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Little visual advice about plant trimming within first month.


Thread starter
15 Mar 2021
Hi there guys. So this is my first PROPER attempt at a big beautiful planted tank with lots of thought, buying all at once and everything IN the tank being new or clean and so far it’s going great. Fish are happy, plants seem happy, tests are coming back clear. Started off as a 100ltr disaster with a leaky tank so dug out a 240ltr and had another go as quick as I could and apart from loosing all my Monte Carlo (the fluffy one 🤔 not the carpet one) and loosing half on my ludwigia sp. White 😢, everything else survived and is growing.

Question is, which if any of these plants you see below should I be cutting now. I saw on another post that happy and healthy is the right time, which all of them seem to be. But if anyone can see anything that’s a firm sign that they need cutting, please could you give them a circle ⭕️ where to cut and repost?
I could guess, there’s roots here and there and I could wait for the size to just double from original size then cut but why guess when there’s a wealth of knowledge on here through you lovely helpful people. Also, im broke as hell and utterly in love with this tank so don’t want to ruin it.

As always, thanks for all your support and help guys. Couldn’t of achieved this without the help of this site, I’m now working in my LFS and even have a few clients I’ve scaped for and visit on the regular. Amazing community. Let me know what you think of the photos below please. It would mean a lot to me to hear all your thoughts.
Take this with a pinch of salt as im not a pro by any means, but I also dont see a dire need for any trimming right now.
Your tank is still putting on plant mass, and I dont see any indications of things "becoming clogged" with plant groups being too tight, old growth decaying or circulation being impaired right now, if that makes sense.
I see that some of your plants still have their old emersed leaves, mainly talking about the stem plants here like Rotala, Ludwigia etc. As these grow out, I would personally want to remove the old section of the plant that contains the emersed growth. (Emersed means grown above water). If you dont trim these parts later on, the plants will eventually decide to retire these old leaves, it will pull the mobile nutrients out of the leaves and then jettison the leaves, which could lead to a lot of leaves floating around the tank. This is not a disaster by any means, but sometimes it is more convenient to trim the old parts of the plants while the leaves are still attached, it just makes it easier to get it out in one piece.
So if I were you I would look for signs of decay in the old leaves, and give the stems a trim at this point. You keep the top section, remove the ratty bottom bit and replant the nicer top section in its place.
This is unless the top of the stems reach the waters surface before then, that would also prompt me to trim the plant group.
All your different species of plants will probably need trimming at slightly different intervals, so judge each group or species individually.
Once you have cleared your tank of old emersed growth (this will be a gradual process), you can start to trim some plants by cutting the top and leaving the bottom sections to sprout again.
This method of trimming is quite time saving, but can only be done so many times until the bottom section starts to decay too much. Then the grouping will need to be restarted with replanted top bits.

TLDR: Wouldnt trim quite yet, give them a little bit more time

If your Hygrophila pinnatifida is as happy as it is looking in your pictures, you could be quite harsh with this one when you trim it. The main vertical shoots are quite vigorous and the plant will easily get massive and try to get above the waters surface if given the opportunity. As long as it is growing well, the nicest most compact growth will be achieved by cutting off the main vertical shoots quite close to the base, and forcing the plant to regrow from there. This gives it a more bushy appearance and keeps it from taking over your whole tank. Naughty runners that are going where they arent wanted should also be removed.

Since the others have already complimented your girlfriends houseplant, I will say nice lush tank, I look forward to following it 😊