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Hi there I am new to this forum, and am a relative novice to aqua scaping and growing plants, but I love it. I have a 60 litre planted tank with swords, crypts, Anubius and limnophila sessiflora. Everything is doing well apart from my swords won’t grow tall! They are constantly growing new leaves but they never get any taller. I’ve also noticed some of the leaves are super healthy and some, maybe one in 5, have some brown spots on them. I cut them off now and then and leave the healthy ones. I did try some red ludwigia too but that has just died off, I guess the light wasn’t strong enough.
I have root tabs in the substrate which is gravel and I dose ferts once a week, using seachem comprehensive.

Does anyone have any ideas? I was thinking maybe they are not getting loads of light or something, my lights are set to come up gradually and only be on at the brightest for around 3 hours. It simulates sunrise and sunset. I was thinking of switching it to just be on bright for 8 hours but I don’t want to mess up the other plants that are doing very well.

I have hard water that is kept at 24- 25 degrees Celsius, I think that’s about 75f.
Stocking is just neons and a betta and about a million ramshorn snails. :)

Thanks
 

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Hi. If you haven't sorted this out already, you might want to start by checking your water parameters with either some test strips or a API kit. You can also buy tests for other nutrients like iron and phosphate. You can also google to find a chart that shows you what different nutrient deficiencies look like. If you do go up on your light strength, do it very slowly. Make a small change and then wait a couple of weeks to see what happens and then again until you have the outcome you want. Patience is key.
Have a nice day.
 

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Brown spots can mean anything from lack of Potassium, to the over abundance of snails nibbling into the Swords leaves.

But your lack of growth is probably because you have hard water and no CO2. You could also be over micro-nutrifying with the root tabs. Aquatic plants need one element above all else, carbon. and unless you can get them carbon, you're going to have growth problems with certain plants. You shouldn't be root tabbing, or fertilizing without rectifying the lack of CO2. Even a cheap 2 liter juice bottle with yeast and sugar, ( look up DIY CO2..) system is better than nothing.

Also, knowing your water parameters out of the tap will go a long way to understanding how planted tanks need to be set up. Do get a quality water test kit and familiarize yourself with how to do water tests. You should also control the snails, too many means you're over-feeding the fish.

Good luck
 

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I think if your swords are putting out lots of new leaves and you are providing comprehensive nutrients, then there probably isn't anything to worry about. Swords can take a little while to fully mature, especially in a low-tech tank. My water is super hard, and it's never been an issue for my sword plants; they are really hardy.

That said, some varieties are much larger and faster growing than others. My Purple Knight swords are slow and small, while Ozelots & Flames grow fast but stay medium size, and my Red Ruben was a monster. The Rosette Swords I used to keep stayed very small. My Amazon Swords took a while to root, then shot to medium quickly and suddenly, before leveling off growth rate and eventually got fairly large. All this occurred in the same tank, same light, same ferts.

Do you know what variety yours is? That will tell you a lot about the expected size and growth rate. Also remember that "max size" on a variety can be misleading because in many cases the emergent leaves are held on considerably longer stems than the submerged version.
 
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