Originally Posted by isonychia
Jeremy, thank you.
You explained it very well. I am in total understanding now.
I don't want to spring for the PAR meter right now, so I guess I will just have to see how my plants do with the current system.
I have a regular static Aquaclear powerhead. I mounted it on the side of the tank/middle. I will keep an eye on the dead spots in the tank.
Two other questions.
The 2 amazon swords are pretty big.(should have thought of their height before buying) They are these ( http://www.aquascapeonline.com/ProdI...on_sword_2.jpg
) The leaves at the top sometimes pop out of the water. Will they dry out if they are not always submerged? They came with some brown spots on the leaves already. I read about trimming them, but I don't see how I can trim these as they have a long stalk and one big leaf. If I trim the top leaf, I assume the stalk will not just sprout a leaf where I trimmed it. Usually with houseplants you need to trim just above a node.
Also, the hornwarts, do not have roots. They came with the weighted wrap things. How can I anchor these to the bottom without burying the bottoms? I read burying the bottoms will just cause them to rot where they are buried. Again I should have know they were supposed to be floating plants prior to buying them. I wish the shop would have told me.
In the future I will be doing some more research before buying.
The leaves of the sword in that picture are the emerged form. They will turn yellow,then brown, and melt away as the sword grows new submerged leaves, which will be more sword shaped. When you "trim" the swords, you actually peel the old leaf from the crown like you would pull a stalk of celery from the bunch. If you cut the stalk, it will slowly melt away, but it takes a long time and can be unattractive in my opinion.
Additionally, the sword in the picture is planted too deep. The crown should be above the substrate so you can just barely see the roots. Plant them any deeper and the plant will rot in place. With enough space and light, as well as proper substrate fertilization, your swords will grow out of the top of the tank. The leaves above the water level will dry out,but that will not affect the submerged leaves.