Holes in new sword growth - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-04-2011, 11:33 PM Thread Starter
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Holes in new sword growth

Just like the title says, the new growth (and a bit of old) on my sword has thin transparent spots, and holes with soft edges. The plant is still shooting up a leaf/day, and they are always bigger than the last one. However, there seems to be some sort of deficiency. I suspect also related, I have a staghorn problem.
I thought my drop checkers were almost yellow, and discovered they weren't today so I've upped my CO2. Otherwise I'm dosing close to EI, a bit heavy on the KH2PO4, Fe, and CSM+B, and light on the nitrates (They sit at 20-40 by test kit, not calibrated yet). Lighting is currently 2x 54W T5HO with a tin foil reflector on top of the tank.
Is this a classic carbon deficiency, or am I obviously short on something else?
The rest of the tank is mostly rotala rotundifolia, with a big clump of riccia floating on top.
Bigger copy here

Always curious.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-05-2011, 12:17 AM
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Nice tank....I see Angels,Rummies,Mollies and Danios. What other fish do you have in the tank? Plecos like Bristlenose will make holes in Sword plants.. these holes will end up looking lacey.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-05-2011, 12:27 AM Thread Starter
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I do have a couple plecos, but I'm pretty sure these holes are from some sort of shortage as its primarily on the new growth, not old. The newer leaves are also much lighter, almost transparent in comparison to the darker old ones. While the plecos do spend time on the swords, they don't tend to bother with the new growth, which has some holes and thin spots even as it emerges.
Edit: The plecos are 2x gibbicepts at 3-4 inches, and 3x L270 at ~1-1.25 inches, but they hide most of the time.

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-05-2011, 12:34 AM
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Are you using root tabs in your substrate? Looks like just sand to me?, which is inert.

Swords are heavy root feeders and dont take in many nutrients from their leaves. If you are not using root tabs I would start and you will see a big difference in growth and health.

Good luck!

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-05-2011, 01:04 AM Thread Starter
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I do have root tabs around both of them, both osmocote and fluorish.
I've also seen people on here claim that swords feed just fine from their leaves, and use roots to stay anchored rather than heavy feeding. It would be interesting to test this, but I don't have a spare tank I'm willing to do it in.

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-05-2011, 01:14 AM
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Quote:
Swords are heavy root feeders and dont take in many nutrients from their leaves.
Do you know of any study that validates this? I have grown many, many sword plants without fertilizing the substrate. They also come from a region reknowned for its poor soil nutrients.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-05-2011, 03:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharkfood View Post
Do you know of any study that validates this? I have grown many, many sword plants without fertilizing the substrate. They also come from a region reknowned for its poor soil nutrients.

I said that from my own experience with swords and from what I have read.. Every tank is different and when I had swords in plain flourite it had many issues with yellowing leaves, clear growth, etc just like the OP. Once I added root tabs within a week or two the swords new growth was healthy. Now that could have been b/c I did not have enough nutrients in the water column and once I added the RT's it gave the swords what it had longed for lol but I was also dosing the water column several times a week before adding the RT's. I have seen many tanks where swords are able to survive and grow but I always recommend them esp in sand or any other inert substrate b/c it doesn't hurt to have extra nutrients in the substrate as well as the water column.

Here is a link I found that shows both sides of the story.. In fact you even posted on this thread (post #5). I agree with both sides and like I said IMO its always benificial to have nutrients in both the water column and substrate.

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/pl...ugh-their.html

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-05-2011, 08:15 PM
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I am not disputing the fact that root tabs are good for swords, but claiming that they cannot take in many nutrients through their leaves is going a bit further than saying substrate nutrients are good for them.

You have to take into account that nutrients in the water = nutrients in the substrate, and vice versa. You can't seperate the two unless you have a non-permeable barrier over the substrate.

That being said, I am not trying to turn anyone away from using nutrients in the substrate. I use exclusively flourite simply because it is infinitely reusable, but I use root tabs now and then also. I don't use them on a regular basis though. I load my substrate with them when I feel that I won't be around to fertilize regularly. (Or whenever I just happen to feel like it. )
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-06-2011, 11:30 PM
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It's the CO2...
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-06-2011, 11:35 PM Thread Starter
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Well, I've upped the CO2 a couple days ago, so we'll see what happens.

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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-13-2011, 12:12 AM Thread Starter
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And Kalawai wins. CO2 upped with no other changes, no more holes. Since I reached that conclusion I've played with a couple other things and they still haven't shown up again. The leaves that already had holes are slowly being reabsorbed, but the new growth is all good, and so far staying that way.

Always curious.
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