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Some plants not growing, others doing well


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20210628_191942.jpg.8cefc53786c79cccb3948bb0418c6b92.jpg

I have a 300L aquarium, pool filter sand substrate with a 1/2 inch layer of dirt underneath. 66 watt LED light on 7 hours a day

Some plants like various crypts and the tiger lotus are thriving while the sword species and larger plants in the background are struggling, some leaves have holes in too.

 

I have also added some JBL fertilizer balls underneath the sword plants to see if fertilizing was the issue but still no progress.

I used to have good success with these plants but after a recent house move I cannot get them to grow nicely.

Water hardness is KH 2 - 3 and GH 4 - 5, at my old house it used to be KH 4 - 5 and GH 7 - 8.

I have tried dosing flourish, and flourish excel and see no better progress with this plants, I just start to have algae issues when dosing ferts.

I wouldn't have thought fertilizers would be the issue as I have dirt substrate and added JBL balls also.

 

Does anybody have any ideas on what I might be missing here to get these swords growing as well as the crypts and tiger lotus are?

 

 

Edited by GC_nz
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I'm sorry I can't speak to the lotus but I do have Swords, I found when I moved a struggling plant to a different tank it still struggled for a while before it came back. It's returning to life from almost nothing and it's been about 10 months...it's about 5" tall or so at this point. I don't use fertilizers myself so it probably takes even longer for me than it would you. On the flipside of that there is another Sword in the same tank that I bought specifically for the tank and it's near 14-15" tall- but it has experienced no move or change in water parameters. Maybe that's what's wrong? Your move? I think the Amazon will be slow to react and recover. 

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On 6/28/2021 at 5:52 PM, GC_nz said:

 

20210628_191942.jpg.8cefc53786c79cccb3948bb0418c6b92.jpg

I have a 300L aquarium, pool filter sand substrate with a 1/2 inch layer of dirt underneath. 66 watt LED light on 7 hours a day

Some plants like various crypts and the tiger lotus are thriving while the sword species and larger plants in the background are struggling, some leaves have holes in too.

 

I have also added some JBL fertilizer balls underneath the sword plants to see if fertilizing was the issue but still no progress.

I used to have good success with these plants but after a recent house move I cannot get them to grow nicely.

Water hardness is KH 2 - 3 and GH 4 - 5, at my old house it used to be KH 4 - 5 and GH 7 - 8.

I have tried dosing flourish, and flourish excel and see no better progress with this plants, I just start to have algae issues when dosing ferts.

I wouldn't have thought fertilizers would be the issue as I have dirt substrate and added JBL balls also.

 

Does anybody have any ideas on what I might be missing here to get these swords growing as well as the crypts and tiger lotus are?

 

 

Sword plants have always been a wildcard for me, as mine didn't grow for years in blue garbage gravel (ex gf's idea), or eco complete with flourish tabs, or mineralized supplemented dirt capped with filter sand... only after a couple years with my current eco complete (I attribute the sudden growth to mulm buildup) and dosing dry ferts did it wake up, and now with Aquarium Co-Op root tabs and CO2 has it really exploded with growth. I find that swords REALLY need potassium to thrive. 

Snap some pics of the damaged leaves, and that will help us pinpoint what sort of deficiencies you have. 

Edited by Phantom240
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  • 2 weeks later...

Sorry for the slow reply, it has been a couple of weeks now, I have since been dosing API leaf zone, API co2 booster and also seachem equilibrium at water changes. I have got a bit of a better reaction from the swords, one is doing alot better, one only a little better, will insert some photos. of the 2 most recent leaves on both plants (most recent leaf has less holes, prior leaf has many holes as per pictures.

Also upped light duration to 8 hours.

First 2 pictures are a marble queen sword.

Second 2 pictures are a Rose sword

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The Tiger lotus plants are growing even better than they already were, I gave them a big trim back last week getting rid of all the older leaves as there are heaps of new leaves coming through... i'm hesistant to trim the old growth on the swords as they aren't doing well. Definitely appears to be a mineral deficiency but what it's lacking is beyond my knowledge.

 

Have just ordered phosphate, calcium, iron and copper test kits to hopefully shed a bit more light on my water chemistry.

Also added an Aponogeton undulatus and a crypt Balansae, two plants i've never kept before, just to see how they go in my water conditions.

I think I would rather keep plants that do well in my water conditions rather than having to continuously dose fertilizers just to make one or two plants happy, still interesting finding out what is going on however!

 

 

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Sword plants are root feeders so they need root tabs as they will not draw a lot of nutrients out of the water column. Also swords actually like a lot of light so once they get started and grow a bit taller they will do better. I'd start with putting in a few root tabs around their roots (and then having a lot of patients - as in several months not several days).

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Sand is not the most optimal substrate to begin with but Flourish Excel for carbon can also cause problems after all it is based on Metricide a disinfectant that contains Glutaraldehyde which is the source of the carbon. Several friends and acquaintances have reported to me through the years that it isn't just very good at eliminating black beard algae, but also kills Anacharis, Sags, Vals and any liverworts like Riccia. If you want to add carbon there are much  better methods, in various price ranges available.

From your handle that ends in nz, and the designation of 300L I suspect you might be located in New Zealand and I'm not sure you have access to Easy Green as an excellent all-in-one fertilizer, but since you seem to have access to the JBL Proflora 7 Balls you might want to give dosing with JBL PROFLORA Ferropol a whirl, unless I stand corrected and you can get your hands on Easy Green at which point it beats the JBL to pieces and you should be good to go. Even the other Seachem Flourish fertilizers can help if you can't get the Easy Green, JBL Proflora, or NilocG Thrive which is another all-in-one.

Some black military helmet snails, a type of Nerite snail, would be some ferocious green spot algae predators for the aquarium glass if you can get your hands on them.

I hope that at least some of this might be of help to you.

 

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