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Discussion Starter #1
the first plant I ever got was a cute little cryptocoryne sprig from petco. Now though, a few years and many re-scapings later, it is a massive plant with a root system that sprals across the entire floor of my 10g aquarium. I have been tryingto improve the aquascape in here but it is super difficult with this dense, spongy mat underneath my sand. Would it be ok to trim the roots? It's a supercomplex root network, so no, I cant just pull it out and cut away the smaller roots. they're all woven together. I was thinking more like just taking a knife and cuting a circle around the plant and pulling out all the severed roots...that probably wouldnt work though, haha;)
anyway, does anybody have an idea of how I can deal with this problem? I really can't plant anything without running into or uncovering a big mat of crypt roots. any ideas or tips are greatly appreciated!
thanks a bunch!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
My substrate is a natural brown sand, and the plant has three main bunches and some speouts
 

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Discussion Starter #5
It is 4 inches tall and about 8 long measured from leaf to leaf:) crypts don't get tall, they just spread out everywhere haha;)
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Okay :) I'd try to leave it 4in of roots. Feel free to snip around the plant, but in my experience it's a painnnnn getting the roots out. you might have better luck with your sand though. Typically i leave the pruned roots in the substrate to breakdown and become fertilizer for my other plants :D
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Is that ok to do? It turns the sand all black and yucky looking underneath...
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It depends on how heavily planted your tank is, But it seems like it wont be aesthetically okay for you XD

it's definitely an option if extracting the roots from the substrate turns out to be too much of a hassle :) I've only done this a few times, it's a frustrating process as the roots always expands far beyond what I can imagine, and I always end up turning the substrate inside out :(
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well you can't see the color on top so is not an aesthetic issue really, but I was just wondering if it was bad when it turns the sand black like that.
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depends why the sand is turning black, ... get stuff to burrow in your substrate, ... either worms or snails (or something i haven't heard of yet)

black is a sign it's not getting enough Oxygen , ... yes that's bad near the surface, ... otherwise it's normal decomposition and being in the substrate, as aokashi said, it's not normally a problem otherwise. ... trust experience more than theory, aokashi seems to have experience :)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
oh yeah, thats the other thing- I have three kuhlis tat never burrow in te sand. my theory is that the mat of roots prevents them from doing so. prehhaps when i trim my rots both problems will be solved- they will burrow and oxygenate te sand, the the blackening wont be as bad and all the plants will be healthier with the added mixing of the substrate :D
 

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Discussion Starter #13
they don't???? all the ones at the lfs were burried in the gravel...doesnt mean its natural, but they were!
huh...
 

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the kuhli loaches at your LFS, ... the gravel the store was using, ... i'm assuming large gravel, large enough for the loaches to find paths through it, ... large enough that considering if the loaches found a tunnel of sorts.

finding a tunnel is different from digging to burrow.
 
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