Tag Archives: scissors

for trimming aquatic plants

Trim those pesky leaves

Plants need trimming all the time. If you want them to look their best and remain healthy and bushy, then you need to get your scissors out and give your plants a good trim. And generally, I don’t mean a little snip here and there, I mean hack them off. Stem plants for example, need to be cut very heavy, perhaps 50% off each time. But what about plants that some of you may never trim? Cryptocorynes.

Below I found a lovely YouTube clip that shows how to trim Cryptocoryne’s. The angled scissors (very nice) make light work and are accurate enough to provide clean crisp cuts. Crypocoryne’s (particularly in the early days) can lose their leaves especially if there is some melt. But rather than wait until the leaves go all mushy, nip them off.

It’s as easy as that…

Maintenance tools for your planted tank

Making sure you have the right tools for the right job is imperative – having the wrong tools is just a pain and hinders your work. Maintaining a planted aquarium can be a little tricky and the Easy Aqua Plant Tool Set could be just what you are looking for.

Handy tools for planted aquariums…

So what are the used for?

Scissors – perfect for trimming plants. The curved tip makes them particularly suitable for foreground plants and you get a great angle for trimming plants that are normally hard to reach.

Tweesers – really useful when you need to plant up. Pushing your fingers into the substrate is cumbersome. Tweesers will not disturb your substrate making your work easy.

Sand & Gravel Scraper – once you’ve finished maintaining your tank, use this to gently move the substrate back to where you want it to be.

Lastly you can trust the brand Easy Aqua to be reliable so you know you’re also investing in tools that will last. Although these tools are available separately, if you go for the set you save yourself about 10% :)

Maintenance Tools For Planted Aquariums

Without these our maintenance regime would be considerably more difficult. But what exactly do we mean by tools? Tweesers, scissors, glass cleaners, gravel cleaners – these are some of the tools you should always keep in your cabinet. Below is a selection of tools that most hobbyists should use.

When planting an aquarium, traditionally hobbyists used their fingers which although was functional was somewhat cumbersome. Today we use tweesers (curved or straight tipped) – the major benefit of this is the ease in which plants can be picked up and delicately placed into your substrate. Not only that but tweesers are also useful for picking up plants or removing debris from your tank.

Scissors are also available in curved or straight tip. Curved tends to be more popular and is very useful when trimming foreground plants – the curved section allows you to cut a better angle. Nevertheless a good pair of sharp scissors are excellent for keeping your plants in good shape. The scissors available are normally 12” long so you can reach a good distance and are very useful if you need to trim the base of any plant that is hard to reach.
Spatulas/Rakes are used primarily for smoothing gravels and substrates. Often when plants are moved about or indeed planted for the first time, substrates can become disturbed. A spatula or rake is a flat shaped and is unique in its design and purpose.
Magnetic glass cleaners are a wonderful tool that are used for cleaning algae off the inside panes of your aquarium. Algae can build up quite quickly on glass so using magnetic cleaners once a week keeps things clean. This tool is separated into two sections – a rough side on one and a smooth on the other. The rough side sits on the inside pane  and the smooth on the outside. A top tip when cleaning is to make sure no gravel gets stuck on the inside as it is easy to scratch the glass. The added benefit is that the inside piece floats so it if you dislodge it when cleaning, rather than it sinking to the bottom and you having to hook it out, it floats to the surface.

The last piece of equipment which is extremely important to a planted aquarium is a a gravel cleaner.  Although strictly it’s not used for what it was initially designed for (at least not in a planted aquarium). Rather than plunging the cleaner into the substrate it’s a better idea to hover slightly above it, only suctioning debris such as dead plant matter and fish excrement. Of course while this is being performed you are removing tank water as well. It’s really important to replace water regularly (minimum of 30% per week in a non CO2 tank), as not only is this better for the fish, but it helps to reduce any excesses that may have built up. In tanks which use CO2 these water changes need to be increased and 40-50% once or twice a week. By not performing these types of water changes you invariably end up with issues.

Lastly if you’re looking for a useful tool set, that has scissors, tweesers and a rake then I highly recommend the Aqua Essentials 3 piece tool set. It comes packaged in a neat leather case with a zip to keep your tools in one place and costs only £29.99.

Trimming Hemianthus callitrichoides ”Cuba”

Hemianthus callitrichoides (HC) has risen to fame with it’s tiny leaves and the ability to carpet a foreground of a planted aquarium very nicely. Of course like all plants you need to provide them with fantastic CO2 levels, excellent nutrients and sufficient water movement for distribution. If you tick all those boxes you get get results.

I found this video online and actions speak better than words and felt it was a worthy post so hobbyists can not only see how feasible it is to create a carpet of HC but also the type of maintenance it needs (along with a decent pair of curved scissors).

For those of you who are not familiar with the grower of this aquarium, he’s a chap called Victor Lantos and he runs an amazing aquascaping shop in Hungary. Check it out here http://www.greenaqua.hu/