Plant dying during fishless cycle

Discussion in 'Aquarium Plants' started by iroze, Dec 15, 2012.

  1. iroze

    irozeValued MemberMember

    Good morning all,

    I am about a quarter of a way through cycling my 5-gallon tank. In the tank, I have two amazon swords, some gravel, a decorative log, a 25-W heater and a mini Tom filter. The temperature is kept at around 82 degrees for the cycle. Right now I'm on my 2nd week. Ammonia is between 4 and 5 ppm, pH is at 7.2, I have no nitrites or nitrates to show for at this point. The tank is intended to house two African Dwarf Frogs when it cycles.

    My Amazon sword began to wither the other day, and I don't understand why. Is there a way to save it, or should I just buy another?
    Thanks in advance,
  2. Junne

    JunneFishlore LegendMember

    I had a water wisteria that turned completely brown by the first week of the fishless/ammonia cycle.

    You plant is probably sensitive to the high amounts of ammonia - I would remove it and replace it after you are done.

    Good luck with your cycle
  3. OP

    irozeValued MemberMember

    That's so weird - I have two plants, both Amazon swords, and the second one is perfectly fine. Thank you so much for your advice, appreciate it.
  4. skjl47

    skjl47Valued MemberMember

    Hello; Amazon swords feed from the roots. It may be that you need to stick a plant tab orsome other sort of solid fertilizer near the roots. I feed my swords this way from time to time. They also need a decent amount of light.
    I have set up tanks many times over the decades and in most cases add live plants the first day. Some plants are reported to take up some ammonia directly, such as hornwort. I am not sure how much such plants can actually take up but even small amounts could be helpful. Hornwort has been a staple of my tanks over time. It is non rooted and is very useful for fry tanks, growout tanks, OT tanks and tank with fish that dig up rooted plants.
    I also suspect that live plants have enough beneficial bactria(bb) on their surfaces from where they have been growing to add a starter culture of the bb to a new setup. I also usually add some snails from an established tank for the same reason. In addition snails respire an add some ammomia on their own. You have to want snails in your tanks. ( lots of luck keeping them out if you have live plants anyway.)
    I have no direct insight from experience about plant sensitivity to ammonia as I have not tried the method of adding liquid ammonia to a tank for cycling. If you are indeed adding such ammonia, could it be that it is not pure. I have read in posts and articles that the ammonia needs to be pure.
    I will attempt to add a link to a long article anout cycling. Of the many I have read this one is perhaps the easiest to follow and is thorough.

    Cycling title article post
    Hello; Here is a link to a long article about nitrogen and cycling. It is an involved read. I think your question is addressed.
  5. chevyguy8893

    chevyguy8893Well Known MemberMember

    Another possibility is if you just bought them, there is a good chance that the sword was grown in an emergent state. So, this may be a transition with the old emergent leaves dying off with the new, submerged, leaf growth coming in. Also, if the roots get bunched up in the gravel, if it is not deep enough, that can also cause problems, and they have some pretty extensive root systems. I had two swords in while cycling one of my tanks, and the plants thrived under the conditions it was in. If you can post pictures of the sword it may help.
  6. OP

    irozeValued MemberMember

    No, I've had them for a while and one is thriving while the other started turning brown. I have already isolated it for the remainder of the cycle. Thanks so much. I had a sprig of hornwort but my frogs for some reason enjoyed picking at it until they pulled it apart, and then attempted to eat the remains. I was afraid they'd choke so I removed it.