To Prune, or not to Prune... that is the question? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 17 Old 05-19-2012, 10:04 PM Thread Starter
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To Prune, or not to Prune... that is the question?

My plants seem to do Highs and Lows. Sometimes they look great while others, they look a bit needy. Each tank is different though the source water is the same. Lighting is different, but the plants in each are similar.

I wonder, how much pruning is needed? Do you guys all prune away each leaf that looks rough? How often do you prune your plants? Do you cut them back when they are looking good but getting too big? How do you know when you have pruned enough? So many questions.

It seems to me that the more I prune, the better then look and the faster they grow. Am I nuts?

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated” Mahatma Gandhi
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post #2 of 17 Old 05-19-2012, 11:16 PM
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I think your about right, plants do better when kept trimmed of "rough" or dying leaves. Basically if the plants are looking too big for there spot in the tank, then go ahead and trim them back a bit, think of it like a haircut, it will grow back even if you cut to much.
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post #3 of 17 Old 05-20-2012, 11:18 AM
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With aquatic as with terrestrial plants/shrubs, pruning can rejuvinate growth, since the plant thinks it is being reduced when leaves/branches/runners keep getting cut off. Different plants react differently. Pruning the roots will sometimes lead to increased growth.

I don't like seeing yellowing leaves, so I tend to remove them during the water change. I cut off runners from chain swords when they move where i don't want them. I weekly tidy up floating Water Sprite by removing usually one of the larger plants, first removing some of the daughter plants. This helps to keep a number of smaller floating plants rather than blanketing the surface with a huge plant.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #4 of 17 Old 05-20-2012, 04:34 PM Thread Starter
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I feel like I am not doing enough pruning and yet, I feel I am constantly doing something. I do have a few leaves that have holes in them, assumingly from the snails. I have yet to remove those but if they start yellowing, I will. I removed most of my water sprite as I don't care for the yellowish look. I am not sure if my water is wrong for it or what but it just doesn't look great in my tanks. I have some in one of the tanks yet and tried planting a little of it. The Pennywort does better in one tank then the other as well. LOVE that stuff.

I wish I had en expert here to watch me and say "yes, cut that out" and "no, I would leave that yet." Just for awhile until I feel more comfortable with it. Can you say "paranoid?"

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated” Mahatma Gandhi
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post #5 of 17 Old 05-20-2012, 04:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Byron View Post
With aquatic as with terrestrial plants/shrubs, pruning can rejuvinate growth, since the plant thinks it is being reduced when leaves/branches/runners keep getting cut off. Different plants react differently. Pruning the roots will sometimes lead to increased growth.

I don't like seeing yellowing leaves, so I tend to remove them during the water change. I cut off runners from chain swords when they move where i don't want them. I weekly tidy up floating Water Sprite by removing usually one of the larger plants, first removing some of the daughter plants. This helps to keep a number of smaller floating plants rather than blanketing the surface with a huge plant.
Byron is there any way you could upload a picture or pictures of your water sprite? I am interested to see what this plant looks like. for some reason I am picturing it like wisteria, I don't know why? is it a true floating plant? or is it a stem plant that can be floated?

cheers

Peace always..

If you worry you die, and if you don't worry you still die..... so why worry?
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post #6 of 17 Old 05-20-2012, 06:19 PM
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Originally Posted by rhymon78 View Post
Byron is there any way you could upload a picture or pictures of your water sprite? I am interested to see what this plant looks like. for some reason I am picturing it like wisteria, I don't know why? is it a true floating plant? or is it a stem plant that can be floated?

cheers
I couldn't provide a better photo that the two in our profile, one from above and one from below. They are not my plants, but they are illustrative photos.

I have Ceratopteris cornuta, and it does better floating. I've never had it do well in the substrate, probably due to the lower light. Mine is very lush bright green, and grows very fast, though it does periodically go through slow phases, presumably rest periods.

The other species, whether one calls it C. pteridioides or C. thalictroides [I have them listed as separate, but some sources do think they are the same] do better in the substrate but light has to be decent.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #7 of 17 Old 05-20-2012, 06:23 PM
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Ok thanks, I just struggle to see it in those pics on the profile.

Peace always..

If you worry you die, and if you don't worry you still die..... so why worry?
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post #8 of 17 Old 05-20-2012, 06:36 PM
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Ok thanks, I just struggle to see it in those pics on the profile.
I don't understand. Here's another photo. When grown on the surface, it spreads out horizontally, so the leaves float with the roots dangling down. In the substrate, the leaves grow more vertical in a clump.
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File Type: jpg Ceratopteris cornuta3.jpg (52.4 KB, 40 views)

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #9 of 17 Old 05-20-2012, 06:40 PM
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I don't understand. Here's another photo. When grown on the surface, it spreads out horizontally, so the leaves float with the roots dangling down. In the substrate, the leaves grow more vertical in a clump.
Lol..... What I meant is the pictures are not very clear on the profile.

So it does kind of look like wisteria eh? Although I take it, it keeps upright when floated. I pinched the growing tips out of my old wisteria that I got bored of and just let them float for a while but they didn't stay upright although they did grow, lots of roots formed!

Thanks

Peace always..

If you worry you die, and if you don't worry you still die..... so why worry?
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post #10 of 17 Old 05-20-2012, 07:31 PM
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Originally Posted by rhymon78 View Post
Lol..... What I meant is the pictures are not very clear on the profile.

So it does kind of look like wisteria eh? Although I take it, it keeps upright when floated. I pinched the growing tips out of my old wisteria that I got bored of and just let them float for a while but they didn't stay upright although they did grow, lots of roots formed!

Thanks
I don't see it as similar to Wisteria, though I do see that the leaf structure is similar; but not the plants as a whole.

Floating, all leaves lay flat across the surface, upperside up.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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