Planting Large Stems

C

csmith

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I'm in the process of planting my 55 and I realized, as usual, I have no clue what I'm doing. Larger stemmed plants (Limnophila Aromatica, Hygro Balsamica, Ludwigia Repens, etc.) should have more space between the plants than the smaller stems, correct? 1/2" to 1" maybe? I tried checking out dutchy's pics for a clue but you can't really make out the bottoms and how close they are because he's too good at what he does. :p
 

Wet

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It kind of depends on what you're looking for at maturity and/or how you're timing the tank for grow out. If you're thinking of big bold groups with a smaller number of stems, you'll want to space something like L. aromatica or your new L. 'Cuba' apart maybe 6" so you'll have lots of room to uproot and replant the progressively larger tops. If you're looking for a very dense planting of stems or filling some space, I'd suggest starting the process by laying the stems down horizontally on the substrate (either by pulling the stem into the substrate at an angle close to horizontal or by weighing down the stem, but leave the top of the stem free). The second method requires patience, but the stem will root and send new, very dense growth. Think of it as laying the foundation of the bush. With very high light and no limiting nutrients, that new growth will tend to creep along the substrate and fill whatever space you allow it before shooting vertical. This method will allow you to top (chop off and replant or trade away the tops) many many times and I prefer it for longer term placements.

HTH!
 
C

csmith

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Your first example is honestly what I'm shooting more towards. I can't really take the time for example two because I'm dealing with a tank I just flooded (well, halfway flooded) today.

In the following picture is, from L to R: 8 stems Ludwigia repens, 4 stems Hygro Sunset in front of 1 stem Hygrophila balsamica and 9 stems Limnophila aromatica. In front of the L. repens is a handful of Lindernia rotundifolia variegated. The footprint of the area is roughly 12"x5". Is it all too close?

StemGroup.jpg
 

Wet

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Lots more room between the L. aromatica -- this plan gets huge and a few inches across once mature. I'd thin out the L. repens and H. polysperma 'Sunset' too because they look better when broken up like that, then use the H. balsamica and L. rotundifolia 'Variagated' as a nice thick background to bring the color out, fwiw.