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I have three swords in my moderately lit (2.7 w/gal), PMDD, 55 gallon aquarium. Recently the tank has recovered from a nasty case of green water. All of my other plants; hornwort, wisteria, Nymphaea stellata, Anubias nana, dwarf sagittaria, & Crinum are doing fine. My swords however have become transparent around the outer edges of their leaves. I am thinking this was either from the algae outcompeting the swords for nutrients or the opacity caused by the algae deprived the swords of light. I am wondering if anyone who has kept swords has had them rebound from such conditions and if so what steps do I need to take to save my plants? I appreciate any help. Here is a photo to illustrate what I am talking about.

Water Plant Vertebrate Pet supply Organism
 

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2.7 watts per gallon on a 55 - is that 2-54 watt T5HO plus one 40 watt T8 light? If so. you have very high light intensity, not moderate. For that much light you need to have the CO2 concentration very near what it takes to harm the fish, good water circulation throughout the tank to get the CO2 to all plants, and a complete menu of nutrients in non-limiting amounts - nitrates, phosphates, potassium and trace elements.

When you run the light that high without all of the needed nutrients, especially CO2, the plants will do very poorly and algae will always be ready to take over. Sword plants are not at all difficult to grow, and usually will quickly grow far too big for any aquarium when you have high light with appropriate nutrients.
 

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I don't run CO2 as I really don't have that kind of cash flow. Instead I dose with 7 ml of excel daily. Before the algae bloom everything was doing fine. It was my understanding that 2.7 watts was only moderate lighting. Learn something new every day. I wonder if maybe DIY CO2 with excel dosing may help. Also I do use substrate fertilizers in addition to my PMDD. As for circulation I have 2 AC 300's and a small powerhead. I appreciate the fast responses from everyone thus far.
 

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It also looks like it might be buried a little to deep in the substrate.
+1. From your picture, your Sword does appear to have its crown buried under the substrate.

I don't run CO2 as I really don't have that kind of cash flow. Instead I dose with 7 ml of excel daily.
While pressurized CO2 can seem like a big investment at first, it is definitely worth it in the long run. If you buy quality parts right from the start, you will have a setup that will last a lifetime.

It was my understanding that 2.7 watts was only moderate lighting.
As Hoppy already mentioned, depending on the type of bulb you have, it may be high light instead of moderate lighting. T5HO and T5 bulbs are much more efficient than your standard T12 bulbs (on which the WPG guideline was based).

I wonder if maybe DIY CO2 with excel dosing may help.
DIY CO2 on a tank your size will be a little difficult. You will require multiple bottles (say 2-3, at the very least). In order to ensure a steady rate of CO2 delivery, you will also need to stagger the replacement of the bottles, creating more hassle and frustration.

Also I do use substrate fertilizers in addition to my PMDD.
If you are dosing the standard PMDD from the Sears and Colins' paper from many years ago, it is not the right way to go. The old paper believed that limiting PO4 would deter algal growth, but this is not the case. Phosphates are an important nutrients that plants require and should not be kept limiting.
 

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Take heart, swords are not the easiest things to kill, it often requires a series of mistakes and even then they seem to come back eventually. Pull yours a bit out of gravel though or you are inviting rot. Still need to clarify what sort of lighting you have. Those are deep tanks.
 

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With the lights raised 3-4 inches you may only have high moderate light intensity. CO2 would still be highly desirable. For sure, the only good effect the single 40 watt light gives you is better uniformity of the light from front to back. If you raise the lights to about 6-8 inches above the top of the tank you might be ok without CO2, and you would then have low light intensity.

PMDD needs phosphates added before it is a complete plant food. If you add KH2PO4 that would do it. If it were me I would just save the PMDD mix and get some KNO3 and KH2PO4 to dose, along with a trace element mix.
 

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How long has this sword plant been in your tank?

Judging from the still emersed leaf form of your Water Wisteria; I'm guessing you may have just recently planted this sword too? It looks like the sword is transitioning from emersed (commercially grown) to underwater (submersed) growth. It will start to grow in foliage (from the center crown) that is suited for underwater; and discard the heavier emersed leaves. You'll just have to be patient and tolerate this a little. As the new leaves grow, just trim off all these older, raggedy leaves (carefully, near the base - but do not cut into the crown.)

As already mentioned, most swords have good resiliency.
 
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