Amazon Sword plants and Vals don't seem to be happy...

  • #1
I just introduced a bunch of swords and Vals into my tanks recently, and none of them seem overly happy. I am used to the initial die off of some leaves but these just seem overly un happy.

I fertilize regularly with Iron, Phosphate, and Trace elements, they also have flourish root tabs, but currently the swords and Vals just don't look happy.

The leaves are yellow and dying, usually I'm used to this being a lack of posh pates, however, AFter testing my levels my API kit reads between 5 and 10 mg/l of them. I have known this level to usually cause algae but I have none to speak of. The anubias in the tank seem more than content as well as some crypts but not the Vals and Swords. Anyone here have any ideas?
  • #2
my vals don't seem to be happy either....gonna watch for answers
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
ok just tested the big tank which actually looks better than the 10gal right now, running 20-40 NO3 and 2-5 phosphate, the swords look even worse in the 10gal this morning the leaves are not upright anymore and are all turning yellow and brown. ALL of my plants are in the same tap water, the ones in the holding tank (A 20 long) are all fine, same as the ones living in a couple buckets. I have not tested the 10 nor have pictures yet as the lights have not come on, I will take some in a bit when they do and post them. I'm trying to do it all right but I don't know where I went wrong.
  • #4
Mine's not really dying, but it's not growing either.

What kind of lights do you have?
  • #5
...a lack of posh pates...

My corkscrew vals aren't doing the best either...but then again I haven't added any root tabs yet, so I'm sure that's it. Hopefully someone can help you figure it out
  • #6
Sorry your plants aren't doing very well. Can you post a picture of how the leaves are yellowing? It might help.

For now, here are the questions that crossed my mind:

Is it only one tank that your plants are not doing well? Are the other inhabitants in this tank thriving?

Phosphates alone will not cause your plants to die. I have a higher levels courtesy of my tap and you know how the do for me.

How's the lighting on this problem tank? Are the tubes old? Is there enough light for these plants?

How deep are these plants? Make sure the crown is not buried.

Personally I have never had any luck growing swords in low light. They do require high levels of substrate ferts, but you have that covered already.

Are you using Excel?

Is there a temperature difference? Using a python hose, I once was pumping hotter than intended water which caused my crypts to melt. Thought I'd killed them, but they came back after a complete die back. Not saying this is your issue, just throwing it out.

Hope you figure it out soon.
  • #7
Hahahaa, is this a group session?
  • Thread Starter
  • #8
Yeah sure we can make it a group session, now that the teacher is here lol.

Here are some pics of the problem plants attached.

As for the light I have a 60watt CFL (I think its a 14watt equivalent bulb) 5k light spectrum. Ill pull the plants up a little bit as that could be part if it, I may have burried them too deep but also one of my anubias that are in the tank is starting this now too. It is only secured to some drift wood so I dunno what its issue is. I'm having some mild problems in the 75 with the swords as well also, that one has the T5HO lights which are about 8-9 months old and I know should be replaced. I'm also thinking of swapping that tank to LED so that's why the wait right now.


First shot is the anubias, second is what I was told is an amazon sword (it was actually in my 75 and was moved here recently, was doing great there not so much here, the third is a mellon sword.

Both the mellon and the anubias were added to the tank the same time from the same shipment of plants, others from this shipment are still fine, thou the other melons from this in the 75 are starting to look a bit off.

I also started thinking, could this be from plants growing immersed rather than submersed?
  • #9
Anubias appears to be healthy, other than the one leaf. I would prune that off and monitor the rhizome to ensure it is healthy. Do you know the variety it is? It looks a bit like an anubias hastifolia which does not do well completely submerged. I learned this fact recently when Dino posted this plant care sheet in the forum:

Swords are definitely too deep. Raise the plant so that the top of the roots are barely covered. My "monster" sword actually has exposed roots as it has grown too big to keep the roots buried. I would add root tabs 6 inches apart on both sides of the plant, if you haven't already.

If your sword was originally grown emersed, then it will eventually loose all its leaves, and replace them with very healthy ones suited for under water growth. This is a very common practice for commercially grown plants as they grow much faster this way.

Your melon sword in in picture #2, right hand side BTW.

5k CFL. Plant lighting is in the 5k to 10k range; however as bulbs age, the spectrum drops. How old are your CFL bulbs? I am wondering if they should be replaced with daylight 6.5k lights? You definitely have enough light!

FYI - T5HO tubes are replaced every 18-24 months. You are thinking of normal output T5 lights as these standard fluorescent lights are the ones than need the tubes replaced every 6-9 months.

Are you using water column ferts? The anubias may need a dose or two while it settles into your tank.

Hope that helps!
  • Thread Starter
  • #10
Ok, some more answers,

The anubias was sold to me as part of a bag of "Growers Choice Assorted Annubias" so I have NO clue lol (I also have some crypts that are like that but not planted in a show tank yet)

Ok Swords to be lifted shortly Thanks, didn't know they could be too deep.

Whoops, got the pics confused, my bad!

The CFL Is about a week old. I couldn't find 6.5k ones Home Depot only had the 5k ones, and these are listed as daylight. It is about 10 inches above the tank so that It covers the entire tank.

Ah ok, so the 75 will be fine for a bit, awesome means I can save up the money for LED first.

I'm dosing the liquid sea chem line in these tanks right now as I am not home enough to dose dry. This tank is getting Iron, Phosphate, and trace both twice weekly at at least min dose recommended. It also gets a shot of Flourish comprehensive every other week or so just enough for the tank. I know my doses are accurate as I am using lab grade measurement equipment.

You have given me great sound advice with reason I'm sure it will help, if nothing else at least it puts things onto a level field to start the next batch of questions thru.
  • #11
Glad I could help. Hope your plants turn around quickly!
  • #12
I would say it was that really low k lighting you had. but since you changed it to a 5,000k, that should help. I would actually add another one. I like to use those command strips, to hang them on the wall so they shine down.....the shop/work lights I mean. the silver dome ones that clip. or you can clip it to the back of the tank....where there is a space. my plants respond really well to this method.

i'm sure this has been mentioned...can't read it all now....but you are using root tabs right?

jaysee, you have sand right? some plants do ok in it, and other don't love it. are YOU using root tabs? vals are heavier feeders
  • #13
Yes, I have sand, and no there is no root tab - I am not dosing with anything - just turning the light on and off.
  • #14
Then you may want to consider substrate ferts Jaysee. Flourish Root Tabs are very cost effective and work great with a sand substrate. Your vals would appreciate it.
  • Thread Starter
  • #15
Yes, I have never had good luck with Vals without some root tabs, I don't even bother with the small box anymore lol I just get the 40 pack, its cheaper in the long run.
  • #16
I think you might be onto something with the emersed growth thing... I see that happen a lot. I also agree that low lighting is a factor.

Similar Aquarium Threads

  • Locked
  • Question
Top Bottom