How to grow my own bunches - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 3 Old 06-19-2007, 06:03 PM Thread Starter
How to grow my own bunches

I have a 10-gallon planted tank. I have an overly happy ludwigia, two very happy amazon swords, three "peace lillies" (spathiphyllum wallisii), one acorus variegatus, two dracaena sanderiana, and one mystery plant that came courtesy of a used tank I bought. I just have small, bright blue gravel for substrate; I use plantfood pellets once a month and I was adding liquid fertilizer to the water after water changes until I got a horrendous aglae bloom.

It used to have perfect water parameters until something like a red algal bloom killed my biological filter, so we are in the process of recycling the tank. Currently there are only two fish residents.

I would like to cut back the ludwigia and replant the top bunches. Is there any special technique for doing this? Where would be a good place to cut them? They're probably about 12-14 inches in length.

Also, the swords occasionally lose a leaf or two because there are just so many leaves per plant. Is it possible to reroot the leaves? If so, how?


Best wishes for your fishes!
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post #2 of 3 Old 06-20-2007, 10:10 AM

I have not had experience with the 2 specific plants which you referenced but if I were to attempt the propagation the following would be "my plan of attack".

The Ludwigia
Make a cut immediately above the 3rd leaf down from the new growth.
Plant the "stalks" separated in a nutrient enriched substrate.
Provide plenty of light (both duration and intensity).
Maintain a very low concentration of liquid fertilizer (for sure with iron).

Amazon Sword
Trim all leaves which display any signs of not being healthy (they will not repair themselves).

Least invasive and may not work for you (also not published in the literature but I have had some luck with it).
Trim several very healthy leaves as close to the root system as you can (hopefully getting a few roots).
Tie the "stalks" together very loosely immediately below the leaves.
Suspend the stalks and leaves approximately 3" below the water's surface.
Provide plenty of light (both duration and intensity).
Maintain a very low concentration of liquid fertilizer (for sure with iron).
Hopefully within three weeks you will have enough root mass for planting in the substrate.

Most invasive but has a significant probability of success.
Carefully extract the healthiest plant from the substrate maintaining as much of the root structure as possible.
At the base of the plant you should be able to find a good location to divide the plant into half or thirds along with the same proportion of the root structure.
Plant each in the substrate several CM apart (like 6) with only a very, very small portion of the root exposed (less than 1 CM).
Provide plenty of light (both duration and intensity).
Maintain a very low concentration of liquid fertilizer (for sure with iron).

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post #3 of 3 Old 06-23-2007, 02:58 PM
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The Ludwigia for me seems to grow best transplanted if there are some roots growing from a "node". This would the location where the leaves come out. I simply cut below the roots and remove the leaves in order to get the roots deeper in the substrate.

As for swords, I have heard oyu can cut the bulb in half once you have a good root mass and some good leaves. This has to be delicately to make sure that you get roots one both halves. The best way to do it is to wait until you see a split forming on its own then help it out on the split line. I have never tried these as most of the swords I have seen will send out runners that will form plantlets and you can start new plants that way.
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