12-10-2009, 03:46 PM
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They can be left, if you want that effect which is rather nice in a natural setting. I find that before long they tend to get rather scraggly looking, and being closer to the light algae almost invariably settles on them big-time. If you check some of the photos of my 90g flooded Amazon forest tank or the former 70g setup, you will see a couple of swords with stalks and daughter plants; the ones in the photos were about 4-5 months, and brush algae was getting prevalent. I have since removed the daughter plants, removed some of the leaves, and they are doing fine in a spare tank as new plants.
To start new plants, wait until the daughter plant has several leaves about 2+ inches, and a nice root system. When ready, carefully remove the plant by grasping it right at the crown/base and gently pulling downward along the stalk. They come off very easily. Some prefer to cut the stalk just below the daughter plant, which is fine unless you are removing a lower plant and there are others not ready above it. If the stalk is removed from the parent plant before the daughter plant(s) is/are developed sufficiently, they will not survive. Once you separate them, they are on their own and need leaves to photosynthesize (grow) and roots to absorb nutrients to enable them to photosynthesize.
Last edited by Byron; 12-10-2009 at 03:49 PM..