Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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SinCrisis 10-07-2010 08:29 AM

Chain Sword Problem
Recently, i cut back the amount of time my light stays on to reduce algae growth, which is working beautifully, but i noticed that my chain swords that have expanded are now getting clear leaves and slowly browning, doe anyone know whats wrong? Is it the light or am i lacking in some fertilizers?

Angel079 10-07-2010 09:08 AM

How many hrs per day do you run light?
And what lights do you have over what size tank (Kelvin rating / gallon tank?)

I want to check your light situation first but highly suspect lack of nutrition from what you describe, do you use anything such as Flourish comprehensive?

SinCrisis 10-07-2010 11:26 AM

my light used to be kept on for 12, now its 10. I use the jungle root tabs for ferts, used to use seachem flourish, but forgot a lot so i started using the tabs. I doubt its my ferts, cuz the amazon sword in the tank next ot them has almost doubled in size in the past month and is very green and healthy. light is 2 t-5 bulbs, 1 rated at 6500k and the other i am not sure, its just a pale blue one that came with the fixture.

Angel079 10-07-2010 12:26 PM

The Amazon Sword I can see thriving cause they're root feeders therefore its beneficial to have root tab's for them. But as far as I know the chainsword is not root feeding but from the water column so liquid fert would help there imo.

And no its not the lights, nor the Kelvin, nor the duration, that's all fine!!!

LisaC144 10-07-2010 12:31 PM

I agree, it's a nutrient deficieny. As Angel079 stated, plants are either root feeders or feed from the water column. The plants that feed from the water column will not benefit at all from root tabs. I would suggest starting up your routine of using Flourish Comprehensive again. I'd start with once a week, the day after your water change.

SinCrisis 10-07-2010 04:11 PM

UGH, flourish was super hard for me to find in my area, i had to order it and the shipping was killer. Why are chains words not root feeders like the amazon sword? i thought all swords were root feeders?

Byron 10-07-2010 06:48 PM


Originally Posted by SinCrisis (Post 487942)
UGH, flourish was super hard for me to find in my area, i had to order it and the shipping was killer. Why are chains words not root feeders like the amazon sword? i thought all swords were root feeders?

Yes, you're correct [sorry Lisa and Natalie:-(]. All species in Echinodorus and Helanthium [if you read our profile of the pygmy chain sword you will note that I have placed it in the genus Helanthium and explain why] are marsh plants and as such assimilate nutrients primarily via the roots in the substrate. However, given the fast growth of this species via runners and daughter plants, a root tab here and there will not be of much use in feeding the plants, unlike the larger swords that "stay put" with their main root systems.

This being the case, an enriched substrate is more beneficial to Helanthium tenellum (or the other species also commonly classed as pygmy chain sword) but liquid fertilizer also works. The substrate, if healthy, is not compact but porous, and water must be able to flow freely through it, though slowly, not fast. This was one advantage of undergravel filters, though they have other issues that somewhat counter this. Anyway, as long as nutrients are added to the water column, they will (hopefully) get into the substrate to be assimilated by the roots.

I would get some Flourish Comprehensive and dose it once a week, or twice if the plant response suggests more is needed.

I do agree with others that reducing the light is not likely to have caused this, though two hours is significant. But try the Flourish and if after 3 weeks that has not improved things, we can reconsider light.


Angel079 10-07-2010 08:17 PM

Odd, non my chain sword don't get no root pills and thrive way too well.

What's your other parameters (How much w/c how often? Size tank? Amount of fish (=co2)? Wondering if the difference in mine thriving and yours not lay's buried somewhere in the set up....

SinCrisis 10-08-2010 12:07 AM

Before when I used flourish, i would forget to dose a LOT. They would maybe get a dose once a month and the chain swords were fine. After i added the root tabs, they started to expand rapidly, 7 extra plants in only 2 weeks, and then the main plant started to yellow and the expansions stopped. I am using fluorite and its turned by my MTS so it should be porous. The new chain sword plants look great only the main plants they spawned from are yellowing. I will order more flourish :-/. Also i dosed with excel not too long ago. I avoid using excel unless algae starts to really get out of control, which it did and i cut the lights back, dosed with excel and my amazon sword started to grow like crazy. The algae all died off and vanished within a week.

Byron 10-09-2010 11:54 AM

Post a clear photo of the yellowing chain sword plant if you can.

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