11-23-2012, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by fishkid
I am currently not using liquid fertilizer. However, even when I did use it at points in the past the swords experienced the same stunting problem.
It is highly unlikely that plants like swords will thrive without liquid fertilizer. This partly depends upon what is in your water (the main source of the essential "hard" minerals calcium and magnesium primarily) and the number of fish in the tank and what they are fed. Nutrients occur from all this. But something may be lacking, the water may be soft, etc. A basic complete liquid fertilizer once or twice a week is the first step.
And this has to be a complete nutrient source. There are a number of so-called plant supplements on the market but many only provide certain nutrients, and aquatic plants require 17 nutrients before they can grow. Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive Supplement is one I use; Brightwell Aquatics' FlorinMulti also provides this. With both of these, make sure you get the exact product named, as they make several products under the "Flourish" and "Florin" names.
I didn't ask about your tap water GH, but that is important. If it is anywhere from 4 dGH [= 70 ppm] or higher this is OK.
With especially heavy feeders like the larger swords, substrate tabs will improve growth. But the liquid is still the essential first step.