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Dwarf Chain Sword Struggling


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So I have a couple of struggling dwarf chain swords in a 55G with Fluval Plant 3.0 light (setting below).  I also have amazon swords and some crypts that are doing well.  The light settings are attached here.  I use Easy Green twice per week and a good amount of Root tabs about once per month.  My nitrates are running about 25 regularly.  So why are the dwarf chain struggling (pictures below)?  They are kind of small and not very green.   Too much light?  Too little light?  Not enough fertilizer?  They’ve been in there for about 6 months.  

In my 20L they are doing well.  Very green and spreading. 






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To me that looks like in the pic on the top new growth. It looks like the plant melted back and has regrew that portion you have circled. If it were me I would ask what’s different about the tank they are growing well in and make the adjustment. They prob could benefit from a bit more fertilizer as you are dialing things in. Are they being shaded by another plant doing well? I have a similar thing going on in a 40 of mine and a 29 but it’s due to being shaded. Could be a number of factors I suppose but through process of elimination you can dial it in I would try first making sure they are actually receiving adequate light and not being shaded by another plant or algae. Then I would try adding root tabs underneath them and monitoring water parameters and go from there. 

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It could be too much light. I've heard that they grow smaller under high light. https://aquariumbreeder.com/pygmy-chain-sword-care-guide-planting-growing-and-propagation/

I would also increase your pink light and decrease your blue light. Blue light encourages more compact growth and red light encourages more robust growth. I would do a shorter night period (I like 30 minutes) with 1% blue instead of 7% https://www.canr.msu.edu/news/green_light_is_it_important_for_plant_growth

I might also shoot for higher nitrates. I personally aim for 50ppm. I would dose easy green one to twice per day until I hit 50ppm, then go back to your regular dosing schedule. https://www.aquariumcoop.com/blogs/faqs/why-is-easy-green-raising-my-nitrate-level

The last thing I would do, is add some additional algae eaters to help keep the leaves clean. I use ottos and nerite snails. Mystery snails are also very good IMO.

I had been struggling with my chain swords also. Here is how they looked in early January. 20230102_174124.jpg.fe7a86f0e850474855581339621e6550.jpg

I didn't like how they looked so I decided to do a massive trimming of all the poor looking growth. Here they are on January 8th.20230108_181145.jpg.734c4deabf28cc47ff12c4a0bd139450.jpg

Now here is how they look today, less than a month later!


I also dose Easy Green twice per week (4 squirts). And root tabs once per month. I also dose easy iron once per month for my red plants (not sure if this helps the chain swords or not). Depending on what crypts you have (like wendtii red), you could potentially add iron and it might help your chain swords.

Here are the light setting I use. This is a 29g tall tank (18 inches high) so you may want slightly more light since your tank is slightly taller.Screenshot_20230204_123326_FluvalSmart.jpg.22ab22251f14eeced3e853ec82a537d8.jpg

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Thank you for the replies @Ninjoma @CJs Aquatics.  Below is a picture of the whole tank.  I suppose the amazon swords are shading the chain swords a bit, but probably not too much.  I've been trimming the big ones back anyway.  My crypts are Crypt Lucens.  I just adjusted my settings by increasing the red to 95%, dropping the day time blue to 5%, and the night time blue to 1%.  Also, the night cycle is just 30 minutes now, instead of two hours.  Perhaps that will control the algae back too, which has bloomed out:  both black, green, and diatom types.  The Fluval 3.0 is new for us, since October or so, and the algae blooms are new since then.  I think the blue light maybe as you suggest is the culprit.  I do dose with Easy Iron, twice per week.  I thought that would be good for the chain swords and lucens.  I'll start with the light changes here first (for parameter control), but maintain Easy Green and Iron, and Root Tabs at the same rate for now.  As for Nerites, we have 6 or 7, but they've gotten pretty sluggish following an Expel-P treatment round for camallanus worms in the Angelfish (about 6 weeks ago).  I am planning on adding a bunch of Otos, but first have to setup and cycle out my quarantine tank for them, so it will be 5 or 6 weeks at least before we can add them.  In the meantime, will monitor following these light setting changes first.




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