Emersed/Submersed Leaves - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 4 Old 03-06-2012, 08:44 AM Thread Starter
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Emersed/Submersed Leaves

Does anyone know about how long it could take a sword to switch from emersed growth form to submersed growth form in a low tech set up?

My Ozelot Sword has thrown 2 new leaves in the month since I got it, with a third leaf on the way. All leaves look healthy, it seems quite happy. But its still throwing emersed leaves.
Also, its still in the pot. Does this make a difference? I was leaving it in the pot until I was ready to scape, but my driftwood is still soaking.

Sorry, but this is the first time I've purchased a plant in it's emersed form, so info on time frame is appreciated. Thanks!

"My dither fish need dither fish!"
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post #2 of 4 Old 03-06-2012, 08:48 AM
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I have a different variety of sword, it started growing submerged form leaves within a week and never formed a new emersed form. All the old leaves one by one started to yellow at the tip that spread to the stem. As I understand it, some nutrients are mobile so the plant was sucking up nutrients from the old leaves, and thus I left them until they turned completely yellow.

A little over two months in now, I only have a single emeresed form leaf left, and it is started to yellow at the tip.

As for staying in a pot ... not sure if that would cause any difference in this, it probably restricts the roots to a certain degree. Swords get very large root networks.
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post #3 of 4 Old 03-06-2012, 11:30 AM
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I've never taken note of the length of time, but I think it usually occurs within a couple months. Various factors likely affect it. You are sure it was the emersed form when you bought it? If it was in the tank for a time, it may have already developed submersed leaves and wouldn't change.

I would remove the plant from the pot, assuming this is the small pot it came in. Echinodorus have very extensive root systems, and it will grow out of the pot itself, but unless you plan on moving the plant soon I would unpot it so the roots can spread naturally. Remove as much of the rock wool from around the roots as you can; leaving some is fine, it doesn't disintegrate, as I have found little bits of it months and even years later when I've moved the plant to re-aquascape.


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 #4 of 4 Old 03-07-2012, 01:13 AM Thread Starter
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I'm sure its emersed form. I bough it straight from the dealer at a swap meet, fresh from the nursery. Ovoid leaves on stems that are longer than the leaf is, so I'm positive. But I can provide pix, if need be.

I'm not worried about how well it will do in the pot, as long as its not affecting the leaf form. The driftwood should be done soaking soonish, so hopefully everything will fall into place soon I have several root-feeding plants in pots in that tank while the driftwood soaks, some for months. They all have healthy roots out through the sides and bottoms of the pots, so they can't be too terribly root-bound. They may not be quite as vigorous as they could be, but they're all happy. My thinking is that they'll fare better with a stable, if a titch cramped, root media than being transplanted several times. So as long as its not affecting the leaf form, I'm cool with it.

Thanks for your input, guys! I guess I'll just try to be patient, while still getting the driftwood done and the tank scaped as soon as I can. I'm looking forward to seeing the final product I've been visualizing for months. But this tank, like the 55g, as been slow going for a number of reasons. But I have hope that completion is on the horizon!

"My dither fish need dither fish!"
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