View Full Version : Sword Plant issues

11-24-2014, 01:51 AM
Can anyone tell me what is going on with my swords? Everyone of them is doing this in my tank no matter what the variety. They all are starting to look like Madagascar Lace plants. The leaf structure with melting away but the leaf veins are remaing. The balance of the plants in the tank are Vals, Sag, Ludwigia and Cabomba all of which are growing really well and showing no signs of leaf melt or signs if disease. I am dosing with CO2 and my lights are as follows: FOUR 39W 36" 6500K T5 HO lamps & FOUR 39W 36" 650nm T5 HO Lamps by aquatic life. My lights are on 12 hrs a day. This is a planted 220 Discus tank so I keep the temp at 85 degrees. My water is hard well water and the PH runs 7.2-7.4. I have 0 Nitrates when I test and all other water parameters are always normal. I dose regularly with the Flourish brand of ferts


Mog Carns
11-24-2014, 08:10 AM
How long have you had them in the tank, unmoved.

If the plants are recent, trim off the lace and the new leaves should be fine.

What fish and snails are in the tank? Ramshorn and Pond Snails love to eat swords, and many of the barbs and loaches.

If it isn't moved sword syndrome or animal behavior, it is a nutrient issue. Usually with swords, it's iron. Find a small piece of ungalvanized (rusty) iron and stick it down into the substrate right in the root area. That's probably the unconventional fix, but it works.

11-24-2014, 08:30 AM
That's my first thought too, they need fertilizer. Are you dosing all the ferts (Nitrogen, Phosphorous, Potassium and trace elements)? Also, swords get much of their nutrients from the substrate. I put a tablet of fertilizer near their roots every once in a while. You might want to try that?

Larry Bugg
11-24-2014, 09:35 AM
Drop your temp. 82 is ideal for discus.

11-24-2014, 10:18 AM
I am dosing with the entire line of Flourish products. The swords have been there since the auction in Sept and have been growing great (Even had to thin out the leaves some) I have a few pond snails that I crush during water changes. I have one Gold Nugget Pleco and two Adonis Plecos and more Nerite snails than I care to admit. The Algae squad is SAE's, Nerites and shrimp. Have no complains about the algae so at least that is working. I'm doing a water change today so I'll trim out all the bad leaves, kill more snails and place root tabs under the root structures of the Swords. I don't have any rusty nails handy but I can certainly get some of those started if that's a good fix for an iron deficiency. Thank you all for the advice. I'll keep you posted.

11-24-2014, 10:20 AM
Larry I was told to crank the temps up in order to bring up their metabolism and bring out their colors. Is this not necessary?

Larry Bugg
11-24-2014, 11:41 AM
Larry I was told to crank the temps up in order to bring up their metabolism and bring out their colors. Is this not necessary?

There is a train of thought out there that higher temps will increase the metabolism. Never heard anything about bringing out colors. Most discus won't start showing their true patterns and colors until they start maturing. I know a lot of breeders that keep the temp of their tanks at 82 no matter what age the discus are. Mine are all at 82.

As Ken pointed out, Swords feed mainly through their roots. They get very little nutrition through their leaves. This is why he recommended root tabs.

11-24-2014, 01:41 PM
Zero nitrates in a planted tank is a sign you are not fertilizing enough. Try dosing Iron (liquid or powder) and save your nails. Are you dosing magnesium?

11-24-2014, 02:00 PM
I dose with Iron regularly but not with Magnesium. I'll pick some up at my LFS and give it a try. Turning my temps down may settle my other fish down a bit too. They are looking a little hot but was doing that for the discus.

11-24-2014, 03:12 PM
Seachem Equilibrium contains magnesium, so does Epsom salts. I add Equilibium after every water change, which is 50% every week. Measure your GH and KH, they should be the same, 3 - 6 DH is about right. I add 1 tbs Equilibrium for 55 gallon tank and it brings my GH to 6 DH. Magnesium is used for iron uptake by the plants.

11-24-2014, 04:31 PM
Are you dosing enough potassium? Potassium deficiency can cause holes in plants also. You would probably see it in crypts first.

11-24-2014, 06:14 PM
I've heard of plecos eating plants. I'd watch them to see if they're eating the leaves

11-24-2014, 07:58 PM
I did a water change today and dosed with ferts and put root tabs under all the swords after picking off 90% of the decaying leaves. Looks pretty bare in the tank without the big Swords but I would rather get rid of the dying leaves than have the plants waste energy trying to supply nutrients and energy to leaves that are a lost cause. My local fish store didn't have any Magnesium so I'm hunting for some online tonight. I hope this works.