03-28-2009, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by MBilyeu
I just bought an amazon sword, and a few of the stems are partially/fully broken, and some of the smaller leaves are brown. Should I cut off the bad areas? If so, what part, and how much? If I cut off the stems, should it be to the root? Will they grow back? I'm no expert on planted tanks, but the look is really getting me excited about making some other tanks planted!
Cut off the leaves that are brown or turning brown, and any with broken stems (they will die), right at the crown (base of the stem). If it should be that all the leaves appear to be browning, leave 3 or 4 of them, and then remove them when new ones have matured a bit. New leaves will grow fairly quickly if there is adequate light and nutrients.
You will probably need to add liquid fertilizer, swords are heavy feeders and while they feed through the roots they can be grown in tanks with liquid fertilizer (look at those in my two aquariums which have no substrate nutrient source). With insufficient nutrients, particular iron, new leaves will begin to yellow and eventually die. I add liquid fertilizer after each weekly water change, and a second dose if the swords appear to need it (yellowing leaves). I'm currently using Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive but have had equal success previously with Kent Freshwater.