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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I bought a new swordplant about 1 or 2 months ago, and it quickly grew strong roots and alot of new leaves. They have shorter stems than the original ones, but the leaf part is longer, though narrower.
The most recent leaves, however, have been a paler green. Is this because of iron deficiency? The older leaves are beginning to collect algae.
I have about 1-1/2 or 2 inches of plain gravel, and I put a couple Flourish tabs around the sword plant. Is it time to add another Flourish tab, or should I stick some clay balls in the gravel? If I were starting over, I'd consider flourite or laterite, but would prefer not to redo the gravel now, unless there is an easy way.
Tank is 29 gallons and has two 20-watt florescent tubes. My last two swordplants failed without the Flourish tabs. The anibus nana is doing fine. Any advice would be appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I bought a new swordplant about 1 or 2 months ago, and it quickly grew strong roots and alot of new leaves. They have shorter stems than the original ones, but the leaf part is longer, though narrower.
The most recent leaves, however, have been a paler green. Is this because of iron deficiency? The older leaves are beginning to collect algae.
I have about 1-1/2 or 2 inches of plain gravel, and I put a couple Flourish tabs around the sword plant. Is it time to add another Flourish tab, or should I stick some clay balls in the gravel? If I were starting over, I'd consider flourite or laterite, but would prefer not to redo the gravel now, unless there is an easy way.
Tank is 29 gallons and has two 20-watt florescent tubes. My last two swordplants failed without the Flourish tabs. The anibus nana is doing fine. Any advice would be appreciated.
 

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When I raised sword plants in plain gravel I used Flourish tab and 13-4-5 fertilizer sticks cut into thirds. I got them at Ace hardware and I have seen them at Lowe's. Their really cheap. Flourish tabs are ok but they don't have Iron. Sword plants need lots of Iron and potassium, plus they need this at their roots. All thou they will use some from the water column they are heavy root feeder. Where as the Anubias you have will fed from the water column. These tab should last for 3-4 months. Make sure you get them pushed as far down in the substrate as you can. If they leak into the water column it could cause algae.

Most sword plants you buy at the fish store are grown emerged. These leaves are longer with longer stems. Your new leaves will grow shorter and wider as you can see on your new leaves. If you are all ready getting signs of algae on your older leaves, you should test your water and see what you water parameters are and start water changes before it gets out of control.

Hawk
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I have an additional question on my swordplant. Will it thrive indefinitely with just fertilizer addeded to the gravel? Or do I need to replace the gravel with an underlayer of laterite or flourite? I would rather not take this step because of the mess involved. BTW, the Flourish tabs now do contain iron. It's listed in the ingredients. Maybe the old ones didn't. Thanks for your advice and suggestions.
 

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You should be able to without any problems. I kept swords in a 55gal tank over 3 years with just plain gravel. I used Flourish tabs and 13-4-5 plant sticks cut into thirds. On small swords I just used one or two pieces as they grew bigger I would use three to five. Just make sure you put them as deep as you can and don't move your plants around. If you disturb the tabs you could cause a algae bloom. Plus if you want nice big swords you have to leave them alone. If conditions are just right you can have fully grown swords in about five months.

Hawk
 

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I don't find light to be a big issue with swords at all. In fact, less light I find is better because they don't become giant monsters nearly as fast. You don't have much room in a 29g... A fully grown sword plant will easily choke a tank this small, so modest light is best


The nicest Amazon Swords I ever grew was under incandescant lighting in laterite and gravel. That was years ago. Of course, I don't recommend incandescent light... This was actually a 29g tank as well.

Flourite and peat also grows *killer* sword plants. I took a red rubin out of a 46BF that had nearly a hundred leaves and was 2 feet tall and it got that way in about 8 months from a 5-6 leaved runt. Brought up half the substrate with it, hehe.
 

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I know i`m not suppose to post on someone else post,but is 13-4-5 the same as miracle-gro sticks and will they hurt my fish?thanks
 

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I don't think the miracle-gro are the same as 13-4-5. I think they have a higher PO4 value. What you want is low PO4. Job's sticks is another brand name that has 13-4-5. The Job's sticks are for palms and ferns I think. Someone help me out here. Its been years since I have used them.

Hawk
 

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Those sticks don't work that great, and woe betide someone who uproots one. It's really better to dose chemical macros through the water column.

But, yes, it is Jobe's plant food spikes for lush ferns and palms which aquarists seem to prefer for low PO4 value. Frankly, PO4 values would be the very least of my concerns in the substrate. The vast majority of it will be bound in the substrate anyway. N is a bigger problem IMO, especially the urea based stuff they put in the terrestrial ferts.

They might hurt your fish, but probably not. Don't uproot them and you'll be fine. If you use too much, or uproot a freshly buried one, you MIGHT cause a lethal NH4 spike. Less is more in this case, I'd say.

I don't know anyone who continues to use these things in the modern aquarium. Too many safer, more easily controlled, faster acting products out there.

Hope this helps
 

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Before I switched to a Flourite substrate I used Aquarium Pharmaceuticals' Root Tabs plus Iron. They seemed to work well... too well 'cause any time I would top and replant some of my stem plants the roots would have worked their way to the root tabs and I would wind up pulling up some of the root tabs along with the lower stems & roots, definately something to watch out for if you are going to use Jobes or similar product.
As a matter of fact I could never find the Jobes spikes for Lush Ferns and Palms and the cost of the root tabs was not much more than the Jobes spikes...

Fred
 
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