Sword Project

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So a few months ago I got swords for my tank, and it came with one sword that looked very healthy and two half dead with two brown already melting leaves on each. Well, I tried that whole “cut the brown part only” and got nothin. It was only very recently they even attempted making a new leaf, and both shriveled and didn’t grow any more. Yes, I have been using root tabs. Yesterday I noticed both plants are melting at the base of the stems, almost see-through. So I decided to just say “swear word-it” and cut off the old leaves completely. This is what’s left but they’re planted with an additional root tab next to both! So maybe without all their energy going into keeping dead leaves alive, they’ll put some effort into these teeny tiny new leaves. Praying for a positive outcome but expecting nothing haha!
 

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FishGirl38

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Well...I've got some swords in my tank that started dying and growing holes - nutrient deficiencies. Added root tabs (flourish) and the new growth bounced back..

The larger leaf on the one sword looks real healthy, so I'd think they're getting plenty of nutrients. Are you sure they're getting enough light though? Just trying to help troubleshoot.
 
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FishGirl38 said:
Well...I've got some swords in my tank that started dying and growing holes - nutrient deficiencies. Added root tabs (flourish) and the new growth bounced back..

The larger leaf on the one sword looks real healthy, so I'd think they're getting plenty of nutrients. Are you sure they're getting enough light though? Just trying to help troubleshoot.
They are getting probably TOO much light haha, I have my tank on a 12 hour on/off cycle, but no algae growth (and my nerites would take care of that, anyway) so I enjoy seeing my fish all day :) The one sword that came to me healthy has just taken off, I'm sure they are getting plenty of nutrients!

I was just assuming the fact that they were already half dead and then went through a melt period, they just never bounced back. I'm really hoping that one you mentioned with the big leaf that is still healthy will at least come back, the small little one I have no hopes for
 

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One thing that will really help with their growth is macronutrients. If you are using Flourish tabs, you are only providing trace elements (magnesium, calcium, copper, etc). Plants only require these in very small amounts. Plant growth (or rather, nutrient uptake) is limited by the least available nutrient, so you address that issue and the plant's growth is no longer throttled.

Swords, in particular,can be hungry plants. They're easy to care for but need a good source of macros; Potassium, Nitrogen, Phosphate, and also some Iron. Carbon is also extremely important, but there is always some CO2 dissolved in our tank water that is usually enough for most "low-tech" plants. CO2 injection, if you choose to go that route, is not necessary for all plants, but benefits all plants.

If you want to see their growth really take off, I would either switch to tabs that contain macronutrients in sufficient concentrations, or a high quality all-in-one liquid fertilizer. Some good ones are Tropica Specialized and NilocG Thrive. Easy Green is recommended here and it does contain a lot more macros than, say, Flourish, but it is still not as concentrated as the Tropica or NilocG fertilizers.

Once swords start to get what they need, you begin seeing healthier growth. No more melting, no more holes in leaves, no more yellowing.
 

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I have two swords of my own, when I bought them they were decently healthy, within 2 weeks every leaf on them was brown. There was nothing left but one or two small leaves (much like the ones on your tiny swords) and probably one mid sized leaf (~1.5 inches) on each plant. I took them out, peeled off all of the dead/ dying stuff and popped them back in there. Now they're growing pretty good and honestly quite quickly. I use liquid ferts and they're just stuck into the crack in the driftwood, with nothing around the roots. I think if my swords bounced back like this, I'd say just leave yours alone and give them plenty of time. You may be surprised by them!
 
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Danny002 said:
I have two swords of my own, when I bought them they were decently healthy, within 2 weeks every leaf on them was brown. There was nothing left but one or two small leaves (much like the ones on your tiny swords) and probably one mid sized leaf (~1.5 inches) on each plant. I took them out, peeled off all of the dead/ dying stuff and popped them back in there. Now they're growing pretty good and honestly quite quickly. I use liquid ferts and they're just stuck into the crack in the driftwood, with nothing around the roots. I think if my swords bounced back like this, I'd say just leave yours alone and give them plenty of time. You may be surprised by them!
Your swords are stuck in a piece of driftwood and not in the substrate?:eek:
 

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LivebearerMom said:
Your swords are stuck in a piece of driftwood and not in the substrate?:eek:
Yeah, I put them there cause I thought they looked cool and they seem to do just fine. I wouldn't really say they're "in" the driftwood, the stems kind of just hold them in place and the roots float in the water down there. I figured, if it ain't broke don't fix it! Also, the gap in the wood goes all the way down to the bottom so the ember tetras love to swim in there.
 

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LivebearerMom said:
Your swords are stuck in a piece of driftwood and not in the substrate?:eek:
As long as the roots are getting the nutrients they need from the water column, the plant will do fine.

You could toss plants into just tubs of water, as long as they get light and fertilizer they'll grow!
 
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I’m wondering if I should stick the teeny tiny one on my driftwood. My anubias and java fern grow like weeds in the water column.

I think if it gets uprooted again I’ll do that
 
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Update: this is the one with the one large healthy leaf still on it, and it had attempted to put out 3 failed leaves in the past. This is it’s newest attempt! It’s been awhile since I’ve seen it try, and this is the healthiest start I’ve seen from it. It’s also red! Very happy for it.
 

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