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Sword Leaves Turning Translucent


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Happy Saturday All! 

I have a nutrient deficiency issue and I can't figure out exactly which nutrient I'm lacking. I've looked at the diagram the lovely @Torreyhas posted several times and I'm still stumped. The oldest leaves on my swords are turning translucent and the tips are disintegrating. Here are my stats:

  • pH: steady at 7.6
  • Ammonia levels: 0
  • Nitrite levels: 0
  • Nitrate levels: 40+
  • Hours of lighting per day: 6 (2 hours on with a siesta and then 4 hours on)
  • Lights being used: led that came with the Tetra kit
  • How long the tank has been running: 1 year
  • Dimensions of the tank: 10g
  • The temperature of the tank: 75 degrees
  • Stock is 4 pea puffers
  • Add Easy Root Tabs about once a month, Easy Green liquid at recommended dose for the tank size once a week and potassium at recommended dose once a week
  • Substrate is eco complete topped with gravel

Any thoughts? I tried taking a pic but I'm not the most amazing photographer. I'll try again when the light goes on if needed. Could it be as simple as just adding more root tabs? 

Thanks Nerms! 💕

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On 2/5/2022 at 10:27 AM, Jennifer V said:

Lights being used: led that came with the Tetra kit

I’m not a plant expert I don’t use fertz so am not great with I’d on deficiency. Are you talking about the hood that is black with light in. You may not have enough light to support the plant growth. If the plant itself is new to the tank the translucent description sounds like initial melt that mine go through. 

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On 2/5/2022 at 8:55 AM, Guppysnail said:

I’m not a plant expert I don’t use fertz so am not great with I’d on deficiency. Are you talking about the hood that is black with light in. You may not have enough light to support the plant growth. If the plant itself is new to the tank the translucent description sounds like initial melt that mine go through. 

Yes! The black hood with the small led lights that snap into it. The swords have been in the tank since I set it up last December so a little over a year now. They just recently started growing like crazy, and the new leaves are beautiful but I'm getting this problem with the old leaves. 🤷

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On 2/5/2022 at 10:58 AM, Jennifer V said:

Yes! The black hood with the small led lights that snap into it. The swords have been in the tank since I set it up last December so a little over a year now. They just recently started growing like crazy, and the new leaves are beautiful but I'm getting this problem with the old leaves. 🤷

That sounds like they are consuming the old growth for nutrients then which is beyond my knowledge level to help with. I’m surprised they are growing. I fostered  my nieces tank for 6 months with that hood and couldn’t get anything but Java fern and anubias to grow. Great job!

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On 2/5/2022 at 9:27 AM, Jennifer V said:

Happy Saturday All! 

I have a nutrient deficiency issue and I can't figure out exactly which nutrient I'm lacking. I've looked at the diagram the lovely @Torreyhas posted several times and I'm still stumped. The oldest leaves on my swords are turning translucent and the tips are disintegrating. Here are my stats:

  • pH: steady at 7.6
  • Ammonia levels: 0
  • Nitrite levels: 0
  • Nitrate levels: 40+
  • Hours of lighting per day: 6 (2 hours on with a siesta and then 4 hours on)
  • Lights being used: led that came with the Tetra kit
  • How long the tank has been running: 1 year
  • Dimensions of the tank: 10g
  • The temperature of the tank: 75 degrees
  • Stock is 4 pea puffers
  • Add Easy Root Tabs about once a month, Easy Green liquid at recommended dose for the tank size once a week and potassium at recommended dose once a week
  • Substrate is eco complete topped with gravel

Any thoughts? I tried taking a pic but I'm not the most amazing photographer. I'll try again when the light goes on if needed. Could it be as simple as just adding more root tabs? 

Thanks Nerms! 💕

It sounds like a light deficiency to me.  The lights that come in the hoods are rarely enough light for even the least lowest light needs plant.  I’m wondering if your growth coincided with upping fertilizer, then the plants ran out of light in comparison to the new amounts of ferts.  Those old leaves are goners, they won’t get healthy again so you might as well trim them off at the base.  See if you can increase the lights by opening a curtain, adding lights inside the hood, or even adding lights beside the tank aimed toward it if possible.  If you see a boost in growth, you’ll answer the question with your own, keen eyes and look at how much you’ll learn with that simple step.

If you don’t see a boost in growth (be patient, it isn’t instant), then we’ll know it’s something else.  You may still need to get a better light, but we’ll know we need to look closer at your ferts needs.  I’ll leave that to the amazing brain of @HH Morant.  But we will need pictures of plants and light, too, when you get a chance.

1. Start with more light for at least 2 weeks as long as no plants start melting catastrophically.  If you get some growth of new leaves that looks better over the next 2-4 weeks (and could be longer depending on how much light you can add), then it might be time to consider a purchase when you can.

2. Don’t forget to post pics: full pic of each plant (not just the iffy ones), close up of the damage, and a close up of the bases.  Then a pic of the hood, inside the hood with lights off, then with lights on, pic of the brand and style if it shows or just list brand and style for us if you know it.

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I had a similar issue, and as everyone said it was not enough light.

You can see the milfoil that almost died due to not enough light for the available nutrition, and a watersprite that is taking off under the added light.

16441006351462489750613824536295.jpg.678ea1920ca47dd2f69ffa88de73a8ee.jpg16441006066955502733835332319115.jpg.17f18faae40ee24298c1edf5925a7c2d.jpg

I added a fully submersible Aqueon white light to the inside of the Aqueon lid. I am still tweaking the much brighter lights on their timer, to grow plants and not algae🙄.

The smaller a tank is (this is a 2.5 gallon that grew plants fabulously when I **first** got the tank almost 3 years ago. Now, it needs brighter lights).

Transparent leaves are almost always loss of chlorophyll due to lack of light.

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@Odd Duck @Torrey I think you're totally right, it's a lighting issue, which I don't love but really want to fix. My Tetra 10g kit measures 20 inches wide x 10 inches deep x 12 inches high. I can't find the lighting stats but it's just three small led lights that clip into the top. I didn't really know any better when I set up the tank. I thought lighting was lighting and I'd be able to plant whatever I wanted. Ha! 

I'm looking at the 20 inch Finnex Stingray light that ACO sells. Seems like that would be a nice affordable alternative. At this point, I think anything is better than what I have to l though. Does that mean I need to get a new cover for the tank? Peas are know to jump when they get scared so I absolutely need some kind of cover. And if I do, where do I start as far as finding options? 

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The Finnex Stingray would be a huge upgrade, but even this one from Amazon would make a difference. I have one and it’s surprisingly good for $18. You’ll need some sort of lid but nice glass ones are available at the big box store. If budget allows I’d get the Finnex. It’s what they use at the Aquarium Co-op store, and it makes the fish look great. 

AQUANEAT LED Aquarium Light Full Spectrum Fish Tank Light 12" 20" 24" 30“ 36" 48" Multi-Color Fresh Water Light https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07T9Y7LQ4/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glt_i_R7FEGYBT2BHN77MKNZEV?psc=1
9672383F-1984-4FC3-A9CC-016EF1D2ADD8.png.2e010ad9e0349ef869abb972e8f25476.png

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I’m a cheapskate and the aquaneat lights are fine.  I’ve mostly used beamsworks lights but I think they’re very similar to the aquaneats and it wouldn’t surprise me one bit to find out they’re the same light with a different label on them.  100% agree on a tight cover for peas.  You could get one of those waterproof lights that @Torreymentioned and attach it inside your current cover for now.  I think those are pretty inexpensive, too.  Then save up for fancier light and cover.

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@Odd Duck here are some photos for reference. 

1. Translucent leaves on Amazon sword which is directly under a light. 

2. New leaves on same sword.

3. Lights turned on 

4. Lighted tank.

5. Red flame sword that was doing really poorly so I moved it into a spot with more light. Looks like it might have a new leaf sprouting but I'm not sure. The old leaves look terrible. 

PXL_20220207_014234702.PORTRAIT.jpg

PXL_20220207_014240615.PORTRAIT.jpg

PXL_20220207_014318863.MP.jpg

PXL_20220207_014329388.jpg

PXL_20220207_014348816.MP.jpg

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Yep, I’m certain you need more light.  What else you may (or may not) need remains to be seen, but start by concentrating on ways to get more light for your plants.  Even if it’s just a reading light aimed in from the side until you can buy more/better lights.  It will help stabilize the plants a bit until you can upgrade.

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On 2/7/2022 at 10:14 PM, Jennifer V said:

@Torrey where did you get those? 

In the meantime, I do have a grow light that I use for my succulents that I can reposition for the tank. 

I got one pair from Walmart, and Walmart hasn't had them.since😒

I ordered the other pair online?

I believe that they are from Aqueon, but I can't find the box so I am not sure. 

Get the all white. The multicolored version aren't bright enough to grow plants.

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