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The main nutrients needed are:Nitrates,phosphates,potassium & micros. Leaf zone only contains potassium & iron. You also need a carbon source such as Seachem Excel or C02 injection.

Since swords get most of their nutrients through their roots they will greatly benifit from a root tab stuck near their root system.

Here is a nutrient dificiency chart that will help you understand what nutrients are lacking... http://www.csd.net/~cgadd/aqua/art_plant_nutrient.htm

Another over looked need for plants is lighting. Make sure you have enough light for the plants you have & the correct K rating bulbs. For swords you will need at least 2 watts per gallon or 110 watts for a 55G tank. As for bulbs any where between 5500k-10000k will work.

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What is the wattage on those bulbs?

I don't think you need to change the substrate out, however I don't have any experince with kitty litter.

If your lighting is where it needs to be, then look into getting a fert routine going with the proper nutrients I listed in my previous post.
 
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