What is wrong with my Sword???
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What is wrong with my Sword???

This is a discussion on What is wrong with my Sword??? within the Beginner Planted Aquarium forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> Sick Sword.jpg Light is 15W Powerglow 10,000 Kelven Flourish Root tabs for fert 12hr light cycles Sand Substrate why is it doing this? how ...

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What is wrong with my Sword???
Old 10-08-2009, 05:59 PM   #1
MoneyMitch's Avatar
Exclamation What is wrong with my Sword???

Sick Sword.jpg

Light is 15W Powerglow 10,000 Kelven
Flourish Root tabs for fert
12hr light cycles
Sand Substrate

why is it doing this? how can i fix the problem?
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Old 10-08-2009, 06:36 PM   #2
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First thought is nutrient deficiency, probably iron but several nutrient deficiencies will cause yellow/browing of leaves so don't jump out and dose iron. Besides which, excess of iron has other problems, which I experienced many years ago and learned the hard way to use balanced ferts.

Having said that, though, with a root tab I would not expect this. If these are the original leaves from when you bought the plant, they will often die off. Frequently this occurs because they are emersed growth (nurseries raise aquarim plants emersed) although I have known submersed leaves to do the same on newly acquired plants, probably the "shock" of transplanting to differing water parameters. I can't see the base of the plant (crown) in the photo--is there any new leaf growth from the crown? If yes, I wouldn't worry.

I'm not familiar with significant leaf differentiation between submersed and emersed with this particular species; Rataj makes no mention of it, and he does for other species, nor does Baensch/Rhiel. This species is very similar to E. amazonicus, although the leaves of E. bleheri are slightly broader and sometimes less curved. But that really is of little relevance here.

Are you also using liquid fertilizer? I found this condition occurred on several of my E. bleheri when I went from twice a week to once a week wth Floruish Comprehensive; I experimented twice with the same result. I wasn't using root fertilizer then, and I still think that should be significant with Echinodorus. My advice would be to use Flourish liquid once/twice a week (once at first if you're not using it now). And provided new leaves are emerging, not a problem.

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Old 10-08-2009, 08:00 PM   #3
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Here are a few shots of the crown, i dont use any liquid fert cash is a lil low due to a new baby. there arent really any new leafs growing from the bottom. should i clip all the leafs with yel;low/brown on them? ive had the plant for about a month and its been progressively getting worse.

Sick Sword crown 001.jpg

Sick Sword crown 002.jpg
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Old 10-08-2009, 08:20 PM   #4
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Looks OK to me. Pinch off those outside yellowing leaves; when the stems turn brown right at the base, the leaf is dying even if it is still green on the blade. I guess it's a second sight one gets, but when I do my weekly pwc i look over the plants and I can always tell a leaf that will die without seeing the base, and I pull it off and sure enough the base is dead (brown). In your photos you can see a couple of brown stalks on the right and in the centre on the outside, that once were leaves--that is what I'm referring to; that appearance is a soon-to-be dead leaf. The leaf on the left is doing the same, pinch it off; you can see that the stem is actually broken half-way up anyway.

I also see new growth, there are several newer leaves in the centre (new growth always occurs in the centre of Echinodorus), I would expect they have arisen since you bought the plant if it's been a month. Which supports my thinking that this is more probably just a case of existing leaves giving out. If those new leaves emerging from the centre develop yellow or brown spotting, or become transparent (have patches of transparency), that would mean nutrient deficiency. And the liquid Flourish Comprehensive would fix it. But this shouldn't be necessary with root tabs.

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Old 10-08-2009, 08:32 PM   #5
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great thanks for the help byron will fix things now ;D
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Old 10-08-2009, 09:20 PM   #6
don't worry about it. How long have you had the sword if you didn't already say? Mine do that when I first put them in a tank and then in a couple of weeks they perk right up.
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Old 10-09-2009, 01:03 AM   #7
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Perhaps a no brainer but.. be sure and push the root tabs down into the sand near the bottom as opposed to just covering them with sand.
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Old 10-09-2009, 08:44 AM   #8
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being a mixed African Cichlid tank Mitch, what is the Ph of the water?.............I never had any luck with swords in a high Ph tank...........Also my africans would dig up plants all the time and i had to constantly replant them, if this is the case with your tank, it could be the fact the roots havent been able to take hold really well in your tank and this is the results..........After many attempts in my african tank, i just gave up on live plants for them
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Old 10-09-2009, 02:15 PM   #9
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ph hovers around 8, they havent rooted up the plant once since i originally put it into the tank. I never really knew that ph would be a problem with plants. what plants do well in a realitively low light high ph enviroment?
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Old 10-10-2009, 10:38 AM   #10
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E. bleheri is one of the species that tolerates harder water; the similar looking E. amazonicus does not, which is why I mentioned their similarity in an earlier post, but I'm fairly certain this one is E. bleheri from the photos. Plants take time to adjust to differing water parameters, and we've no idea what water this plant was in before you bought it. Give it time, a month is not long, and so far I see nothing unusual. My only concern, which I'll repeat again, is the nutrients if this condition continues with the new growth. But otherwise, just have patience.

Another plant that will do well in harder water is Vallisneria, particularly so. Vallisneria is a plant that is capable of using bicarbonates better than most plants which prefer getting their carbon from CO2. Most plants, given the option, use CO2 because it is less work for the plant than using carbon from bicarbonates; some, particularly bog plants, cannot use bicarbonates well. Vallisneria and Myriophyllum are particularly good at bicarbonate use which is why they do so well in harder water which has a higher carbonate hardness (KH).

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