It’s been around 18 months since the Bucephalandra caterina and Anubias nana ‘Pinto’ were planted in the Fireplace Aquarium so time for a massive trim!
Ephiphytes on the mountain before and after trimming
The bucephalandra and anubias have both done really well, overachieved in a some ways in fact. The caterina at the top of the mountain in particular is close to the light and grew across to make an impressive sombrero hat that did a nice job of shading most of the aquarium below. This shading has been a challenge in particular for the new cryptocorynes on the right, nevelli at the back and wendtii ‘Flamingo’ in the front, but also I suspect for the Alternanthera reineckii ‘Rosanervig’ over on the left side.
I had initially thought to do a sophisticated removal process taking things out in well-defined pieces, but quickly abandoned that approach and instead just went in with scissors and took off everything that looked excessive. It’s a quite brutal method so what happens next will be interesting. When all was said and done there was a huge pile of plant material that came out.
The front right side of the aquarium in particular is much brighter after the trimming. This area was essentially completed shaded before and whilst the Cryptocoryne wendtii ‘Flamingo’ has managed to grow it hasn’t had any of the pink colour associated with this species. There was some pink after initial adaptation to submersed conditions but that was subsequently all lost and replaced with green. Maybe the pink will come back now that there are higher light levels?
In the back right corner the Cryptocoryne nevelli has managed to stay alive, but hasn’t really grown at all. The enhanced light levels might give this plant a boost as well.