The ludwigia had reached well beyond the height of the tank casting a considerable overshadow so it was time for a trim. I had just received a new set of ADA pinsettes and was looking forward to trying them out for replanting the trimmed tops*. It was also time for a water change and I’m switching to a new EI fertiliser scheme** so potentially big changes coming.
I trimmed off the tops of the ludwigia but it was a little hard to see what happening behind the lobelia. While in there trimming, I also noticed that one of the large lobelia stems that had previous come loose and been replanted had once again came loose from the substrate, so I pulled it out of the tank to decide what to do about it. One thing lead to another and next you know I had pulled out ALL of the ludwigia stems except for the smallest one on the far left. I then cut some choice looking smaller stems from the lobelia and replanted those behind the line of hobbit crypts and in front of the ludwigia, essentially where it had previously been located but slightly further back to give the hobbits a bit more room and light. Then after replanting the lobelia and ludwigia, I took another look at the forest of ludwigia stems and took a few more of those out to neaten up the look.
The pinsettes were a huge help. It’s a challenge to get plants that want to float up to the surface embedded firmly in the relatively loose aquasoil substrate and the narrow pinsettes enabled a good grip on the stems so they could be really be driven down deep enough to get some traction. The narrowness of the pinsettes means extracting them doesn’t leave a huge hole behind which also helps the displaced aquasoil settle back and hold the plant stem.
Of course all the uprooting and replanting kicked up a lot of particulates making the water look cloudy. I don’t worry about this – I know that by tomorrow it will have cleared on its own. I’m also not too bothered about just how vigorously the lobelia have been trimmed back. The replanted stems are healthy and fully adapted to submerged growth and they’ll come back rapidly.
* It is much easier to trim the plants when the aquarium is full of water rather than halfway down mid-way through a water change. With low water levels the stem plants flop into a big shapeless mass and it’s hard to tell what is what or how it will look like after trimming
** From N-P-K-Mg 10-4-20-3.5 to 15-3-25-5