Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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stephanieleah 01-29-2010 10:07 AM

amazon swords floating out of substrate
Hi all

I have purchased over the past month about five swords, some with extensive and full root systems and some with just three or four roots sticking out. Is there a way to plant them successfully because I'm having a hard time. The root crown wants to stick out of the water, and when I re-plant, I feel like I have to push a little harder than I should to get them into the substrate. I dig a large, deep hole with my fingers, then hold the plant in while I cover it with substrate but they always end up raising a little too high. I use gravel substrate, and it's about 2 1/2 inches deep in one tank and 3 1/2 inches in the other (this one is sandier substrate and it's still hard).


Angel079 01-29-2010 10:12 AM

Just push them into your gravel till they're well covered with the gravel; they should not drift back up like some stem plants do. and 2"+ of gravel is plenty to keep them down.
Once they're in just stay away from them for 2-3 weeks with the gravel vac til they're rooted down well enough.

stephanieleah 01-29-2010 10:41 AM

I'll try it again...I don't want the root crown to rot so maybe I'll put a few rocks on the gravel around it so nothing bumps around it for a few weeks...thanks

LisaC144 01-29-2010 11:07 AM

I was just going to suggest the same thing. I'm not sure why you're having trouble with them, but just put a larger (meaning larger than your gravel) near the plant base to hold it down until it roots into the gravel well enough.

Angel079 01-29-2010 12:05 PM

All these yrs I always stuck mine all the way into the gravel, maybe 1-2mm root showing above the gravel line (if any), never had a single issue.

stephanieleah 01-29-2010 02:16 PM

well, I've had a hard time keeping ALL of mine down so it just shows how NOT green my thumb is! Hopefully the green thumb thing is something that can be acquired. My husband's got it, not me. That would be why he owns a landscaping business.

LisaC144 01-29-2010 02:33 PM

Ohh! Ohh! Have your husband plant them in the aquarium! :-D

stephanieleah 01-29-2010 02:35 PM

I've thought about it! I always get his input when I'm trying to find a nice place for a plant. He's got a good eye for that stuff.

Angel079 01-29-2010 03:18 PM

I agree have him put it in for ya :-)

Byron 01-29-2010 05:41 PM

Stephanie, is this occurring in the 29g or the 10g in your tank photos? If the 29g, I myself would have a bit more substrate; those swords appear to be Echinodorus bleheri and the red one E. osiris/rubin or somesuch, and they have very extensive root systems. I would have 3-4 inches of substrate where they are. If its the 10g, the problem could be the large size of the gravel. Fine gravel is recommended because it does make plant rooting easier for the plant, plus other issues I won't get into here.

These plants are quite firm, and any water current will be significant against their relatively broad leaves, which makes a sufficient substrate depth important.


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