Trimming for dummies...

Discussion in 'Aquarium Plants' started by SonsOfGuppies, Jul 12, 2015.

  1. SonsOfGuppies

    SonsOfGuppiesValued MemberMember


    I have been running a tank full of plants for more than 4 months now, and I just heard about "trimming". I know trimming is to cut plants partially but I don't know the importance and benefit of trimming in a planted tank.

    I have plants like: different kinds of stem plants (i don't know their name) and hair grass.

    Im quite surprise that in almost every "planted tank beginners" article i've seen, they never mentioned anything about trimming, but when I go to a separate article about it, they say it is important to regularly trim plants
  2. Aquarist

    AquaristFishlore LegendMember


    When I trim my plants (anubia, java fern) I usually only removed dead leaves. Trimming the plants in this fashion helps to promote new plant growth.

    Other plants that I've trimmed is Wisteria in order to start new plants.

  3. AquaticBrandon

    AquaticBrandonWell Known MemberMember

    Trimming plants help promote new growth as Aquarist mentioned. You will have more plants and the plants will start to look bushier, mostly with stem plants.

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  4. Dom90

    Dom90Fishlore VIPMember

    I've had to trim my hornworts twice now, they grow crazy like weeds. The tank has only been running for three weeks or so.

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  5. Bluestreakfl

    BluestreakflWell Known MemberMember

    Trimming is a bit different with specific plants. You always want to keep dead portions trimmed off. Some stem plants like Ludwigia, Water Sprite, Rotala to name a few, may need to be trimmed occasionally or theyll just grow into a jungle cluster of plant matter. Things like Anubias and Java fern are much much slower as far as growth rate, and may rarely if ever need trimming. Trimming with stem plants will encourage new growth, I know when I trim my Ludwigia, 2 new stems will grow from the tip of the one I trimmed. In this sense, you can get single stems to bush out more.
  6. Dom90

    Dom90Fishlore VIPMember

    Dumb question but I been using regular scissors, is that fish safe?

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  7. Bluestreakfl

    BluestreakflWell Known MemberMember

    As long as theyre stainless steel they should be fine, just make sure you thoroughly dry them after use. I prefer titanium, walmart had a 2 pack for like $9 with nice rubber grips.
  8. AquaticBrandon

    AquaticBrandonWell Known MemberMember

    I use the scissors that you use to cut hair. Like those barber scissors

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  9. Dom90

    Dom90Fishlore VIPMember

    I do too, just wanted to make sure they were safe for aquarium use..

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  10. thefishdude277

    thefishdude277Well Known MemberMember

    I use my nails ;)

  11. AquaticBrandon

    AquaticBrandonWell Known MemberMember

    They work pretty well. But it can be a pain to trim with those scissors in a big tank lol

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  12. DanB80TTS

    DanB80TTSWell Known MemberMember

    I trim with hair scissors too lol.

    Some stems like hornwort grow ridiculously fast and need trimmed, if you let them grow too crazy they can block light to the rest of the plants in the tank and it's just nice to keep it looking good rather than all overgrown.
  13. OP

    SonsOfGuppiesValued MemberMember

    Thanks for the imput guys :D. So trimming encourages growth.

    I've also heard that trimming hairgrass encourages runners/ or those new shoots spreading all over the aquarium. Is this true?

    Definitely sent from my laptop and not from my phone.
  14. thefishdude277

    thefishdude277Well Known MemberMember

  15. Bluestreakfl

    BluestreakflWell Known MemberMember

    This is true for any carpeting plant, to encourage carpeting, youll want to trim the tops, or tallest stems depending on the plant, and it will encourage new outward growth instead of upward growth.