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post #1 of 5 Old 03-27-2009, 06:29 PM Thread Starter
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Trimming new plant?

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!

My wife rolls her eyes when I talk about getting another tank
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post #2 of 5 Old 03-28-2009, 09:44 AM
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When it comes to plants underwater I'm no expert either but I do know plenty about the ones that grow terrestrially. I cut off the outer damaged leaves on my sword but left the "crown" alone, just as you would a sword fern or palm tree. It bounced back pretty quickly. Not sure if that was the correct way to prune it but it worked for me.

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post #3 of 5 Old 03-28-2009, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by MBilyeu View Post
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.

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 5 Old 03-28-2009, 03:30 PM Thread Starter
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Ok, I will be cutting them off today then. I use SeaChem Flourish Comp as well as Flourish root tabs, so it should work nutrient wise.

My wife rolls her eyes when I talk about getting another tank
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post #5 of 5 Old 03-28-2009, 04:05 PM
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Ok, I will be cutting them off today then. I use SeaChem Flourish Comp as well as Flourish root tabs, so it should work nutrient wise.
Yes, absolutely. The tabs are probably a good idea for swords that are heavy feeders, in fact I just put some in under a couple of my largest swords last week to see if I could detect a difference (too soon yet of course). Don't know what light you have, but with even a minimum of 1-2 watts of full spectrum light per gallon, you should do well with the swords.

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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