Time lapse  sequence following major aquarium plant trim

About a month ago I revised the layout of some of the aquarium plants.  I didn’t like the look of all the stemmy/rooty bits of the Lobelia showing up against the front wall of the aquarium so I planted a row of dwarf Cryptocorynes in front to grow into a low cover.  The problem though was the lobelia were already crowded against the front.  When one of the lobelia plants came loose it was an opportunity for a do-over and I removed all the lobelia except the smallest plant closest to the left side and replanted lobelia trimmings taken from the removed mature plants in a line a bit farther back from the front wall.  Some of the ludwigia was also looking a little ratty with heavy algae cover on some of the lower leaves so I did a pretty aggressive takedown there as well.

Ludwigia palustris mini ‘Super Red’ regrowth

The ludwigia came back strong as expected for a fully-submersed adapted rapid growth stem plant.  I let it grow taller than I had previously done and had a couple interesting observations:

  1. Unlike previously, with the extra-long plants some of the stems formed relatively abundant adventitious roots.  These roots don’t show up particularly well in the photos but were somewhat unattractive.  I don’t know if this was a response to the plants having reached the surface of the water, or from being bent over at the tops.  In any event, I like to keep the ludwigia between about 25 to 35 cm in height.  It grows well with good reddish colour in that range.
  2. The not-quite-tallest set of leaves suffered from pretty good green algae growth.  The algae quite likes the more intense light flux closer to the top of the aquarium.  The tallest set of leaves are also the newest so didn’t yet have time for algae growth.  This creates a situation where the leaves lower down are ok for algae – even though they have been around for longer the algae grows slower in the dimmer lower light; the leaves above those tended to have the most algae and then again less algae at the very tops on the newest growth.

Some day I might get brave and trim all the ludwigia much farther down.  Just cut most of it off.  I suspect it might even thrive better that way.  Great plant – attractive and robust.

Lobelia cardinalis wavy replant and regrowth

The lobelia cuttings I replanted needed to re-establish roots which may have slowed the lobelia regrowth relative to that seen with the ludwigia, but even so, the replanted tops are now looking good and growing well.  The replanted tops seems to be a pretty successful approach with this plant compared to, for example, cutting a mature stem off halfway up so see what grows back from the cut-point.  The ‘wavy’ aspect to these leaves may be overstated – I suspect it is primarily the emersed form leaves that have the pronouced waviness.  Some day in the future if these get too tall again I might try replacing them with Lobelia cardinalis ‘Dwarf’ just to see how that does and to compare/constrast.

Cryptocoryne lutea ‘Hobbit’ final stage submerged transition

The ‘Hobbit’ was planted 8 weeks ago.  Most of these plants now have very apparent new submerged form growth, and the emersed form leaves are finally starting to yellow and melt.  It took a while, but these plants have adapted well.  They are quite slow-growing, as advertised, and were slow to transition as well, but it’s not a problem.  Having a planted aquarium does a great job teaching patience as a virtue.

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