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mastermindc3pro 05-28-2010 12:06 AM

Amazon Swords Died Looking For Help On Why
So my father was recently in the hospital so i went away for 3 weeks, before i left all my plants and fish were healthy and alive. I comeback and all of my amazon swords were dead, their all brown and decaying. All my fish are still alive ( automatic feeder) my question is what do you think killed my plants. I wasnt able to give them the 2 doses of flourish that i do every week do you think that was it though? Some of them are begining to grow again a nice colorful green which is good. Should i clip the decaying ones off? I didnt do a water change for those 3 weeks but im not sure if that would cause it.

Austin 05-28-2010 03:04 AM

Did the lights run at all...? Take off all the dead leaves. They are just going to rot. If the plant grows back it will grow new leaves - the dead ones won't come back.

mastermindc3pro 05-28-2010 08:25 AM

yes the lights are on a timer, and ill start removing the dead leaves now

JohnnyD44 05-28-2010 10:11 AM

how long do you have the lights on a timer for??

For plants like swords, do you use fert tabs?

mastermindc3pro 05-28-2010 10:15 AM

I dont use a fertalizer tabs, i use flourish twice a week. The liights are set to go on at sunrise and off at sunset.

JohnnyD44 05-28-2010 10:39 AM

You might want to pick up some fert tabs. Sword plants are different that stem plants in their need for nutrients. Stem plants feed off of the water column, hence you need for flourish. Swords and some other plants are rooted plants, so you'll need root tabs for those plants in order for them to get the nutrients they need. Here's one recommended to me by Byron, they're great and last a while too.

Also, what kind of bulbs are you using in your tank? and what size is the tank? we're you able to keep with with pwc at all? if not, you may wanna do a decent sized one.....3 weeks with no pwc, I'd do a 75% change.

I hope your father is doing ok, my dad was in a while ago, and it can be tough...

redchigh 05-28-2010 11:01 AM

Well if you have a 'loose' gravel type substrate, I've heard they amazon swords can assimilate liquid ferts....

Maybe you had some sort of algae on the leaves? Probably not since you didn't mention it.

I would imagine it was a lack of iron...although I'm pretty sure the liquid has iron in it. *shrug*
Assuming you're not using an enriched substrate?

Austin 05-28-2010 01:10 PM

I think it's odd that they are coming back to life as soon as you get home, though... if fert was the problem. But maybe lack of fert for a few weeks? dunno.

Aqua Jon 05-28-2010 10:12 PM

maybe it just misses you.

haha, well IMO from what others are saying, it was lack of ferts. Especially if you have a loose gravel like redchigh says. Seems simple enough. No food means a dead anything. And now that your back to "feed" it, it is coming back to health again.

Byron 05-29-2010 10:43 AM

From the information you've given, this occurred due to lack of nutrients.

Plants need 17 nutrients every day in order to photosynthesize (grow). While presumably they can go a few days without this or that, eventually it will take its toll. Plus the fact that they had nitrogen and carbon (CO2) from the fish throughout plus light, which means they were prevented from photosynthesizing by a lack of other nutrients (iron was mentioned and is important, but so are the other 15 minerals). Yellowing leaves is a sure sign of nutrient deficiency, though it can occur from other things less common.

Flourish twice a week is supplying a good source of most all the necessary nutrients; stopping this is bound to have an effect. Over a period of one year, I experimented three times with reducing my weekly dose of Flourish from twice to once. In every case, within 1-2 weeks, the swords began yellowing. I increased the dose back to twice a week, and within 1-2 weeks the yellowing ceased and new leaves were and remained green. [The "yellow" leaves never recover as Austin or someone correctly said, so remove them.] This I think shows how quickly the increasing or decreasing of nutrients can affect plants.

To other comments in this thread. All plants assimilate nutrients through the roots and some through the leaves (different plants do this more or less). In both cases however, the nutrients come from the water. Solid nutrients in the substrate will have no effect if water doesn't get down there to dissolve them and carry them to the roots. Land plants works the same, so this is no surprise. Good water circulation through the substrate is absolutely essential to provide nutrition to plant roots and to prevent toxic buildup of nitrogen gas. Which is why substrates like sand have to be carefully maintained. It is quite possible to have plant roots suffocate in sand if it compacts.

Where this leads is that liquid fertilizer added to the water will get to the plant roots in the substrate if the substrate has a normal flow of water. Using substrate fertilizer, whether an enriched substrate or root tabs/sticks, works exactly the same but quicker simply because the nutrients are consolidated in that spot where they are most needed--by substrate rooted plants like swords and crypts, that is. Floating plants and plants affixed to rock and wood derive no benefit from substrate nutrients but solely those in the water. I maintained tanks full of swords and crypts for 12 years without any nutrients in the gravel other than what was delivered there via the water circulation (liquid fert), so I know it works. But, having inserted root sticks next to the swords a year or so ago, I did see increased growth in those plants. The point is that nutrients in the water are sufficient, but nutrients added directly to the substrate will result in somewhat faster growth. But the important issue is that the plants are alive and healthy, with slower growth or faster, and for this they need regular and continual nutrient delivery.


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