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When I bought my swordplant from the store it was BIG: 10-inch leaves, a perfect size for my 29-gallon tank. The first fully submerged leaves were almost the same total size, though different shapes and shorter stems. But over the last two years the new leaves have gotten smaller and smaller, until now the plant is shorter than the anubias nana. It looks so crummy as a center piece for the tank.

So can anyone tell me what the swordplant is lacking. Light, nutrients, C02? (It won't get C02 because I am staying low tech.)

Tank has plain gravel substrate with a few spoonfuls of laterite near the plant. Also use occasional Flourish tabs and Kent plant food for micros. Tank gets 55w of compact fluorescent light, 10 hours a day. Ph is about 7.8 or 8. Water moderately hard, KH about 4. Ammonia and nitrites are 0; nitrates, 20.

Other plants are doing fine: crypts, dwarf sag, jungle val, hornwort, anubias. Water sprite will grow a bit floating but not planted, probably because tank is too deep. A smaller ozelot swordpant is growing slowly. It came in a tiny pot, and at least it is bigger than when it arrived, not smaller.

Any ideas on what can help the main swordplant?
 

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Root tabs. Swords are heavy root feeders. I was getting slow growth on my swords till I tucked a root tab under it. Then it almost doubled in size.

IMO a 29 gallon is not big enough for a full grown sword.
This is one in a 75 gallon. (not my tank and was not grown in this tank)

you're going to have to be pretty up on your trimming to keep it small enough to look good in a 29 gallon.
So its small/slow growth might be a blessing for you.
 
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