Originally Posted by SinCrisis
UGH, flourish was super hard for me to find in my area, i had to order it and the shipping was killer. Why are chains words not root feeders like the amazon sword? i thought all swords were root feeders?
Yes, you're correct [sorry Lisa and Natalie
]. All species in Echinodorus and Helanthium [if you read our profile of the pygmy chain sword you will note that I have placed it in the genus Helanthium and explain why] are marsh plants and as such assimilate nutrients primarily via the roots in the substrate. However, given the fast growth of this species via runners and daughter plants, a root tab here and there will not be of much use in feeding the plants, unlike the larger swords that "stay put" with their main root systems.
This being the case, an enriched substrate is more beneficial to Helanthium tenellum (or the other species also commonly classed as pygmy chain sword) but liquid fertilizer also works. The substrate, if healthy, is not compact but porous, and water must be able to flow freely through it, though slowly, not fast. This was one advantage of undergravel filters, though they have other issues that somewhat counter this. Anyway, as long as nutrients are added to the water column, they will (hopefully) get into the substrate to be assimilated by the roots.
I would get some Flourish Comprehensive and dose it once a week, or twice if the plant response suggests more is needed.
I do agree with others that reducing the light is not likely to have caused this, though two hours is significant. But try the Flourish and if after 3 weeks that has not improved things, we can reconsider light.