Useful tips to set up a planted tank: Part 2
Pruning your plants:
Pruning your plants on a regular basis is also very critical for the growth of the plants. Prune them often. Remove old leaves, cut rotten roots that are coming out of the substrate, clip unwanted branches. While planting remember to clip off all old roots and leaves and do not forget to prune the plant again within a week after planting.
Cutting the budding tip off of the stem plants allows them to shoot new branches and makes the plant bushy. Cut the old leaves regularly from the rosette plants to encourage new leaf growth. Pruning is also crucial to control algae. Cut the leaves that are affected with algae. Few plants like hair grass and other fine grass like plants require regular clipping to keep them free from the brush algae.
Remember to be very careful while pruning slow-growing plants like Anubias etc. However, all fast-growing plants will need regular pruning, to control their growth.
In most of the cases (especially fro the stem plants), pruning also yields loads of new plant cuttings, ready to be planted in your tank.
What is the name of the "Rosette like" plant at the back of this picture. I have them in ample numbers, growing well in all my setups......leaves are tough and woody.
Also, I sometimes fail to understand the paranoiea (pardon the spelling) related to algae growth in a planted aquarium. In my opinion, the natural cycle of evolution enhances and thwarts the growth of algae. Frankly, I have never had a problem, although algal growth has at times attained stupendous proportions.......and perhaps "we the learned"(going too deep into the intricacies of fertilizers, dosages, lights/gallon) often forget that they are a part of every clean/balanced ecosystem.
I love them, and so do my fishes and anubias.
I also left a note towards your comment on my blog.
I partially agree with your comments on algae and natural cycle. I have never seen any biotope in nature without algae and ofcourse they have a crucial role to play in the entire biological cycle of a mini-eco system we are trying build in our tanks.
Again, in nature, there is a fair competition between the plants and the algae and everything remains in an equilibrium state. But, in nature, no matter how much we try, it will never be an accurate, pixel-perfect copy of the nature, resulting an imbalanced, unfair competition between plants and algae. And this lack of balance is what causes this cannonical paranoia among the aquarists.
Let's take the example of a newly set up planted tank.
1. The plants are weak, unable to absorb the nutrients available in the water column and substrate, and dependant on the food stored in their body.
2. The water is full with nutrients, substrate too. There are ample light. Perfect for the growth for the plants; for algae, too.
3. Algae spores are there in your water. They are not weak as your newly planted plants. They are strong, quick and ready to gorge on the nutrients.
4. An unfair competition begins. Weak plants vs, strong algae - for the nutrients, light and other growth conditions.
This imbalance is the concern. This imbalance makes your tank different from the nature.