sword issue question for Byron
My new swords seem to have a few leaves that have some brown growing on the side of them. I know it wasn't there when I planted them 2 nights ago. I hope it is just new plant and new tank syndrome :). Any ideas what might be wrong? The crypts are holding up very well with no melting showing and the other plants seem ok so far. Parameters are fine tested last night.
I put a cap of flourish in first day. Hmmm.. the one thing I have not done is put in Flourish root tabs. But with the eco-complete substrate I didn't want to go overboard on ferts too fast.
Randy, you've nothing to worry about. Thanks for posting a thread and thanks for the photos, it is exactly what I suspected from your brief description.
First, don't use root ferts with an enriched substrate, never. The substrate will handle that. If there are plants other than rooted swords, like floating, stem plants or Anubias/Java Fern rooted on wood or rock, I would use Flourish Comprehensive once a week, no more, at the amount given on the label. If just the substrate rooted plants, I would not repeat Flourish yet. Give the swords 2-3 weeks and observe the new growth which will come from the centre of the crown. If it remains green then the plant is getting all it needs; if yellowing similar to what you have now starts on new growth you will need to add Flourish liquid once a week (perhaps twice later but I suspect not, with the substrate).
This brings me to the yellow. On new sword plants (newly bought), the existing leaves almost always yellow and die over a few weeks. Provided there is continual new growth from the centre of the plant, this is perfectly normal. I have had swords lose their existing leaves rapidly (I suspect largely due to mistreatment in store tanks) with only a couple of new leaves, but they always recover.
One reason they do this is the change in environment. Although not so sensitive as crypts, they don't like sudden or drastic changes; different light, nutrients, CO2, pH, hardness, temp--all these can have an impact. Swords are remarkably resilient plants and robust. I'm certain I can see several new leaves emerging from a couple of those plants. I would even cut off the yellow-spot leaves now; there are only two on that one plant, and one of those is totally brown. Leaves that start to yellow never recover on swords, they always die completely, so when you see what these show, cut them off.
The other reason they often lose existing leaves is that they are grown emersed by nurseries, and swords are bog plants with two types of leaves, one for emersed conditions (in air) and one for submersed. These are Echinodorus bleheri (could be E. amazonicus, they are identical but bleheri is larger as it grows and more often seen in stores) and some of the leaves I can see (the rounder ones) are emersed forms. I'm fairly certain the two dying leaves are emersed. Emersed leaves are a bit thicker and "tougher" due to having to support itself in air rather than water. The new growth will be long lanceolate blades, narrower at first.
A beautiful plant. Read the profile in our new plant section [Tropical Fish Profiles], this species is there with photos. Post in this thread if something develops, but I can almost guarantee you it won't.
Excellant news and fantastic info Byron. Thanks very much. When cutting off plant leaves should one cut right below the leaf/stem joint or further down the stem?
Cut them off at the bottom where you meet the gravel (or pinch them off that's how I do it) they'll sprot plenty new leaves in no time at all with the enriched substrate so don't worry about that part :-)
Cut the leaf off at the crown (which is the place where all the leaves and the roots come together, just above the substrate). I usually just use my finger and bend the leaf backward down to the substrate when you can and gently pull it horizontal to the substrate, it will break right at the crown. B.
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