Amazon Swords killing everything? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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post #1 of 19 Old 07-02-2010, 02:40 PM Thread Starter
Amazon Swords killing everything?

My planted tank as been a huge fail w/the exception of my Amazon Swords. My step-father has a nice planted tank, and said he had to get rid of his Swords because they were killing the other plants. Should I do the same before adding more plants? Thinking of going with hygrophila.
Tank is a 65g 3-footer with a dual T-8 flourecent light (adding more light)
76-78deg f
ph is 6.8-7.0
very low gh/kh
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post #2 of 19 Old 07-02-2010, 02:46 PM Thread Starter
OK... after google-ing hygrophila, what the store told me was Amazon Swords look more like this picture of hygrophila... but still, could they have killed everything else? Not at home right now, so I can't take a picture of my own until I get back Sunday or Monday.
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File Type: jpg Hygrophila_lacustris.jpg (81.6 KB, 69 views)
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post #3 of 19 Old 07-02-2010, 03:54 PM
I think the above pic is Hygo. Corymbosa "narrow leaf". Swords look completely different. Plants don't normally kill other plants. Fast growing plants like both swords and many hygro species can smother other plants. They are good lowlight plants and can out compete other plants for resources. They only harm other plants if you let them take up too much space or block too much light.

.... I'm probably drunk.

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post #4 of 19 Old 07-03-2010, 11:32 AM
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Not all plants are compatible with each other.They can have a sort of biological war with each other releasing chemicals the same as corals can do in saltwater.

Your's truly,
Lee
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post #5 of 19 Old 07-03-2010, 01:03 PM
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I'm with Mikaila31 on this.

What bones14 is referring to is known as allelopathy, and while there is evidence it exists, it is not, so far as I know, pertinent with species of Echinodorus (swords). Diana Walstad discusses this in a chapter in her book if you want to follow up, and Hiscock and others mention it mostly in passing.

You mention adding more light, do you mean in addition to the dual T8 tubes? I would not recommend this, as you will have more light than the available nutrients and that is going to cause algae blooms. Nutrients and light must be in balance to sustain good plant growth and keep algae at bay.

And speaking of nutrients, are you adding any fertilizers (liquid, root tabs, or nutrient-enhanced substrate material)? Even with the light you have, nutrients sufficient for all those plants (Hygrophila is a stem plant and all stem plants are fast growing plants which means they need sufficient nutrients) is unlikely going to be adequate from the fish food and organics. And you mention soft water, so any minerals that might be in the water will be non-existent or very low. A good comprehensive fertilizer like Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive Supplement for the Planted Aquarium is what I recommend, used once or perhaps twice a week. This, plus a photoperiod of 10 hours a day, with the light you have (assuming it is full spectrum and/or cool white) should be sufficient for good plant growth.

Byron.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #6 of 19 Old 07-03-2010, 01:44 PM
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Allelopathy.That's it.It was driving me crazy trying to remember the name.I've come across it several times in my research and Bettababy referred to it in another thread on here awhile back.The original post just made me think of it again.

Your's truly,
Lee
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post #7 of 19 Old 07-03-2010, 03:47 PM Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by Byron View Post
I'm with Mikaila31 on this.

What bones14 is referring to is known as allelopathy, and while there is evidence it exists, it is not, so far as I know, pertinent with species of Echinodorus (swords). Diana Walstad discusses this in a chapter in her book if you want to follow up, and Hiscock and others mention it mostly in passing.

You mention adding more light, do you mean in addition to the dual T8 tubes? I would not recommend this, as you will have more light than the available nutrients and that is going to cause algae blooms. Nutrients and light must be in balance to sustain good plant growth and keep algae at bay.

And speaking of nutrients, are you adding any fertilizers (liquid, root tabs, or nutrient-enhanced substrate material)? Even with the light you have, nutrients sufficient for all those plants (Hygrophila is a stem plant and all stem plants are fast growing plants which means they need sufficient nutrients) is unlikely going to be adequate from the fish food and organics. And you mention soft water, so any minerals that might be in the water will be non-existent or very low. A good comprehensive fertilizer like Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive Supplement for the Planted Aquarium is what I recommend, used once or perhaps twice a week. This, plus a photoperiod of 10 hours a day, with the light you have (assuming it is full spectrum and/or cool white) should be sufficient for good plant growth.

Byron.
Yes, in addition to the existing lighting. I use Flourish twice a week.
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post #8 of 19 Old 07-03-2010, 05:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by car0linab0y View Post
Yes, in addition to the existing lighting. I use Flourish twice a week.
Fine. If you want to post the names of the plants that you say are dying, or better still photos, some of us may have suggestions. Without knowing the plants (except for the Hygrophila in the earlier photos) it's hard to say what the problem might be.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #9 of 19 Old 07-04-2010, 06:15 PM Thread Starter
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Fine. If you want to post the names of the plants that you say are dying, or better still photos, some of us may have suggestions. Without knowing the plants (except for the Hygrophila in the earlier photos) it's hard to say what the problem might be.
The other plants are long gone... but if I still have the receipt it'll tell me.
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post #10 of 19 Old 07-06-2010, 09:49 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Byron View Post
Fine. If you want to post the names of the plants that you say are dying, or better still photos, some of us may have suggestions. Without knowing the plants (except for the Hygrophila in the earlier photos) it's hard to say what the problem might be.
I had planned to take some photos when I got home, but the entire tank was green when I got home. Algae took over, but I know my plants are still living b/c the larger of the two that are left is nearly to the top of the tank. I did a 60% water change today, but the water is still too green to actually see through. I plan to do another 50% change Friday. I'm guessing the algae explosion is from leaving the light on and HOB running about half-steam for 10 days.
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