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Old 04-15-2005, 03:00 PM   #1
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Plant Pruning and all that jazz

So, I have some Amazon Swords in my tank and I think it's time I need to seperate them. They have both grown into 2 seprate Swords so that would be a total of 4 Swords if I separate the two.

However, I'm a little concerned about separating them as when I look at their roots I can see that they are REALLY in there. They have roots sprouting up almost 4 inches from their base! Little roots poking up out of the substrate and then back into it.

So my question is, would it be better just to leave them and let nature take it's course? Or is there a safe way to uproot the plant to separate them without causing any damage to the plant? Keep in mind, I don't have any tongs or any aquascaping tools to make this an easier process...I'll have to do everything by hand (if it's done at all). I'm a little nervous about doing this as they're growing very well right now and I don't want to upset the balance....but it would be nice to have them spread out a bit more...
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Old 04-16-2005, 02:31 AM   #2
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I have seperated mine several times. You can cut the roots back to about 2 inches with no problem. If the plants are still connected by a runner, you can cut it with sharp scissors.
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Old 04-16-2005, 10:59 AM   #3
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I have found that if you are going to separate a plant from its parents plant, it is best to wait till it is at least 1/2 the size of the parent plant.And when you do separate it, roots and all, fertilise the day you separate it to give it that growth burst they need.
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Old 04-16-2005, 03:19 PM   #4
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I am not experienced with swords as I just got my first one a week ago. From what I have read though, if the plant is doing so well that you are considering splitting them, there is no reason that the clippings would not do the same. If you are hesitant, let them grow some more so they will establish an even stronger system and then separate them. Cut them apart in a bucket full of the tank water so the newly cut roots wont absorb chlorine or any chemicals that arent already in the tank. Preferably with a sharp knife. I cant believeyour plants growing that well on under .5 wpg. Do you use fertilizers or leave yoru lights on all the time? What substrate do you use? On a separate note, I like fish!
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Old 04-16-2005, 04:16 PM   #5
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if the sword has actually split, rather than put out runners, the two plants should be the same size (roughly) already. uproot, and carefully un-tangle the roots as much as you can. some will break, so don't stress, just do as much as you can.
they'll appreciate being split up, but don't be surprised if they stunt for a week or two after the spliting (no new growth, but no die off either...just kind 'there').
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Old 04-16-2005, 09:07 PM   #6
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Oh ya, they are DEFINATELY the same size. Two plants side by side....I have no idea what's under the substrate though, so I'll have to dig em up to find out. They don't appear to be stunting each other....

I use fertilizers. I use Flourish and Flourish Excel. I'm gonna be getting some more light soon, but for the time being they're doing well. I leave my lights on 12 hours a day with a timer....14 hours on the weekends so I can enjoy it more. I'm using Florite Red as the under substrate with some purple Gravel ontop...It's a funky look and looks great under some black lights...

I'm planning on doing a PWC tomorrow night, so I'll try to split the plants apart as best as I can. One other thing...I purchased these swords and they were potted. When I removed them from the pot I got as much of that foam stuff off as possible, but the stuff is still around the bottom of the plant. I thought that stuff would have disolved by now, but doesn't appear to be....Anyways, I think that's gonna make it just that much more difficult to split these plants up.
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Hardware
130 Gallon Aquarium, Ehem 2217 Filter, Supreme Skilter 400 Power Filter, 2 Flora Glow 30W Lamps
Plants:
2 Amazon Swords, 1 java Fern, 1 Japanese Dwarf Rush, 1 Hornwort, 1 Wisteria
LiveStock:
9 Neon Tetras, 6 Royal Black Emperor Tetras, 3 Head and tail light Tetras, 3 GlowLight Tetras, 4 Ottos, 4 Black Mollies, 2 White Balloon Mollies, 6 Scissor Tail Danios, 6 Mickey Mouse Platties, 6 White Platties, 12 Olive Nerite Snails, 11 Golden Clams, 3 Swordtails, 2 Panda Cories, 2 Elegan Cories, 1 Veil Angel, 3 Ameno Shrimp, 1 Baby Plattie
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