Holey Swords Batman!

Detritus Mulm

Guru Class Expert
Jun 12, 2005
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My Swords were doing quite well until about a month ago, perhaps a little too well. They actually need replacing, as they've doubled over and are heading for the bottom of the tank.

But then they stopped getting new leaves and the existing leaves started getting transparent and holey. I add Phophates, Excel and Traces (15 ml) each week. I occaisonally add KNO3, but Nitrates never seem to be an issue.

I decided to test the Iron levels today (post WC) and the FE levels were essentially zero. I added 25 ml of Traces and tested again, the FE was about .05 now. Based on these numbers I should be adding about 50 ml of Traces a week? Does this seem like too much? They are planted in Fluorite BTW and gets lots of CO2.

TIA
 

Tom Barr

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Staff member
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Jan 23, 2005
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Re: Holey Swords Batman!

How big is the tank?

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

dschmeh

Prolific Poster
Re: Holey Swords Batman!

ive had that happen swords are heavy root feeders i put in root tab and its taking over the tank again leaves are nice and green not yellowing with holes.
Cut off the unhealthy leaves they wont recover. This will allow the plant to produce new healty leaves faster.
 

Tom Barr

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Jan 23, 2005
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Re: Holey Swords Batman!

Well here's a classic reason folks think they are heavy reoot feeders, they don't care where the nutrients are from, and when you add a sword plant that, doubles, triples, takes over the entire 2/3 rds of a tank, do you think it needs the same NO3, dosing rate etc as it might when it's 2-4X as big?

No..........folks say these plants are root feeders, this si simply not true, I've added ferts and watch these plants remove them at very fast rates and grow wonderfully with nothing more than plain sand.

Did this for 15 years.

Adding back up when they get much larger isd not bad idea, but it does not mean they are particularly a "root feeder" vs a water column feeder, they can and will do both, one or the other.

There is no specificity to the location of the ferts, just that there is enough to maintain a growth rate for a given biomass which increases very rapidly.

The same applies to Crypts.

You should probably add more PO4, KNO3, trim off the outer leaves good. Swords get very big very fast, I suggest switching to Crypts and using them as they offer a more manageable growth rate and size class.

Regards,
Tom Barr