Amazon Sword Dies Again! - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-09-2009, 02:20 AM Thread Starter
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Amazon Sword Dies Again!

I bought an amazon sword from Wal-mart. I saw it there for 2 weeks looking great before buying it. In a few short days the leaves became transparent, yellow and then melted. After 2 weeks I bought another one from them, and now the leaves are becoming transparent again!

I have a 55 gallon with 2x54 W T5HO, dose flourish and excel and have pool filter sand with seachem flourish root tabs directly under the plant.

I looked at the Wal-mart lights. They were T12s, and lets say that the personnel there are not so aquarium savvy.

What's going on here?

Yasmin

PS - How can I tell the difference between E. bleheri and E. amazonicus? I prefer bleheri.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-09-2009, 02:53 AM
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I've used them in my low-tech tanks without any trouble. When there is yellowing or the leaves turn transparent it is from a nutrient deficiency. I've heard that amazon swords can be nutrient greedy, but I never did anything more than what you are doing (flourish, excel, root tabs).

When you pull the plants, have the roots melted and turned brown? Did you trim back the plant or roots when you planted it? The root ball can get rather large, I normally try to trim it back to about 3" and thin out the leaves a little.

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-09-2009, 03:08 AM
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Can you post a pic of the sword?

It's possible that the sword is just transitioning from emersed to submersed growth.





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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-09-2009, 03:12 AM
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i had an anubias that did that. it took about 2 months to get it to grow back.
i'm not sure about your sword though. maybe if you leave the root system planted it will bounce back. i've had a bit of experience with plants dying back when introduced into a new tank.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-09-2009, 03:15 AM
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i dont want to seem rude but i'm just curious why you prefer one plant from another if you cant tell the difference between them
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-09-2009, 03:33 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timwag2001 View Post
i dont want to seem rude but i'm just curious why you prefer one plant from another if you cant tell the difference between them
Hi, of course. It's because I read that the bleheri is much easier to keep alive and healthy.

Yasmin
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-09-2009, 03:37 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by BottomFeeder View Post
I've used them in my low-tech tanks without any trouble. When there is yellowing or the leaves turn transparent it is from a nutrient deficiency. I've heard that amazon swords can be nutrient greedy, but I never did anything more than what you are doing (flourish, excel, root tabs).

When you pull the plants, have the roots melted and turned brown? Did you trim back the plant or roots when you planted it? The root ball can get rather large, I normally try to trim it back to about 3" and thin out the leaves a little.
Are you sure you had amazonicus and bleheri, and not just 2 bleheri? How can you tell them apart?

When I pulled the first dead plant some of the roots were black, not brown and about 4 inches long with 15 leaves.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lauraleellbp View Post
Can you post a pic of the sword?

It's possible that the sword is just transitioning from emersed to submersed growth.
I don't think it's transitioning bc I saw it at wal mart for 2 weeks before buying it. I will post a picture tomorrow night.

Any ideas anyone?

Yasmin
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-09-2009, 04:41 AM
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I do think it's possible that the plant is transitioning; the lighting at walmart I'm sure is so sub-par that the plant could have just been dormant there.

Another possibility especially this time of year is your tank temperature is too warm- what's the temp on your tank?





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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-09-2009, 03:13 PM
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Two T5HO bulbs over a 55 gallon tank is very high light intensity, which is making the sword plant try to grow as fast as possible, but there aren't nearly enough nutrients, especially carbon, for the plant to do that. So, it robs the carbon from the existing leaves to try to grow new ones, and dies when that resource runs out. Use only one of those T5 bulbs, and you have a chance to grow the sword plant, but even then, you will need to be using pressurized CO2 for it to be able to grow well. T5HO lights are not suitable for non-CO2 tanks in most cases.

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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-09-2009, 03:54 PM Thread Starter
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Lauraleebp,

My temp is at 81 (discus). Tropica states the amazon swords can be maintained at that temp, and my other discus keepers have them in their tanks with no problems.

Hoppy,

I have the lights over the 55 as a temporary setup. I will be transferring my plants and fish to a 72 bowfront, which is quite tall (23 inches), in a couple of days. I also plan on adding CO2 around December. Do you think the plant will be ok with the excel, flourish, root tabs and lights in the 72?

Thanks,

Yasmin
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-09-2009, 06:32 PM
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Hoppy,

I have the lights over the 55 as a temporary setup. I will be transferring my plants and fish to a 72 bowfront, which is quite tall (23 inches), in a couple of days. I also plan on adding CO2 around December. Do you think the plant will be ok with the excel, flourish, root tabs and lights in the 72?

Thanks,

Yasmin
The higher you move the light the lower the intensity, so the 23 inch tall 72 gallon tank will be better than the 20 inch tall 55 gallon. But, I would only use one bulb for non-CO2. With two bulbs you are in the range where CO2 is very desirable. Excel is good, but not nearly as effective as a carbon source as CO2 is. Does the light fixture have legs to hold it higher above the tank? If so, using them would make a big difference.

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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-09-2009, 06:51 PM Thread Starter
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The higher you move the light the lower the intensity, so the 23 inch tall 72 gallon tank will be better than the 20 inch tall 55 gallon. But, I would only use one bulb for non-CO2. With two bulbs you are in the range where CO2 is very desirable. Excel is good, but not nearly as effective as a carbon source as CO2 is. Does the light fixture have legs to hold it higher above the tank? If so, using them would make a big difference.
It does have legs. Are you suggesting I install the legs when placing it over the 72 gallon when I transfer from the 55 in a couple days, plus remove one bulb? That would put me at less than 1 wpg.

Or are you suggesting that as an interim solution over the 55 until the tank is transferred?

Thanks Hoppy,

Yasmin
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-09-2009, 08:07 PM
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It's the transition issue that I'm getting at. If the tank where the sword was being kept was much cooler (which it probably was), the sword is probably still struggling to acclimate itself to all the new things in the tank where you've got it now. And heat especially can be very hard on plants during transitions (which is a big reason people don't do landscaping during the heat of summer- the heat is at least as hard on the plants as it is the people).

It's common for plants (aquatic or otherwise) to go through a bit of die-off when they're moved, especially when the conditions are very different from what they were used to.

Are you seeing any new leaves at all on the sword?





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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-09-2009, 10:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Yassmeena View Post
It does have legs. Are you suggesting I install the legs when placing it over the 72 gallon when I transfer from the 55 in a couple days, plus remove one bulb? That would put me at less than 1 wpg.

Or are you suggesting that as an interim solution over the 55 until the tank is transferred?

Thanks Hoppy,

Yasmin
I would definitely use the legs on the 55 gallon tank, and even on the 72 gallon tank, especially if you continue to use two bulbs. The volume of the tank isn't important for light intensity. Light isn't like fertilizer, where the particles mix in the volume of water, giving parts per million. Light just shines down to the substrate, losing intensity twice as fast as the distance from the bulb increases (for small changes). Only the height of the light determines the light intensity. The depth - front to back - is only important because tanks with a big depth have too much variation in intensity from front to back if you don't use more than one bulb, preferably separated by several inches.

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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-11-2009, 10:24 PM
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you can hang the lights up further to control the intensity, if you can.

Think of light as the metabolism in a system. the more intense it is the faster the system process nutrients and build new growth. Of course, with without nutrients & CO2, the plants can't build new growth the plants will suffer and algae comes in to enjoy the lights and whatever nutrients is there.


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