A question for you planted tank people out there! 🌱

CPDtank96

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Hey guys! New to the planted tank scene and looking for some maintenance tips and tricks 🌱

currently I have the following plants in my aquarium:


Hygrophila corymbosa 'Siamensis 53B' (background)​

Hygrophila polysperma (background)​

Echinodorus grisebachii 'Bleherae' (I think this is the type of Amazon sword I planted ?) (background)​

Cryptocoryne wendtii 'Green'(mid and front)​

Micranthemum tweediei 'Monte Carlo'(front)​

Anubias barteri var. nana (attached to wood)​

Microsorum pteropus 'Trident' (attached to wood)​


i think these are the closest I could liken to them anyway as I am clueless on the scientific names LOL! (My apologies wish I could be 10000% sure but i am pretty sure. )

I have attached some photos of the current look of the tank and wondered if anyone could offer any advice on how to trim these plants and what to look out for or any beginners tips ! My apologies for the quality and also for the photo bombers!!!!! 🤣 I do weekly water changes and I think I’m doing well with my general tank maintenance as my water test came out as 0ppm for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate yesterday evening photo attached.

i basically wanted to know how to trim and prune my plants for optimum growth and health if anyone can advise! My tank is small so I don’t like to fertilise too often as don’t want to mess my parameters and so the plants grow slowly but any gardening tips would be really appreciated just want to make sure I’m doing thinks correctly 😊🌞 I’m confident with my non aquatic gardening skills but it’s time to improve my aquatic gardening skills for sure! 💪🏻
 

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Bruce Leyland-Jones

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Hygrophila corymbosa 'Siamensis 53B' (background)

Hygrophila polysperma (background)​

Both of these can be trimmed*, just above a leaf node and the cuttings re-planted. I tend to re-plant mine next to the 'mother' plant, to get a bushier look.

Echinodorus grisebachii 'Bleherae' (I think this is the type of Amazon sword I planted ?) (background)​

I'd just leave this to live grow. If it's happy, it'll send out little runners, with plantlets attached. Swords tend to like iron in their diet, but just a standard liquid fertiliser should suffice. If your focus was for an underwater garden, with no consideration for fish, then you can go to town on all manner of plant-enhancing elements.

Cryptocoryne wendtii 'Green'(mid and front)​

Crypts aren't the fastest of growers and, like the Swords, will snd out runners with plantlets, if ecstatic in their substrate.

Micranthemum tweediei 'Monte Carlo'(front)​

You can take cuttings of this and re-plant them, no issue.

Anubias barteri var. nana (attached to wood)​

Leave this as is.
Anubias are slow growers and you'll be able to carefully slice plantlets off the main rhizome, once it appears to have settled.

Microsorum pteropus 'Trident' (attached to wood)​

This'll produce it's own 'baby' ferns from the edges/tips of leaves.
i think these are the closest I could liken to them anyway as I am clueless on the scientific names LOL! (My apologies wish I could be 10000% sure but i am pretty sure. )
Your guessed names seem fairly consistent with what you show. You could always return to the seller and put them on the spot, to tell you what they've sold you. Even if they don't now off-hand, they'll have placed their order with a supplier who will know and the details should at least be in the seller's order book. ;)
i basically wanted to know how to trim and prune my plants for optimum growth and health if anyone can advise! My tank is small so I don’t like to fertilise too often as don’t want to mess my parameters and so the plants grow slowly but any gardening tips would be really appreciated just want to make sure I’m doing thinks correctly 😊🌞 I’m confident with my non aquatic gardening skills but it’s time to improve my aquatic gardening skills for sure! 💪🏻
All looking good.
A few suggestions...
  • * Visit a make-up section somewhere and get yourself a small pair of very sharp scissors and use these for your cutting. It's important that you cut, rather than crush and blunter scissors tend to crush when cutting.
  • Plants can be divided into root-feeders and stem-feeders. All aquatic plants feed through roots and stems/leaves, but some just use one method predominantly. This means, for example, that you can leave cuttings floating in the water for a while and they'll send out roots. When you get around to planting them, they'll already have some good roots grown.
  • When you do plant plants in substrate, take great care NOT to crush anything.
 

xxBarneyxx

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Honestly... tank looks great, keep doing what you are doing!

Few tips that may be useful in the future:

Both Hygrophila will grow relatively quickly and could start to take over the tank a bit. Just need to basically trim them back to the shape/size you want. Once they are established they are pretty hardy so you cant really do too much to harm them. They will probably start to bush out more as you trim them back but this can depend on lighting.

Echinodorus grisebachii - This is not overly fast growing but can get big and like the hygrophila might swamp the tank eventually. Again once it is established just trim it back to where you want it.

The Crypts, Microsorum and Anubias are all fairly slow growing and wont need too much maintenance.

In general trim off any dead or dying bits. Try not to let anything overgrow anything else and that's pretty much it for "trimming and tidying".

Regarding ferts. Assuming a standard fish load and regular water changes with nothing missing from your tap water you probably don't need to worry about dosing anything.

If you wanted to boost plant growth a bit without too much hassle then get some "root tabs" to put around the substrate of the "rooted" plants and use a fert that is just dosing trace elements to make sure have no deficiencies there.

I haven't used them myself but as you are in the UK I would recommend TNC plugs for the root tabs and TNC Lite for the trace elements. These are not necessary for the plants you have but will probably give a nice boost without effecting water chemistry too much or being a lot of hassle and expense.

Last tip I would give is to make sure you have good water movement around the tank to stop any dead spots and have good surface movement for good gas exchange. How much you have depends on your fish and their requirements but good circulation and gas exchange can have quite an effect on plant growth.
 
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CPDtank96

CPDtank96

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Than
Both of these can be trimmed*, just above a leaf node and the cuttings re-planted. I tend to re-plant mine next to the 'mother' plant, to get a bushier look.

I'd just leave this to live grow. If it's happy, it'll send out little runners, with plantlets attached. Swords tend to like iron in their diet, but just a standard liquid fertiliser should suffice. If your focus was for an underwater garden, with no consideration for fish, then you can go to town on all manner of plant-enhancing elements.

Crypts aren't the fastest of growers and, like the Swords, will snd out runners with plantlets, if ecstatic in their substrate.

You can take cuttings of this and re-plant them, no issue.

Leave this as is.
Anubias are slow growers and you'll be able to carefully slice plantlets off the main rhizome, once it appears to have settled.

This'll produce it's own 'baby' ferns from the edges/tips of leaves.

Your guessed names seem fairly consistent with what you show. You could always return to the seller and put them on the spot, to tell you what they've sold you. Even if they don't now off-hand, they'll have placed their order with a supplier who will know and the details should at least be in the seller's order book. ;)

All looking good.
A few suggestions...
  • * Visit a make-up section somewhere and get yourself a small pair of very sharp scissors and use these for your cutting. It's important that you cut, rather than crush and blunter scissors tend to crush when cutting.
  • Plants can be divided into root-feeders and stem-feeders. All aquatic plants feed through roots and stems/leaves, but some just use one method predominantly. This means, for example, that you can leave cuttings floating in the water for a while and they'll send out roots. When you get around to planting them, they'll already have some good roots grown.
  • When you do plant plants in substrate, take great care NOT to crush anything.
Thank you SO much for your amazing reply!!!!! So much info feel much more informed now and confident I can get to work on the maintenance !! You’re a star can’t thank you enough 🌞

definitely would like a bushier look for the stem plants so going to do as you advised with those and plant close to the mother plants and hopefully it will fill out nicely

I can see some tiny new growth at the base of the swords and was unsure who was growing so hopefully this is the swords?! I shall leave them well alone. I usually do a tiny dose of the tropica fertiliser in my tank but as very small I do it sparingly so will continue and hopefully it will be enough iron for them 🤪

I shall leave the crypts and cut their dead bits if they get any thanks for that as was really unsure with those! Might give the Monte Carlo a little trim as it has gotten a bit unruly 🤣

oh is that what’s happening to the Java fern!!!!! I did wonder what the tiny plant things were?! Do I leave those or do I cut them and plant?

awesome tip with the seller will be picking his brain next time I go 🤣

makeup scissors !!! You are a genius ! My scissors are not sharp so I will avoid those and get some proper tools for the job ✂️

oh dear now you mention it the crushing I could do with improving ! Still haven’t gotten the hang of planting into the substrate yet and I’ve very clumsy so I have crushed lots of plants during the planting I will take more care !!!! Good to know so thank you so much I guess I just need to keep practicing until I’ve gotten the hang of it 😎
 
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CPDtank96

CPDtank96

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Honestly... tank looks great, keep doing what you are doing!

Few tips that may be useful in the future:

Both Hygrophila will grow relatively quickly and could start to take over the tank a bit. Just need to basically trim them back to the shape/size you want. Once they are established they are pretty hardy so you cant really do too much to harm them. They will probably start to bush out more as you trim them back but this can depend on lighting.

Echinodorus grisebachii - This is not overly fast growing but can get big and like the hygrophila might swamp the tank eventually. Again once it is established just trim it back to where you want it.

The Crypts, Microsorum and Anubias are all fairly slow growing and wont need too much maintenance.

In general trim off any dead or dying bits. Try not to let anything overgrow anything else and that's pretty much it for "trimming and tidying".

Regarding ferts. Assuming a standard fish load and regular water changes with nothing missing from your tap water you probably don't need to worry about dosing anything.

If you wanted to boost plant growth a bit without too much hassle then get some "root tabs" to put around the substrate of the "rooted" plants and use a fert that is just dosing trace elements to make sure have no deficiencies there.

I haven't used them myself but as you are in the UK I would recommend TNC plugs for the root tabs and TNC Lite for the trace elements. These are not necessary for the plants you have but will probably give a nice boost without effecting water chemistry too much or being a lot of hassle and expense.

Last tip I would give is to make sure you have good water movement around the tank to stop any dead spots and have good surface movement for good gas exchange. How much you have depends on your fish and their requirements but good circulation and gas exchange can have quite an effect on plant growth.
Thanks so so so much for the detailed response and guidance! 🌞 really appreciated it as I’m a novice aquatic gardener 🤣

the hygrophilia is definitely getting a bit wild it just grows so fast!! I won’t be afraid to get that trimmed down now thank you for the advice! I have a second tank so I’ll make use of any extra in there ♥️

the swords are getting a little large for the area they are in for my liking so they may be getting a pruning soon 🤣

really glad about the crypts never kept those before so glad they’re a slow grower thank goodness

thanks for the tip of dead and dying bits always a bit scared with the chopping but I’ll get those out ASAP 💪🏻

great news! My tap water is quite hard where I am but the fish load is decent so should be plenty in the water Youre correct that’s good to know 😍 I have got some root tabs and aqua soil in the substrate but I’ll replenish the root tabs soon to see if it helps give the plants a boost 🌱 thanks for recommending me specific ones that’s super helpful as very overwhelmed by the choice now!

I’ve currently got an external filter running with the spray bar attachment but the flow wasn’t fantastic so I was finding when the plants started using oxygen at night my fish were suffering !! I noticed and bought a power head which is disrupting the water surface and I can see gas exchange is occurring and so far no issues with oxygen for the fish which is a relief!!!! Is this usual practice??? I also have the really cheap tropica co2 canisters in the back as wanted to try those being a bit experimental but doubt they will do much as it is just a REALLY basic co2 system so shall see how that goes will leave it if I see no difference 😇

thank you so much again for your reply!
 

Bruce Leyland-Jones

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Thank you SO much for your amazing reply!!!!! So much info feel much more informed now and confident I can get to work on the maintenance !! You’re a star can’t thank you enough 🌞
You're welcome.
I shall leave the crypts and cut their dead bits if they get any thanks for that as was really unsure with those! Might give the Monte Carlo a little trim as it has gotten a bit unruly 🤣
You do right. Aquatic plants in particular tend to put their resources into repairing leaves, which is why, apparently, they look so manky in the wild. If you remove the damaged bits, the plant then devotes its resources to new growth.
oh is that what’s happening to the Java fern!!!!! I did wonder what the tiny plant things were?! Do I leave those or do I cut them and plant?
Leave them to grow themselves. You might never have to buy a Java fern again. ;)
oh dear now you mention it the crushing I could do with improving ! Still haven’t gotten the hang of planting into the substrate yet and I’ve very clumsy so I have crushed lots of plants during the planting I will take more care !!!! Good to know so thank you so much I guess I just need to keep practicing until I’ve gotten the hang of it 😎
You'll do fine. At least now that you know, you'll practice and it'll come to you, soon enough.
 
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CPDtank96

CPDtank96

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You do right. Aquatic plants in particular tend to put their resources into repairing leaves, which is why, apparently, they look so manky in the wild. If you remove the damaged bits, the plant then devotes its resources to new growth.
Wow I did not know that but of course that makes absolute sense! Thanks so much will get those damaged leaves chopped off and hopefully I’ll see some new healthy growth 🤞🏻
Leave them to grow themselves. You might never have to buy a Java fern again.
If I never have to buy Java fern again that would be amazing!!!!! My wallet says thank you 🤣🤞🏻
You'll do fine. At least now that you know, you'll practice and it'll come to you, soon enough.
Certainly needing some practice with the tweezers 🤣🤣 but now I know I’ll be much more careful! 🤣

thanks a million 🌞🌱
 

Bruce Leyland-Jones

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Certainly needing some practice with the tweezers 🤣🤣 but now I know I’ll be much more careful! 🤣
Fingers are softer than tweezers. ;) Try holding the stem between thumb and forefinger and use your middle finger to make the hole and to fill it in afterwards.
Like chopsticks, it takes practice, but once you've cracked it... deep, DEEP joy!
 
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CPDtank96

CPDtank96

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Fingers are softer than tweezers. ;) Try holding the stem between thumb and forefinger and use your middle finger to make the hole and to fill it in afterwards.
Like chopsticks, it takes practice, but once you've cracked it... deep, DEEP joy!
Oh MY GOD!!! So many tips absolutely love it 🌱 what a great technique I’m gonna try that this weekend and maybe I’ll crush less plants that way 🤣🤣🤣 Tweezers just make my life so hard and they don’t have to as I have hands! 🤣🤣
 

xxBarneyxx

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Sounds like you have everything well under control.

I would say skip the CO2. It's only useful if you have high intensity lighting and a good amount of ferts being added. For the plants you have and the way its running it will just be more hassle than it's worth. This is coming from someone who loves a high tech CO2 fed tank as well.
 

FishHobby99

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Hey guys! New to the planted tank scene and looking for some maintenance tips and tricks 🌱

currently I have the following plants in my aquarium:


Hygrophila corymbosa 'Siamensis 53B' (background)​

Hygrophila polysperma (background)​

Echinodorus grisebachii 'Bleherae' (I think this is the type of Amazon sword I planted ?) (background)​

Cryptocoryne wendtii 'Green'(mid and front)​

Micranthemum tweediei 'Monte Carlo'(front)​

Anubias barteri var. nana (attached to wood)​

Microsorum pteropus 'Trident' (attached to wood)​


i think these are the closest I could liken to them anyway as I am clueless on the scientific names LOL! (My apologies wish I could be 10000% sure but i am pretty sure. )

I have attached some photos of the current look of the tank and wondered if anyone could offer any advice on how to trim these plants and what to look out for or any beginners tips ! My apologies for the quality and also for the photo bombers!!!!! 🤣 I do weekly water changes and I think I’m doing well with my general tank maintenance as my water test came out as 0ppm for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate yesterday evening photo attached.

i basically wanted to know how to trim and prune my plants for optimum growth and health if anyone can advise! My tank is small so I don’t like to fertilise too often as don’t want to mess my parameters and so the plants grow slowly but any gardening tips would be really appreciated just want to make sure I’m doing thinks correctly 😊🌞 I’m confident with my non aquatic gardening skills but it’s time to improve my aquatic gardening skills for sure! 💪🏻
Please trim generously to the bare stems and send the cuttings to me. I pay a guy from eBay for his. Yours look better.
 

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Make sure you rub the algae of the leaf's weekly with you fingers.

Make sure no part of the plant is touching the heater.

Make sure you buy fish that match the plants water parameters.

Dont buy plants that will get bigger than you aquarium, look up the size before you buy it, i see you want to prune the roots, that should keep the plants from growing to big, but i dont know much about pruning.
 

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