Keeping MC trimmed short (Micranthemum monte carlo)

Andrew Butler

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As the title suggests what experience do people have of keeping Micranthemum monte carlo trimmed short?
You see in some of the Takisi Amano aquascapes it being not even 5mm high so is this just down to regular trimming?
I'm quite sure it's both MC and HC in a lot of his 'scapes but even if it was only HC it seems very short for such healthy growth.
Sensible advice welcome ;)

Any information gratefully received
Andrew
 

Jayefc1

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From what I've read it's about trimming lightly and using your hand to press it down to make it compact that keeps it very low
Cheers
Jay
 

zozo

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It something learned by experience and knowing how the plant grows.. Micranthemum spp. and Hemianthus callitrichoides require the same approach.
The most important one of course is sufficient CO², Ferts and Light. Than if it has this it will grow very dense, and this will suffocate the leaves at the lower stems at the substrate, depriving it from light etc.. At one point this will all be melted away leaving you with nacked stems close to the substrate. At that point you are already to late with trimming it close to the substrate. Because than you will have about 0 foilage left, than replanting cuttings is the only option which is an absolute pain in the neck.

If you wait even longer than even the stems at the substrate will melt and the plant will be no longer rooted. Since it gets ampple co² and ferts via the water column, the plant has no need to search for it in the substrate, it gets all it needs with hoovering above it with also roots free floating (air roots?). Than you can find an intire carpet comming up to the surface floating one day.

The tricky part is, the plant needs to be trimmed when looking at its best.. That the point looking so nice you want it to look like that for ever. Than not trimming it that melt at substrate level will kick in withing 1 or 2 weeks. And because it grows rather fast if given the perfect conditions it requires almost constant maintenance.. Depending on how perfect the conditions are maybe about every other day trimming here and trimming there.

Or neglect it for a week or 2 enjoying its lovely looks, than vigorously trim it back wait 2 weeks for it to recover and back to square one going over and over again.

Having a gorgious short MC or HC carpet is simply a lot of delicate work trimming and pressing it down since it is such a delicate tiny plant.

I guess having that constant perfect HC carpet it something typical for Traditional Eastern Aqauscapers living according the Wabi Sabi philosophy.. Working on it every day with heart and soul and feel it is a theraphy instead of a repetitive nuisance. :)

I personaly belong to the later group always posponing trimming it till tomorow, that's why i gave up on trying to adchieve that. This plant sp. is to labor intensive. Than MC is a tad easier than HC.
 
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Andrew Butler

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@zozo thanks for the info; I have kept it before but never managed to keep it looking as low and healthy like some of the Takishi Amano Photos - I realise there is a lot more time in it keeping it low and healthy along with striking the balance of it's needs.
If I'm to start a carpet should I be keeping it trimmed back from day one then? will it still send runners out?
 

zozo

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What is most important is first get it to spread and carpet the desired surface area. In the substrate it depends and thrives on a healthy rootsystem.
Initialy after planting and flooding the plant needs to transition and establish. Submersed it aint that easy and fast, it takes time. After that it is time to trim and replant. When and how and how much all depends on the currect situation, parameters etc. and how fast it transitiions to submersed form.. It is hard if not impossible to create a rule or time schedule in that.

My best guess from personal experience with these plants.. Best chances of succes would be dry starting the carpet.. Than after flooding you already will have that well developed healthy rootsystem ready. Makes it easier on the plant to transition and come back in submersed form. With dry starting you always have enough CO² available for free and you don't have to worry about algae attacks etc.

With starting such a carpet submersed you do have to worry about CO² and Algae issues and this can make things much more difficult.

1min 40 into the video..
 

Andrew Butler

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What is most important is first get it to spread and carpet the desired surface area. In the substrate it depends and thrives on a healthy rootsystem.
Initialy after planting and flooding the plant needs to transition and establish. Submersed it aint that easy and fast, it takes time. After that it is time to trim and replant. When and how and how much all depends on the currect situation, parameters etc. and how fast it transitiions to submersed form.. It is hard if not impossible to create a rule or time schedule in that.

My best guess from personal experience with these plants.. Best chances of succes would be dry starting the carpet.. Than after flooding you already will have that well developed healthy rootsystem ready. Makes it easier on the plant to transition and come back in submersed form. With dry starting you always have enough CO² available for free and you don't have to worry about algae attacks etc.
Thanks for the input @zozo
I have successfully grown MC before but just never had it that short although it did establish itself and stay healthy for quite a while.
Due to the slopes in my aquarium neither the DSM or LDSM works as the water all just collects at the lowest point and it was decided with input from others it not such a good idea and instead dense planting and flooding would be the best strategy for me this time. I plan to let it have loads of CO2 the first 3-4 weeks and then hopefully when things have filled out a little start dialing things in.

The question really is about how to keep it really short and looking good at the same time.
 

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