In answer to posts
Actually we do try to convert sword plants to submerged growth from emersed before they are purchased. When customers get these emersed growth swords and the emersed leaves start to disintegrate as new submerged leaves begin to grow if we forget to tell the customer they think they have obtained a bad sword. We recently had a slowdown in growth in our nursery in many tanks. I was somewhat perplexed and so set about to test those tanks for all parameters including GH, KH, PH, nitrate levels, phosphate levels, iron levels etc. What I found astounded me. Nitrate, phosphate and iron levels were all at zero for all of the tanks in question. Potassium levels were low as well. We do individual nutrient dosing with the Botanica line by Kent, as well as the Seachem line in some instances. By dosing those nutrients in the tanks in question growth is again beginning to happen. All of our nusery tanks are heavily planted and so use larger quantities of nutrients than an average planted tank. We just were not giving them enough of those nutrients and so there is a good lesson to be learned. For a guy who doses by sight, I completely missed the boat. Believe me, I have changed my thinking on that and will be testing on a regular basis to optimize growth parameters. I was also surprised at the GH, KH, and PH readings in some of those tanks. PH ranged from 6.0 to 7.5 when we thought we had them equalized due to standardized water change and CO2 practices. We use gas CO2 in most all of our tanks, but a few we use Natural Aquarium Vital, a fairly new product, which is quite a surprise for us as this product produces lush growth, and Seachem's Excel which we have used for years with great results. Some of the tanks we feed CO2 gas directly into the filter, others we use diffusors in. What surprised me was the filter fed tanks surpassed the diffused tanks in terms of CO2 in solution. So bottom line; testing on a fairly regular basis can help head off problems in your aquariums.
For Gnome; yes I remember the auction, hello and glad to see you here!