Amazon swords suddenly falling apart - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-20-2019, 04:58 PM Thread Starter
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Amazon swords suddenly falling apart

I put in some amazon swords almost a year ago and they were growing like crazy. Now they look like they're completely falling apart. I can't figure out what has changed. Ammonia and nitrite at 0, nitrate about 40. I dose with Seachem Flourish and use DIY root tabs. The substrate is all Eco Complete. They tanks been set up for about 5 years now. I do have one bristlenose and an otto. Nothing else that really pays the plants much attention. Any thoughts?

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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-29-2019, 11:47 PM
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I wonder if it is melting back, because swords tend to do that and then spawn new leaves but you have mentioned you have had it for almost a year. What about other plants, are they doing okay? (not counting anubias or java fern)

Bump: I wonder if it is melting back, because swords tend to do that and then spawn new leaves but you have mentioned you have had it for almost a year. What about other plants, are they doing okay? (not counting anubias or java fern)


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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-04-2019, 08:59 PM
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I wonder about DIY root tabs. Terrestrial ferts can be rough on aquatic roots and amazon swords have an extensive root system so even if the DIY tabs are pushed down to the glass, the roots may be negatively affected.
Then again, swords are heavy root feeders. I'll confess I've only ever used Flourish root tabs so I have no experience with DIY root tabs (I presume made with Osmocote?).

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 02:17 AM
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I wonder about that Bristlenose. They have a reputation for rasping on the leaves of Amazon Swords if they aren't getting enough to eat or its possible they may just do it regardless. I've been fortunate not to have that problem, but it may be something to consider.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-12-2019, 08:05 PM
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I've always had issues with lacking iron. I dont think the frets your using have much. Maybe a few laterite clay balls at the sword roots or dosing some liquid iron supplements

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-13-2019, 04:03 AM
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Whole tank picture?

Filters and maintenance routines and water prep and change amounts?

Tank size? lights? Dosing amounts and frequency?
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-13-2019, 04:59 AM
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Had a similar thing happen to my Amazon Sword in the 55gal..
High CEC clay soil and used home made root tabs..

almost 2 ft plant (about 9 months old).. rendered to dust..

My only thought was over fertilizing..

Even water changes didn't work so I "assumed" the CEC kept the Ammonia bound to it which the sword didn't like..

Matter of fact the whole tank recessed and couldn't keep anything alive that was rooted in it for months..
It was bizarre..
BTW: Iron didn't help..

IF I'd have a redo I'd re-home it ASAP. you might find the root system is much smaller than it was originally..

Good luck.. oh not the first sword I had that was great.. than not...but that's another story..

From your photo I'd not get too confident in recovery..
Had some after this point that tried to re-sprout a couple of leaves only to die back again and again till nothing..

to be honest, and on a personal level.. I'll never use home made root tabs or any osmocote in a high CEC soil again.. Just
too risky..
well maybe one or 2 and not near the sword..

Only a one of and may NOT be your issue but something to think about especially if you stuck like 3 tabs near it..

NOTE: I'm assuming Eco complete is a high-er CEC substrate but atm ???? Also may depend on the color as to CEC..

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Common planted tank substrates:
Special Kitty Cat Litter – 27
Seachem Fluorite – 1.7
Seachem Onix – 1.3
Caribsea Tropic Isle Laterite (similar to eco-complete) – 6.7

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-14-2019, 11:19 PM
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Quote:
Ammonia and nitrite at 0, nitrate about 40. I dose with Seachem Flourish and use DIY root tabs.
So you have plenty of nitrogen. What about the other 14 nutrients?


Quote:
I dose with Seachem Flourish and use DIY root tabs.
Seachem is probably one of the least balanced fertilizers on the market. A lot of different nutrient deficiencies can happen with it. I know, I used it for years and was constantly battling nutrient deficiencies.

Quote:
I've always had issues with lacking iron. I dont think the frets your using have much. Maybe a few laterite clay balls at the sword roots or dosing some liquid iron supplements
Seachem has a lot of iron in it but it is iron gluconate which needs to be dosed about once every other day. Plants and bacteria will preferentially consume the gluconate very rapidly causing the iron to precipitate out of the water. Once it precipitates out of the water plants may not be able to use it. So while Seachem may have a lot, it may not be the best choice for your tank.


[QUOTE]Had a similar thing happen to my Amazon Sword in the 55gal..
High CEC clay soil and used home made root tabs..

almost 2 ft plant (about 9 months old).. rendered to dust..

My only thought was over fertilizing..

Even water changes didn't work so I "assumed" the CEC kept the Ammonia bound to it which the sword didn't like..

Matter of fact the whole tank recessed and couldn't keep anything alive that was rooted in it for months..
It was bizarre..
BTW: Iron didn't help..[/QUOTE

My tank also did this typically when the tank recessed it was suffering from a deficiency. When I corrected a deficiency, it would run well for a while and then it would Recess again due to a new different deficiency. Over time I had a Nitrogen, Ca, Mg, Fe, Cu. But as I got better in adressing these deficiencies the good periods became shorter while the periods of little or no growth became longer.

Basically there are 4 sources of nutrients for plant growth. your water, your substrate, fish food, and fertilizer. If your fertilizer is low in something plant growth will stop if the nutrient is not available from the other sources. Tap water is not always consistent in supplying nutrients. Substrates will eventually run out, and fish food is seldom enough. My substrate is old quartzite (inert) and it is a small nano tank filled with 1TDS RO water and it is lightly stocked. So obviously my only source of nutrients is the fertilizer.

I eventually figured out it was the fertilizer that was the problem. Of all the fertilizers I had tried they all had the same problems. insufficient zinc and copper, Insufficient calcium and magnesium, Iron that didn't last long in the tank, and insufficient nitrogen. And looking at rotalabutterfly fertilizer calculator I couldn't find one fertilizer that would address all the issues or a combination that would address the issues that had seen. In the end I made my own macro and micro fertilizer.

Now I dose Fe DTPA at 0.1 ppm, Mn o.5ppm, B o.02ppm, Zn 0.02ppm, Cu 0.01ppm, Molybdenum and nickel at 0.001ppm. Macros is now just NPK and I use a GH booster to supply Ca, Mg,S, Cl. While I have had to do a lot of optimization since starting with my own micro my plants have been growing consistently and almost always do pearl. But I am having to relearn the art of algae control (I am seeing new ones now), so the tank sill doesn't look great but now I don't have to worry about the plants. Changing lighting in this tank never did much and adding CO2 did help but not nearly as much as addressing the micros did.

For Spinsheet: making your own micro is not for everyone. But I have posted links below that can help if you wish to try that. But Since you are using tap water you might be able to get better results with a different fertilizer. i never got good consistent results with Seachem. It has too many potential problems. Many people do use CSM+B successfully with tap water and CO2 so it might work better for you. Keep in mind this micro works best with a PH between 6 and 6.5. It is low in zinc but tap water often has some zinc due to metal pipes. Thrive C might also be a good choice, It has Fe DTPA which is good up to a PH of just above 7. It doesn't have enough copper in my opinion but if you have copper pipes in your home you should have more than enough copper. Whichever fertilizer you use you should monitor your GH and add a GH booster as necessary to keep a stable Calcium and magnesium levels . You don't need root tabs if your water is properly fertilized.

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Last edited by Surf; 07-14-2019 at 11:41 PM. Reason: spelling
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