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Old 10-12-2019, 03:33 PM   #1
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Amazon sword dying

My Amazon sword that I've had for a few months can't seem to keep leaves.
Every time I find a bad leaf I clip it off and a new one grows a new one and it also started to die.
I feed it root tabs, I tried adjusting the lights (more and less).
Am I doing something wrong? What can I do to help?
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Old 10-12-2019, 07:41 PM   #2
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Did you just buy it? Many aquarium plants are raised out of the water, called emersed. This is done because there are benefits for the vender. The plant grows more quickly with co2 from the environment, there is no algae to worry about, and they can use natural light (Florida is one of the places they grow these plants). The can also pack more plants into a smaller area. Okay, so you bought the plant. Was it underwater? Sometimes you can get a plant from a fish shop that is submerged. When a plant is submersed, (especially a rosette plant-like amazon sword), it loses its above-water leaves and transitions into a below-water plant. So what you are seeing is the transition from a terrestrial plant into an aquatic plant. In many places where these plants grow, they have rainy cycles, and then dry cycles. A lot of these plants have the ability to "die" and become the above or below water kind. This is what you are experiencing but you don't know it. So you need to just take the OLD dead leaves off and you will eventually see small leaves coming from the middle. They will grow, slowly, but then in a few months, you will have a brand new plant. This should be a picture of one of the swords in my tank. I got it as a tiny plant, and it is the size of a cabbage now. It took about a year to grow this big, sorry to say. Yeah, you need to be patient. Sorry it is sideways. I am just figuring out pictures here. Click image for larger version

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Old 10-12-2019, 07:47 PM   #3
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Like I said in my original post, I bought it a few months ago. It was completely submerged when I bought it. It's still dying, regrowing and dying every time it grows a new leaf.
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Old 10-13-2019, 06:51 AM   #4
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So the inner leaves are dying? Many stores will put it underwater, but that does not mean it was grown emersed. If the outer leaves are the leaves that are dying, it is okay. The inner leaves it is bad. Also, those are emersed leaves. The leave forms are different for a plant that has grown under water. They are longer, and sword shaped, and not on a long stem like that. So even if it was underwater in the store, that does not mean its leaves have turned over.
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Old 10-13-2019, 07:14 AM   #5
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It's the outer leaves doing it but it doesn't have many leaves to begin with. So how long will it do this before it looks nice?
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Old 10-13-2019, 03:13 PM   #6
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As mentioned above, those are the old leaves. Thatís what the emersed leaves look like. Eventually it will grow new leaves.
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Old 10-14-2019, 12:13 PM   #7
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Hello Sara...

A sword will benefit from large, weekly water changes to replenish the minerals it needs for good health. Root tabs are the standard means of feeding plants that need to go into the bottom material. Up your water changes and change the root tabs if needed. Lighting is pretty simple. I use a four bulb fixture with 32 watt, T8s, 6500K. The setup is available at the local hardware store for around 40 dollars.

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Old 10-14-2019, 09:02 PM   #8
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It will happen. Using root tabs might help the new emersed growth, but the leaves will all melt. Have you tried Crypts? They melt for any change at all. Growing underwater plants requires patience and a whole new way of looking at plants. If you have a place to put a second tank, like a 10 gallon, you might be able to put plants in it during their "ugly stage," when they transition to underwater plants. I'm getting a 24$ crypt in the mail soon. You will see a lot of crying from me when that thing melts. But I know it will come back. By the way, do not plant it too deeply (make sure the growing base where the roots come out is at the top of the "soil line.")
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