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Best way to trim Val & similar?

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My experience with val is that once a val leaf is cut, that leaf's growth slows significantly and it often dies back. I usually cut the leaves that are getting too tall down near the base of the plant. A good trim seems to encourage runners and new leaves. It's also good to have a clean, sharp pair of scissors when trimming val. The leaves seem to die back less if a nice clean cut is made. You can also cut at the water line. There's no hard rule about where you have to cut the leaf. Many people also allow the leaves to trail across the surface of the water. 

You tank seems to have a bit of algae on the driftwood and other plants, which can be a sign of an imbalance between light/ferts/co2. You might think about cutting down the light, or looking into balancing the light and nutrients. Do you dose ferts? How many hours a day is your light on, and is it on a timer? 

Another good way to combat algae is more plant growth. It might help you to get some floating plants, like water lettuce, salvinia, or water sprite to help uptake extra nutrients and block some of the light

Edited by Jessica.
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Thanks Jessica. Good advice! Yeah that aquarium is experimental, its a 15g tall I found in the trash. 😂 Im trying different lights and times to get enough light to reach the bottom plants without causing an algae explosion at the top. Currently the middle looks nice, the bottom is scraggly and the top has algae. 🥴 

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