To Prune, or not to Prune... that is the question?
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To Prune, or not to Prune... that is the question?

This is a discussion on To Prune, or not to Prune... that is the question? within the Beginner Planted Aquarium forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> My plants seem to do Highs and Lows. Sometimes they look great while others, they look a bit needy. Each tank is different though ...

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To Prune, or not to Prune... that is the question?
Old 05-19-2012, 09:04 PM   #1
 
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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?
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Old 05-19-2012, 10:16 PM   #2
 
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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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Old 05-20-2012, 10:18 AM   #3
 
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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.
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Old 05-20-2012, 03:34 PM   #4
 
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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?"
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Old 05-20-2012, 03:49 PM   #5
 
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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 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
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Chesh (05-25-2012)
Old 05-20-2012, 05:19 PM   #6
 
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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.
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Old 05-20-2012, 05:23 PM   #7
 
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Ok thanks, I just struggle to see it in those pics on the profile.
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Old 05-20-2012, 05:36 PM   #8
 
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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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Old 05-20-2012, 05:40 PM   #9
 
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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
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Old 05-20-2012, 06:31 PM   #10
 
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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.
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