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wavebeast 09-27-2010 04:31 PM

Are Micro Swords a Pain or Am I Just An Idiot?
Bought two last night. They came in little pots covered in rock wool. Gently pulled off the rock wool and saw that the roots were circled around each other. Thought I had to unravel the whole thing.

Spent the rest of the night trying to convince root strands the size of my pinky and ring finger to stay in the gravel trying to use tweezers because my hands couldn't do the job. Finally got ONE planted because I lightly wrapped it with the sinking weight from the LFS

10g, 3 months old, pea sized gravel, T8 6700K, 5 Amazon Swords, 1 rotala magenta, 1 rotala indica, 2 micro swords, driftwood

Anything else I can do to make the planting these easier.

bullet15963 09-27-2010 05:27 PM

I have the same equipment as you, just got some regular sized swords last night also. They were also a pain to get under the gravel.

SinCrisis 09-27-2010 09:28 PM

if the sinking weight is made of lead, it will eventally leak toxins into your tank... You could have probably planted then tangled together, i just put mine with roots under the gravel and a small rock right in the middle to weigh it down. I have flourite for substrate though, so that might have made it easier since its smaller than gravel.

sik80 09-28-2010 07:32 AM

pea sized gravel may be the problem. a finer substrate would most likely be easier to plant them into

bullet15963 09-28-2010 10:20 AM

Can I combine substrates? Have half gravel and half something finer?
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redchigh 09-28-2010 10:46 AM

Sure you can. Make sure it's well-rinsed. It will seperate over time, but no big deal really. The smaller substrate will sink and slowly push the large grained gravel up, but by that time the plants will be rooted.

wavebeast 09-28-2010 01:24 PM

So if I have to uproot the weight on the plants - I'll have to plant them all over again. Can I cut the roots (length of my ring finger with grass strands at a perpendicular angle) so the length is short?

If I can do that and just plant multiple times - it would be a ton easier. I just didn't want to destroy the plant or stop it from growing and spreading because I was having trouble keeping it under the gravel and decided to cut it.

Inga 09-28-2010 02:19 PM

I just took them out of the pot, removed as much of the wool as I could and put them in the substrate. I didn't worry too much about the roots being unraveled. Mine grew like weeds.

Not the best picture but you get the idea. That is one Amazon Sword in a 60 gallon tank. It is now about 24 inches high and 15 inches wide. With 5 of them plus other plants in a 10 gallon, it should be no time and you won't have room for fish. I love plants in the tank and to me, the heavier the better, as long as there is room for the fish. It will of course depend on light etc... as to how well and how fast they grow. Swords are heavy feeders though so I would recommend adding some root tabs and maybe adding a bit of Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive Fertilizer once or twice a week as well. Can't wait to see photos of your tank, I bet it looks wonderful.

redchigh 09-28-2010 02:22 PM

You can trim the roots. I usually trim them on every plant I get... Down to about .5 to 1 inch.

wavebeast 09-28-2010 03:00 PM

Yep - added root tabs for the swords. I have one big one that's growing much better than the others - but the others all look good except for a brown leaf here and there and diatoms - but I'm planning on adding some Otos once I get the plants situated and they take hold, so the diatoms shouldn't be an issue.

I'm not done using the API Leaf Zone I have yet - once I finish that I'll use the Flourish Comprehensive. Can't argue with Byron's success.

I keep up with trimming and such, there will always be room for the fish.

I ordered plants the from my LFS and they said they received Dwarf Baby Tears and gave them to me but they weren't potted and they were like 5" tall. The leaves are exactly the same as DBT but it's supposed to be a carpet plant.

Do I just trim the roots to carpet plant length and it'll spread accordingly or did I get some variant on the plant that isn't what I wanted?

Any advice would be helpful.

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