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Old 12-02-2023, 09:47 PM   #1
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Amazon swords problems

My swords are melting and looking for advice. 40 gal, low tech planted tank 9 months old, fluval stratum base, gravel cap, ph 7.4, gh 7, kh 4, nitrates 5. I added root tabs 1 month ago. I have brilliant Rasboras, dwarf emerald Rasboras, Amano shrimp, neocaridina shrimp, nerite and mystery snails and cown pleco.
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Old 12-03-2023, 05:23 AM   #2
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How long have you had the plant? Leaf melt is normal as the plant transitions from emersed growth to submerged growth.

Commercially grown plants are cultivated “emersed” rather than “submerged”. This way the plants can easily get their carbon requirement from atmospheric CO2. They can be grown quicker which makes the operation much more commercially viable. You take that plant, put it in your aquarium, cut off its source of CO2 and the plant goes into survival mode. It starts to use up its stored carbon and the leafs melt. You may lose all your original growth to melt but new leafs will have a structure more suited to its new environment and get its carbon from the water. Plant melt is a normal stage in aquarium plant growth. To judge the health of a plant look for new growth rather than what might be happening to the original growth, and judge it over extended periods of time.

Your KH is a little low. Low demand plants in low tech setups use KH for their carbon needs instead of CO2. You could try and up the KH by buffering the water, but that might not suit the fish you keep. Rasboras for instance prefer softer, acidic, water, but could probably be ok with the KH a little higher.

Your nitrate is a little low too. Plants need nitrogen, and most of these commonly kept aquatic plants get their nitrogen from nitrate. You normally want to keep nitrate at around 20ppm in low tech planted tanks, ive seen recommendations for as high as 80ppm. You could try cutting back on your water changes, see if that gets your nitrate up, if it doesnt help with nitrate then a plant fertiliser with a good amount of nitrogen in there will help. NA Thrive if its available where you live. We get TNC complete here in the UK. There are others, tropica does a fertiliser that contains nitrogen as well, Aquarium Co Op too. Most fertilisers dont have nitrogen in it, as its perceived to drive algae growth. Remember that nitrate is good for plants, but bad for fish, so its a balance about enough for the plants, but not too much for the fish. From recollection, the recommended dose of thrive will increase nitrate by 6ppm, so you would need 2 doses to get you up towards 20ppm and then whatever redosing is needed to keep it up there.

The thing is not to do too much at once. Change something, observe your plants over a month or 2. You then know that what you did caused that effect, good, bad or neither, and can then adjust as needed or try something else. And, not every plant will do well in every set up. If amazon swords dont work in yours, then dont keep amazon swords. Its better to keep plants that suit your particular aquarium, and stop trying to keep plants that dont. Ive got a couple of thriving low tech planted set ups, and ive lost count of the plants that simply didnt work for me and where removed.
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Old 12-03-2023, 06:23 PM   #3
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