Pruning and Cleaning?

Discussion in 'Plant Help' started by tennis4you, 30 Nov 2008.

  1. tennis4you

    tennis4you Member

    I was reading a pruning article here last night. I have a lot of swords and I thought I read that if the entire plant is removed from the tank to wash off the base and roots of the plant to get any dead debris off. Do we ever want to do that as part of maintenance or is it just best to leave the plant always in the tank and in the substrate and not yanking it out?

  2. aaronnorth

    aaronnorth Member

    worksop, nottinghamshire
    I never used to do it when i kept species like echindorous etc. It might be ideal sometiimes though just so you can keep the roots trimmed back so they dont take over the tank. Removing the debris also stops ammonia leaching into the water, but if you have good flow/ curculation, it shouldnt be too bad.
  3. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

    I'd never pull a rosette or rhizomatous plant up unless I was having to move it. Just pull the old leaves off from the base. I never cut the leaves off as it leaves a stub of stem that then rots.
  4. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Chicago, USA
    In an well fed tank rosette plants can get out of control and dominate the sediment. While these plants do a tremendous job of aerating the soil, which is an asset, they can become obnoxious as they spread causing plant clones to appear at unexpected or unwanted locations. I've pulled up crypts to find they have had 3 foot long roots. When planted in the sediment, roots grow very fine hairs which make contact with the sediment particles. It is via these hairs via electrochemical action the nutrients in their ionic forms find their way from the sediment to the plant. In a way this can be thought of as being "plugged in" to the sediment. When you uproot a plant you are breaking this connection with the sediment. When replanted, it takes time for the hairs to grow again and for the plant to optimize it's root feeding infrastructure, however, assuming the water dosing and CO2 are adequate, it's a minor setback and the plants will shortly resume as if nothing happened. This is indeed a good way to control the spread and dominance of these plants. You can use the opportunity to cut the rootball back to within a few inches as well as to separate plant sections thereby propagating or selling/donating spare plantlets, and at the same time keeping the biomass thinned and under control. This helps maintain good flow and distribution. If you have a lot of these plant typesin the tank just do sections at a time a few times a year depending on growth rates.


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