This is how to divide a plant with a thick rhizome, such as java fern or anubias:
NOTE: Some aquarium plants (anubias and some bacopas, to name a couple) may release harmful chemicals or juices into the water after being divided, so don't trim/divide them in the aquarium.
- First, remove the plant from the aquarium and place it on a tray (do not use a metal tray, as this might harm invertebrates when the plant is returned to the aquarium.) and remove any snails or dead leaves.
- Find a good dividing point, so that there are at least four leaves, healthy roots, and some healthy nodes on each section. For java ferns, leave at least five to six leaves on each division.
- Next, with a sharp knife, make a clean cut through the rhizome at the designated division points.
- Use a rag to wipe up any juices. Return the plant to the aquarium.
- Plants with thick rhizomes usually have roots under the substrate and a large root (the rhizome) above the substrate. If this primary "root" is planted under the substrate, it will rot. Plant the rhizome just above the substrate. You can also tie it to a piece of driftwood or to a grooved rock with fishing line- after a couple weeks new roots will form and the line can be removed.
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