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Hey all - I have a couple of questions about how to take care of live plants. Could you share your live plant maintenance routine and answer a couple of questions?

1) Sometimes older leaves don't seem to be doing as well as newer ones (i.e. on my wisteria the older leaves are kinda spotty and wrinkly). Should I prune them off? How do I do this without disturbing the roots (they're kind of far down, and I feel like when I try to get at them I might dislodge the plant)...? Should I use scissors? I'm a little worried about pulling the plant out accidentally...

2) My pennywort is growing algae on its leaves. How do I scrub it off without hurting the plant? I have an unused toothbrush but I worry that'll bruise the leaves?

3) My Brazilian pennywort seems to uproot really easily... I'm considering giving up on keeping it in the substrate and just letting it float. Is there a trick to getting this stuff to root?
 

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I'll tell you about my pennywort. I have three giant bunches... I just let them float and the girls love it. No worries about algae, my apple snails are constantly cleaning
 

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Yup. Sounds like you need a clean up guy! Get a snail. I've got two bunches of elodea that I just keep weighted down. I hide the bottoms behind decor so you can't see that they aren't rooted. I also have a banana plant, mondo grass ( which I know is typically a bog plant but its doing fine for me since three months) and christmas moss tied to some rocks. The substrate is sand and gravel mixed. My tank is shy of 4 gallons and I use a desk lamp with a 10full watt, full spectrum flourescent bulb. For the pass three months I haven't dosed with anything and my elodea has needed to be cut back twice. Everything is nice and green and happy. My snail scoots around slurping off whatever might start growing on the leaves, and takes it upon himself to trim up browning leaves. I love it! The added plants really help facilitate a strong nitrogen cycle as well. There are super simple plants that are hungry for fish poo so do some research on what those might be, as well as what works for your lighting situation.
 
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