Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Salix 12-01-2010 08:11 PM

Question about Wisteria "air roots"
Most of my Wisteria plants are growing very large air roots, and I've read that all stem plants will grow these types of roots. They're getting so long now that you can barely see the plant itself, just the roots, and some grow algae is starting to grow on the roots. I've tried taking it off with my fingers but the little progress I made doing this was for not, because three days later there was more. Would it kill the plant if I trimmed these roots down a bit with a pair of scissors or will they grow back?

Byron 12-02-2010 10:16 AM

I have always found this an issue with Wisteria. Regular trimming helps but only minimally. I don't fuss over algae on the roots, just the leaves. You don't mention what type, it is brush algae?

Salix 12-02-2010 01:17 PM

It isn't brush algae, no, it's diatoms. I've been having a bit of a problem with it since I put live plants in the tank and have to keep the light on for longer periods of time. I have a zebra nerite snail and he spends most of his time eating it off the glass but there's only so much one little snail can do. I've thought about getting a little oto or two but I don't know how my male betta would react and I don't want to risk him hurting them. If trimming the roots isn't going to kill the plant then that's what I'll do. I don't mind the extra work.

Byron 12-02-2010 02:39 PM

Depending upon how many roots you trim, yes it will harm the plant; it assimilates nutrients via all those roots, and if they go...trouble.

I wouldn't worry about diatoms; you can rub them off a bit during the water change. They should disappear. Low light and excess silicates are said to cause this. I have what many would consider low level lighting, but never see this except in very new setups.

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