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Old 02-17-2012, 05:20 PM   #1
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High Tech Planted Questions

So I have two Amazon Swords that are starting to have some problems. The progression of the problem starts with a brown spot appearing, then it speads over the whole leaf, then the entire leaf and stem turns yellow, then it turns transparent. Some of the other leaves on the sword are forming little tiny holes and look kind of bubbly (if that makes sense). Someone told me that this was due to an Iron overdose which I find a little hard to believe. I have also put a root tab near each sword. I have Flourish but haven't really been using it because i don't know what to do. All other plants in my tank are doing great. There are some more details below. I will try to get some pictures once I get home from work.

Tank:
67g (36L X 18W X 24H)

Substrate:
Combo of black gravel and Flourite

Lights:
wave point triple T5HO 36" (6500K)

Plants:
Dwarf Sag
Wisteria
Java Fern
Amazon Sword
Didiplis Diandra

Ferts:
Flourish (only used occasionally)
API CO2 Booster (used daily)

I just don't want to start loosing my plants! Thanks for the help in advance!

Edit: This tank is also in the process of doing a fish in cycle (currently only a clown pleco,2 peppered cory, 2 platys, 1 small ramshorn snail, and 1 nerite snail). I'm using Seachem Stability to help with the cycle.

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Old 02-17-2012, 07:24 PM   #2
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Here are some pics. Sorry for the fuzzyness, there's algea on the glass.
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Old 02-18-2012, 12:13 AM   #3
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From my experience with swords, it actually sounds like a lack of iron or potassium. Their leaves will yellow out with spots. Having said that, your substrate and lights sound good. Maybe try dosing flourish 2 week. Are the plants relatively new? They need to adjust to your tank parameters. Some of my leaves underneath are wrinkled but the overall plants doing well. Try giving them time. Hope I helped.
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Old 02-18-2012, 02:12 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by mohican
From my experience with swords, it actually sounds like a lack of iron or potassium. Their leaves will yellow out with spots. Having said that, your substrate and lights sound good. Maybe try dosing flourish 2 week. Are the plants relatively new? They need to adjust to your tank parameters. Some of my leaves underneath are wrinkled but the overall plants doing well. Try giving them time. Hope I helped.
Thanks for the help the plants have been in the tank for about a month. Do you think I should get the flourish iron? Right now I just have the regular flourish which doesn't contain much if any iron if I remember correctly.
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Old 02-18-2012, 09:53 AM   #5
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Sure. I dosed with iron, still try to. Just trim off the bad leaves and hopefully they'll come around. Mine are never perfect but still produce new leaves so I know they're doing well.
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Old 02-18-2012, 11:01 AM   #6
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Just looked at your pics and I see what's wrong my friend. Amazon swords and most of the plants available unless grown by another hobbyist are grown emersed in plant nurseries . (see link) http://www.freshwateraquariumplants....ntsgrowth.html. After you trim off the emersed growth the plant will soon start to put out submerged more desirable growth. I've been to a plant nursery in Florida before and it's really interesting the differences in emersed/submersed growth between species how dramatic the changes can be. Some look like two totally different plants(ex. Cardinal plant, lobelia cardinalis). The plant puts alot of energy into saving the dying leaves so get rid of them so the plant can focus on the growth you want
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Old 02-18-2012, 03:16 PM   #7
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Check your nitrate levels and tell us what they are. You have some fast growing plants, low bioload, and high light. It's entirely possible that the fast growing stems are sucking up the nitrates, leaving very little behind for the slower growing plants.
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Old 02-18-2012, 06:54 PM   #8
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Check your nitrate levels and tell us what they are. You have some fast growing plants, low bioload, and high light. It's entirely possible that the fast growing stems are sucking up the nitrates, leaving very little behind for the slower growing plants.
So this test was taken about 15 min ago. Looks like 7.4/0/0/0 to me.
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Old 02-18-2012, 08:14 PM   #9
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Did you shake he crap out of your nitrate test kit first?

Barring that, thats your problem. Nitrogen deprivation causes old growth to first turn yellow, and then melt. It can also cause stunting or small growth.
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Old 02-18-2012, 08:24 PM   #10
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Did you shake he crap out of your nitrate test kit first?

Barring that, thats your problem. Nitrogen deprivation causes old growth to first turn yellow, and then melt. It can also cause stunting or small growth.
Yeah i dont think i could have shaken it any more. Its a new tank so it is still cycling. Once i can get this tank cycled will everything level out?

Is there anything I can use to help supplement the nitrogen until the tank stabalizes?
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Old 02-18-2012, 09:21 PM   #11
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I'm not a huge fan of the premade fertilizers you buy from stores (Fluorish, Pro Plant, etc) because in the end they are mostly just water and a quarter worth of actual ferts. Because you have high light and some carbon supplementation, you're going to meed a lot of ferts. I recommend buying a dry ferts package, which will come with everything you'll need to make your own fertilizer solution. That way you can dose to whatever level you like whenever you like.
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Old 02-19-2012, 12:01 AM   #12
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I'm not a huge fan of the premade fertilizers you buy from stores (Fluorish, Pro Plant, etc) because in the end they are mostly just water and a quarter worth of actual ferts. Because you have high light and some carbon supplementation, you're going to meed a lot of ferts. I recommend buying a dry ferts package, which will come with everything you'll need to make your own fertilizer solution. That way you can dose to whatever level you like whenever you like.
I can do that for sure! I'd prefer to have more control over that type of stuff actually. Do you have any recommended kits or advice on what i should look for. This is completely uncharted territory for me so any advice is more than welcome!
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Old 02-19-2012, 12:28 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Discusapisto
Just looked at your pics and I see what's wrong my friend. Amazon swords and most of the plants available unless grown by another hobbyist are grown emersed in plant nurseries . (see link) http://www.freshwateraquariumplants....ntsgrowth.html. After you trim off the emersed growth the plant will soon start to put out submerged more desirable growth. I've been to a plant nursery in Florida before and it's really interesting the differences in emersed/submersed growth between species how dramatic the changes can be. Some look like two totally different plants(ex. Cardinal plant, lobelia cardinalis). The plant puts alot of energy into saving the dying leaves so get rid of them so the plant can focus on the growth you want
So you were correct about this. I talked to the lfs where I got them and they get the plants from a nursery that grows 90% of their stuff emersed.
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Old 02-19-2012, 12:47 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by skywhitney

So you were correct about this. I talked to the lfs where I got them and they get the plants from a nursery that grows 90% of their stuff emersed.
I see it all the time, sad thing is people pass on the plants because they think they are dying but in fact they are transitioning over to submerged growth. Just a side note I use liquid and dry ferts with great results but dry ferts are way cheaper in the long run when your dosing daily like I do.
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Old 02-19-2012, 05:19 PM   #15
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Just a side note I use liquid and dry ferts with great results but dry ferts are way cheaper in the long run when your dosing daily like I do.
I noticed that when I was doing some pricing last night. I'm pretty sure I have a couple issues going on, the switch to submerged growth and a pretty bad nitrogen deficiency. The swords are showing the most visible signs but overall I'm not showing growth to the extent I should be on any of the plants. I've also noticed that my tank hasn't shown any signs of cycling which initially started me questioning what was going on.

I'm really interested in the dry ferts so do you have any recommendations as to where I can get a good kit and/or resources to teach me more about it?
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Old 02-22-2012, 03:10 AM   #16
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Just got the "Green Fertilizer Package: Micros & Macros" from Green Leaf Aquariums. Dry ferts will be an adventure!

I've been trimming off the leaves that have melted...i should do this correct?
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Old 02-22-2012, 08:32 AM   #17
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Just got the "Green Fertilizer Package: Micros & Macros" from Green Leaf Aquariums. Dry ferts will be an adventure!

I've been trimming off the leaves that have melted...i should do this correct?
Dry ferts are so wonderful you'll see results with that stuff trust me. When trimming sword leaves I peel off the dying ones, that way it makes sure you don't leave a cut portion behind to rot.
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Old 02-23-2012, 11:58 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Discusapisto

Dry ferts are so wonderful you'll see results with that stuff trust me. When trimming sword leaves I peel off the dying ones, that way it makes sure you don't leave a cut portion behind to rot.
Im trimming the dead stems as close to the substrate as i can. My ferts should be here on the 28th so in the mean time i have questions!
[*] Are there any other water quality tests i need to make sure im not overdosing/underdosing? [*] how do i figure how much of each fert i will need?[*] what, if any, are the advantages/disadvantages to either dosing dry directly into the tank or premixing into a liquid form?

I dont want my lack of knowledge in this to have a negative impact on the fish
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Old 02-23-2012, 12:40 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by skywhitney

Im trimming the dead stems as close to the substrate as i can. My ferts should be here on the 28th so in the mean time i have questions!
[*] Are there any other water quality tests i need to make sure im not overdosing/underdosing?[*] how do i figure how much of each fert i will need?[*] what, if any, are the advantages/disadvantages to either dosing dry directly into the tank or premixing into a liquid form?

I dont want my lack of knowledge in this to have a negative impact on the fish
All excellent questions! To answer questions 1 & 2 kinda jointly I'm not familiar with that particular brand of dry ferts I use a different company but they should include a dosing chart and formulations with it. So following their dosage recommendation start off on the low end of dosing and monitor your fish and plants. If your fish show signs of any stress (which they shouldn't) you know your doing something wrong. As far as the plants go adjust ferts to their needs it takes a bit of playing around to get it right because different plants have diff nutrient needs(some like more potassium some like more nitrogen, etc,etc) the key is to find a good balance all species can thrive at without hurting one or the other. Now on to question three which just came up last week at my local plant club meeting and had the room of 60 club members split down the middle both with good points. I myself am on team don't dump it in on top of your fish. This Is because every tank I own which according to my wife is plenty, I have hungry mouths at the surface waiting or watching for food or to see what I'm up to. And I for the life of me can't understand how dumping pretty strong dry chemicals on those awaiting mouths is any good for them. I've never tried it and never will I premixed them in a little bowl of tank water before I add it in at different increments. Now my best friend of 31 years and who is a marine biologist dumps tons of ferts on top of his fish seen it with my own eyes(he doesn't aim for them on purpose but it gets all over them) now I've never witnessed instant death of his fish but he loses more than anyone I've ever seen. He styles all of his tanks after Amano with pressurized co2 and plants are primary to him fish secondary which in his set ups is understandable. But I don't believe in pointless fish losses and he does weekly 50% wc's and has lightly stocked tanks usually one large group of schooling fish (again Amano style) and feeds twice a day every other day. Ive tested his tanks myself water is perfect. He asks me why they die I tell him I think it's chemical damage he just shrugs and buys more so this is just my experience,in all of his low tech non dosing tanks no fish loss in his fishroom. So for me personal experience is none greater I'm sure theres all kinds of facts we can throw into this debate but I've checked every possible phenomenon behind this and half the group in my club meeting have seen similar experiences so it's deff a fun debate trust me. Just another one of those grey areas in fish keeping **** if you do **** if you dont.
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Old 02-23-2012, 01:52 PM   #20
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I just drop my ferts in dry. I've seen fish come up and take a chunk of ferts, and then they spit it back out, because it tastes horrible. No damage done. They would have to swallow it first, in which case the fish would go the way Darwin intended him to go...

When you say premixing, do you mean making your own pseudo-Flourish solution or do you mean mixing the day's ferts into a portion of tank water and then dumping that?

Test kits? .... I would get a nitrate test kit for sure, but otherwise that should be it. They make a phsophate test kit, but I would wager that it's mostly a waste in FW.

As far as actual dosing goes, that would really depend on the tank's demands. That's something that you will need to get a feel for yourself. Many of the fert dosing regimens that you'll see (ie EI) depend heavily on carbon, relying on it to be in excess in many cases. It will probably be the limiting factor in your tank.

I've never heard of stressing fish out from dosing ferts, but I suppose you would see something like that in tanks with really nitrate sensitive fish *cough* Discus *cough*
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