Swords look terrible. - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
 
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post #1 of 9 Old 02-24-2013, 04:05 PM Thread Starter
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Swords look terrible.

I have 2 amazon swords and they are looking very bad. I think its because their is not enough light i have 2 15watt hoods. All other plants like my anubias and java fern are doing just fine. They are planted in organic topsoil capped in a coarse sand. Any other ideas?
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post #2 of 9 Old 02-24-2013, 04:15 PM
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from what i see there is some yellowing on the leaves which i thinbk is from iron deficiency? maybe throw some root tabs around them to help them out. 30 watts of light does sound pretty low but these are low light plants. so yeah sorry im not much help just trying to take a guess here
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post #3 of 9 Old 02-24-2013, 10:19 PM
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Swords do tend to be heavy root feeders so the root tab suggestion is probably your best bet.
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post #4 of 9 Old 02-25-2013, 12:18 AM
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Root tabs are required for these plants as the PP said, but another question for you is how old is this plant? I can't see the entire stem/leaf on any of them, but swords are very often grown out of water, and will lose all of their leaves and grow new ones in a slightly different form better suited for underwater. Not sure if that's what's going on here, or if it's a combination of both, but may be worth looking into!
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post #5 of 9 Old 02-25-2013, 10:26 AM Thread Starter
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Well i just purchased it a week or so ago and it looked great. It is planted right into the soil under the sand cap is that ok? i will get root tabs too.
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post #6 of 9 Old 02-25-2013, 11:27 AM
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planting should be fine, just make sure that the substrate isn't covering the crown of the plant - where all the stems join to the bottom - that will cause trouble.

Root tabs are a must to keep these plants healthy. . .

And since you've confirmed that it IS a newly-purchased plant, you very well may be seeing the plant going through an acclimatisation process - shedding old leaves that were either grown out of water, or in different water/lighting conditions than what you have in your tank.

Provided you have a full-spectrum lighting that is strong enough for the sword, which I'm assuming you do, as you have other thriving plants in the tank, I'd advise to just add the root tab clip off the dead/dying leaves, and leave things alone for a while. It may take a bit of time, but it should bounce back!
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post #7 of 9 Old 02-25-2013, 01:06 PM
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A soil substrate in theory should provide sufficient nutrients without substrate fertilizers. And before considering substrate additives, I would look at a liquid supplement. Some nutrients are taken up via the leaves, not the roots, and these must be in the water column.

I have maintained swords well in tanks with plain gravel or sand with just liquid fertilization. For the larger species, I add a substrate tab next to it, in addition to the liquid. While this does certainly benefit with faster growth, it is not necessary for a healthy plant. But your soil to deal with the root nutrients anyway.

A complete liquid like Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive Supplement works well; once or twice weekly. Start with once, and after a few weeks depending upon the plants' response, you can dose it twice if needed.

The lighting is important, obviously; heavy feeding plants need sufficient light. You mention two 15w hoods, but what exactly is this? Fluorescent tubes at 15w each, or screw-in bulbs at 15w each? And what is the Kelvin of the tubes/bulbs? And what sized tank, to put this in perspective?

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 youíre going to take it under your wing then youíre 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 #8 of 9 Old 02-25-2013, 03:05 PM Thread Starter
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Right now i have to 18in t8 aqueon floresent lights. They were labled for optimal plant growth so i went with them I hope to upgrade to glass tops and currently under construction is a custom hood to match the custom stand (photos availible if you want to see it) fitted with a t8 shop light from lowes. The tank is a 55 gallon with a gold gourami and 2 angels the size of quraters that will b moved to my 75 gallon tank once they are a little larger as i have a full grown female in it and im hesitent to put 2 small ones in with her.
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post #9 of 9 Old 02-25-2013, 04:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jester10 View Post
Right now i have to 18in t8 aqueon floresent lights. They were labled for optimal plant growth so i went with them I hope to upgrade to glass tops and currently under construction is a custom hood to match the custom stand (photos availible if you want to see it) fitted with a t8 shop light from lowes. The tank is a 55 gallon with a gold gourami and 2 angels the size of quraters that will b moved to my 75 gallon tank once they are a little larger as i have a full grown female in it and im hesitent to put 2 small ones in with her.
Two 18-inch tubes over a 4-foot 55g will not be sufficient light except for very low light plants--hence your Anubias and Java Fern are OK as you said. And being low light and thus slow growing, they require fewer nutrients, so they may be getting sufficient from the water now with fish foods and water changes. But none of this will work for the swords long-term.

Your upgrade sounds fine. With T8, the tubes should be 48-inches, and I would have two. One will be better than what you have now, and it can work, but it is on the borderline. I had a single T8 tube over my former 55g. Two tubes will definitely be better. Your swords will thrive, and you will be able to have floating plants because the shade won't be as significant with 2 tubes, and all these fish love floating plants.

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 youíre going to take it under your wing then youíre 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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