that it was a sign of impending nitrate deficiency. I think it was in an article on trimming fast growing stems. I can't remember when or where, and more importantly if it's a valid statement, but it'd be cool to know exactly why it happens.
I would find this hard to believe. If you have a reference, I'd like to read it. I am certain, I am not nitrate deficient, I do not run a lean tank, and my repens and arcuata have lots of these.
 

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These roots will mostly grow on the lover parts and will be much more if you top the plant a lot.
That is consistent with what I have observed. I have some water wisteria growing in a tank. One day, I decided to populate another tank with water wisteria. So whenever the water wisteria in tank A grew to a certain height, I cut off the top portion and planted it in tank B. When new shoot formed in tank A and grew to a certain height, I repeated the process. After repeating for sometime, the lower portion of the water wisteria in tank A had quite a few water column roots.

One possible explanation is that leaves produce food for a plant. When a large portion of a plant was cut off, food supply suddenly drops drastically. To compensate for the sudden and drastic change, the plant went into emergency mode by growing new roots (probably requires less energy to grow new roots than leaves) hoping to get food from a different source.
 

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There are so many thoughts for why and when these roots form. But in the end I think we should take aerating roots as a given when it comes to stem plants. No matter what the circumstances are they grow them. I have no idea regarding to the nitrate defficiency, but I have seen that higher phosphate rates are causing an increase in the forming of these roots. That emergency mode mentioned above after topping the stem is just one of the thinkings about the increase in these roots but I don't think it may be totaly accurate. These aerial roots have a lesser capability for absorbing nutrients in regards to below substrate roots or leaves. Also if it had been so important, than the plant should stunt or die when you cut off these roots frequently. What other things could be said about these roots; for example they have large capacities of storing many minerals and gases as a stock; they provide gas exchange; they have the ability to provide balancing to the plant in regards with buoyancy; perhaps many more. As a conclusion there is nothing you can do abot these roots, they form in any case and you should learn to live with them. You can just pinch them off or hide them;)
 
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