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Hi, I've made a fake rock background for a new malawi cichlid tank. In the past I've had completely plant devoid malawi tanks but want to try my luck with java fern and anubias. I have a place on the face of the rock I was thinking of gluing the anubias too, but I'm not sure how successfully it would grow on the surface well off the sand substrate. Can the roots be totally free/uncovered?
The piece I have has extensive roots -if I'm going to stick out to the rock wall should I trim them?
 

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Anubias and java ferns are supposed to have their roots completely uncovered. They'll be fine.

It's usually best to trim the ends of roots when you're first planting in substrate. I never do that with anubias of java ferns.
 

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Except for two, all my plants are "in the air", as planting them is a futile endeavor with the dingbats I got. lol
 

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Have anubias in substrate (gravel), on rocks, and most recently, wood.

All are doing fine, but the anubias in gravel could probably be doing better ... if there wasn't a seemingly permanent problem with brown diatomaceous algae in the tank that covers its leaves.

OTOH, that particular cutting's root system in the gravel is pretty impressive ... massive.
 

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Their perfect situation is to have their roots reaching over the rock and into the substrate. And shaded to avoid the algae.
 
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