In the previous articles, we discussed how to setup and properly maintain a planted tank. After the first 2-3 weeks, the aquatic plant mass should be sufficient enough on its own to out-compete algae and will start needing additional fertilization. With additional nutrients added to the water column, we start to enjoy even more rapid growth and plant spread. Now it’s time to strategically trim and replant for optimal growth.
First, we’ll carefully trim the background stem plants that have now reached the surface and are possibly shading the midground plants. There are many different ways to trim a variety of plants; however, for our Ultum Nature Systems 5N nano tank, we wanted the bushier look and decided to trim all the stem plants low in order to encourage bush-like growth. We also replanted the healthiest stems that were initially trimmed.
Next, we move onto the midground. In our example, we used this opportunity to ensure that the epiphyte plants such as the Anubias Nana Pangolino and Bucephalandra are still secure in their designated locations. If not, we’ll go ahead and replant them again. Since we also have Hydrocotyle Tripartita and Alternanthera Reineckii ‘mini’ in the midground, we also use this opportunity to trim and replant in the surrounding areas.
Because the Eleocharis Belem foreground is not 100% covered yet, it’s left alone and only the withered parts of the plant are trimmed away.
The purpose of trimming plant isn’t solely aesthetic, it also encourages plant growth and helps to “train” plants to grow in certain forms. Don’t worry about ruining the look of how the tank was previous to trimming, in just a few days time, the tank will look even fuller and lusher than it was before.
Below are a few of our most commonly used aquascaping tools. These tools are specifically designed for aquatic plant propagation and aquarium maintenance. To protect from rust, these tools are made of high-quality stainless steel.
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