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Echinodorus problem

2945 Views 13 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Opare
My echinodorus' leaves are fraying and the plants almost don't grow at all. I have CO2 and sufficient light so it must be fertilizer deficiency. I do use Flourish. Please take a look at the pic and perhaps you could tell me what kind of deficiency this is simptomatic of. Many thanks!


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What is "sufficient light"? What are the tank dimensions? What substrate are you using? What type CO2 system are you using - DIY or pressurized - and how are you determining if you are using enough?
I have ATI 6x80w over 72" 120 gallon tank, photoperiod 8hr
CO2 from the tank
I think it is sufficient as I see oxygen bubbles forming every day by the end of the photoperiod
Substrate is Flouride
Did you add the sword plant to your tank a few weeks ago? If so you are seeing the emersed leaves dying off as the plant converts to submersed leaves. This is not something you can stop. Just wait it out as the plant converts to underwater growth. Not all species do this, but swords will lose their old leaves.

Read more here: Non-Deficiency Emersed Die Off in Sword « Deficiency Finder

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No, actually this plant was there for a year and a half. And it was growing beautifully, then it (and other swords) just crashed. Lost most of the leaves and for the past half year linger in this sad state. I first thought it was because I didn't have enough fishes and so there was not enough nitrate. I added fishes two months ago and started feeding them well and that should have taken care of nitrates, but I don't see much improvement. I thought maybe the specific pattern of damage could indicate the nature of the problem... I am started dosing potassium and will test for nitrates and phosphates in a few days. If the levels are undetectable I'll start dosing them as well I guess...
Take a few more photos of the plant from the top of the tank with the filter turned off to reduce surface motion. I'd like to see which leaves are damaged on the plant. New or old. Also some close up photos would be great of the damage on the leaves.

What other ferts are you adding other than flourish? How much of it are you adding and how often?
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Here they are.

I dose 10ml of Flourish twice a week and that's it.

Thank you!


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I think it is probably a macro nutrient deficiency. Flourish (Comprehensive) only provides micros in decent amounts. Especially since you are using CO2 and decent light it is probaby starving. It probably fed off your substrate nutrients intially, and when that ran out, that's when it went bad.
Start dosing Nitrogen, Phosphate and Potassium, using the dry salts would be cheaper, and see how it goes. You can also use the Seachem stuff but it is a bit expensive.

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Thank you. Makes sense
But doesn't the dry fish food I feed my fishes (and, subsequently, their excrements) contain Nitrates and Phosphates?
I agree with Opare. Probably a macro (nitrate, phosphate or potassium) deficiency. Flourish doesn't have high amounts of any fertilizer. They are all extremely dilute and would need 5-10x the recommended dose to provide enough by EI standards.

Fish food has a bit of these nutrients but you have a pretty heavy plant load judging by the photos so anything the fish food is adding is being used up.

Add some osmocote root tabs, or another root fertilizer for the easiest solution.
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Sword plant macro fertilization

I have a few sword plants that show signs of macro elements deficiency. I started adding liquid N, P and K to water column but while other plants responded to that, swords did not. Is the only way to fertilize swords with root tabs? I did use Flourish tabs a month ago but they made no difference. Amounts of N, P and K seem to be minuscule in them. API tabs have more but not terribly much either and they have bad reviews.

Now I heard about osmocote but am weary. It's really not made for aquariums. Will it endanger my shrimp? Is there a risk of too much N or P leaking into the water column? What exactly is safe dosage?

What would you recommend?
I use the API root tabs. I have found a method to avoid getting too much of the tabs dissolved into the water column, and dose leaner on ferts the days I add the tabs (about once a month).
How much are you dosing exactly?
The swords can get there nutrients purely from the water column. You don't have to buy root tabs if you sufficiently supply the water column.
If you do end up adding root tabs, be careful to not use too much as it can cause Ammonia spikes. Using Osmocote would be fine with shrimp I'm pretty sure, I've never used it but a lot of people do and use shrimp as well. There is a rule like a certain amount of tabs per square inch but I don't know what it is.

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