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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello,

A month ago I received 2 amazon swords from a fellow club member. One is 12" or so tall and the other is half that. I planted them in my 55 gallon with a gravel substrate. I added root tabs when planting. The smaller one is rotting from the substrate up. I had another red sword that did the same thing a couple months ago, after being in the tank for about 6 mos.

The larger sword has other issues - the center leaves are fading color badly, while some of the outer leaves are looking kind of ratty. You can see that on the left side of the image.

I think the fading color is likely due to insufficient light. I have a single 48" Sunblaster t5ho bulb with no reflector- just a white canopy. Photo period is 3 hrs in morning and 5 in the evening. I have a second bulb, but every time I've used it the algae (particularly BBA) has gone through the roof. I'm dosing Excel (5 ml/day) now and slowly winning the algae battle.

I do a 40% water change weekly followed by addition of 1/2 tsp KNO3 and 1/8 tsp of K2SO4 and KH2PO4, then 5 ml of Flourish the next day.

I know that swords are known to melt when moved but given that my red sword died after several months I'd rather not wait and see.

Any suggestions?

cheers,
Marc

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I might try and add some Magnesium (Epson salt) to the dosing once a week at maybe 1/4 tsp and add another root tab.
Can freeze some Osmocote pellet's in ice cube tray, and this will make a good root tab that you can quickly push down near the plant.
 

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Hi Roadmaster,

According to my local utility I have 19 mg/l Magnesium and a Total Hardness of 182 mg/l CaCO3. Is that relevant?
https://www.saskatoon.ca/services-r...king-water/water-quality-characteristics-2015
You may not need Extra magnesium but if dosing once a week? then it won't hurt anything either.
I might try adding the flourish comprehensive? twice a week, if only dosing once a week ,and perform regular water change.Sword plant's in my experience, do best in fairly deep substrate that many are fearful of due to possibility of sulfide gas, which according to scientific observation's, is not of much worry for it quickly is rendered harmless when it comes into contact with oxygen in the water.
I plant sword's in nearly four inches of topsoil, covered with another two inches of sand.
I see these gas bubbles released all the time but have lost no fishes /shrimp's in a long while.
Plant's can also transport oxygen to the area surrounding the root 's, which makes the hydrogen sulfide boogey man even less of a concern .
The sword plant's have extensive root system's ,and root tab's may last but only a month, and most root tab's purchased commercially, are largely comprised of Iron hence,,the suggestion of the osmocote prill's in ice tray.
I do not think too little light is the issue lest all other plant's are also struggling.
Just think the sword's need more nutrient's to draw from than most other plant's.
 

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I am with road master on all his points, except extra Mg.

I would add a quality root tab for each sword and see if that makes a difference in 2 weeks. Peel off the outside ratty leaves on the larger sword.

If the swords do not improve, I wold pull both out and check the roots. If you did not trim the roots before planting then the old roots are rotting. Check to see if there are healthy white new roots growing. Remove all grayish rotting roots and trim the rest to about 2". Peel off most of the outside leaves, leaving ~5 per plant. Replant. I personally like to see the stems' bases just above the substrate. One other way to plant would be to push the rots slightly into the substrate and put a stone on them to keep the plant from floating. Add another root tab.

I would expect nice new growth in 2-4 weeks. If not, we can start figuring out is something else is going on.

Do not keep any kind of plecos with Amazon swords - they will "sand" the leaves.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
thanks guys.

I think I'll dig em up and check the roots. Then replant with fresh tabs and see what happens. I'll probably increase the Flourish as well.

Nothing in that tank is really shooting the lights out. I've been struggling with plants in this tank since I built it a year ago. I think that gravel only with nothing below was a big mistake, but I don't want to tear it down to fix that. Algae has been a big problem but as I said in my first post I started using Excel a few weeks ago and things are improving - a lot less BBA on the gravel and slowly dwindling on affected leaves. Once it is mostly gone I'm going to increase the lighting and see what happens.

cheers,

Marc
 
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