• Get the NEW AquariaCentral iOS app --> http://itunes.apple.com/app/id1227181058 // Android version will be out soon!

Amazon Swordplant problem

I would firstly worry about your nitrates being zero. Plants will need some form of Nitrogen and if I'm remembering correctly it's one element that Flourish does not provide.

If the lighting worked in the past, and nothing has changed, I would not worry too much about that, but details would be an OK thing.. personally I prefer to control the light and only have the aquarium lit artifically, so I can control the amount and the time it is lit.. but if something changed, a tree grew, curtains were changed, or whatever that may have a bearing. Maybe share details of the artificial lights... it may be possible that bulbs could need to be changed.

Also pay attention to the amount of space taken in the substrate by the roots of the swords, In my experience they can get pretty darn big, and may just reach a point where there is no more room for them.

But honestly, I suspect your problem is the nitrates being 0, maybe try changing fertilizer to something more comprehensive, like Thrive or something like that.
 

Harold Petrak

AC Members
So, your tank lights are only on for 3 or 4 hours? That seems too low for most plant growth IME. I low tech but my lights are on for 6-8 hours. Window light can reduce the plants needs... but that still seems low to me.

I agree with FF (Joel), your plants need minerals not available in RO/DI water. But salt is not great either. Can you bypass your water softener for water changes (it may be outside or in your basement)?

That pre-softener water may be colder than your tank & fish would appreciate. Some people in your situation use a (heavy duty) trash can & heat it before using it for water changing. Thankfully I haven't had to do that.

Also changing fert tabs every month seems too frequent, they should last 3 or 4 months even for heavy feeding swords.
 

Harold Petrak

AC Members
So, your tank lights are only on for 3 or 4 hours? That seems too low for most plant growth IME. I low tech but my lights are on for 6-8 hours. Window light can reduce the plants needs... but that still seems low to me.

I agree with FF (Joel), your plants need minerals not available in RO/DI water. But salt is not great either. Can you bypass your water softener for water changes (it may be outside or in your basement)?

That pre-softener water may be colder than your tank & fish would appreciate. Some people in your situation use a (heavy duty) trash can & heat it before using it for water changing. Thankfully I haven't had to do that.

Also changing fert tabs every month seems too frequent, they should last 3 or 4 months even for heavy feeding swords.
 

Harold Petrak

AC Members
Once again I appreciate your input. If I leave the tank lights on longer I get rapid algae growth. What is your opinion of Active Flora-planted aquarium substrate.
I removed my plecostomus because I thought it was chewing on the leaves, but even with the fish removed there are still holes in the leaves. I took the fish out of the tank 2weeks ago saved 30gallons of the water, cleaned the gravel by agitating it as I pumped out the remaining water. I picked out two plants to keep and gave the others away. I removed the damaged leaves--cleaned all the algae out of the tank. Replanted two of the plants, filled it with the 30 gallons I reserved and 20 gallons of fresh water.
The plants have new holes and algae growth on them. I have always used water from a dispenser at our local Publix/Walmart. Had no problems until 6 months ago. Even though I had multiple Swords in the tank they grew like weeds.
I live in Florida and my tank is on our Lanai which faces East. It gets10/11 hrs of strong daylight. My light which I purchased from a local fish store for a substantial amount is supposedly state of the art. I can try my local water, I can get it before it goes through the softener. Again Thanks for listening and for your suggestions
 
What is your opinion of Active Flora-planted aquarium substrate.
No personal experience, but their web page claims instant cycling, and uses bunches of buzzwords... So I'm inherantly sceptical

I get rapid algae growth.
Sounds like you have enough light to me..... I likely wouldn't supplement.

I have always used water from a dispenser at our local Publix/Walmart.
Remember that their water can change too.. they may have changed suppliers, or filters or anything, if you're not testing the water, you cannot be sure if anything has fluctuated.

If there's no reason to be using bottled water, then I'd likely try plain old tap water. just don't change quickly, and watch for anything negative.

If you're looking to keep costs down, I'd look at something like saafeTsorb or oildri, they have a high CEC and will hold nutrients well enough, you're already adding root tabs, so you should have enough nutrition from the substrate... even pool filter sand is likely to do OK if you keep using the tabs.

I really don't see a need to get anything more high-end from an aquarium soil perspective.. unless you're looking to try something more demanding plant-wise.

but really, concentrate on your nitrate level right now, if it's 0 they cannot get any... maybe aim for a level of between 10 and 20ppm.


maybe give pictures of your plants, it might be possible to guess what deficiencies there may be based on the leaves, their color, etc.
 
add more fish, remove plants, use a fertilizer that contains nitrogen,

If you insist of the Seachem line, there's one that is for nitrogen, but really look for something more modern and more complete like Thrive (Unless you want to start making your own fertlizers)

http://nilocg.com/thrive should give you a bit more information.. I have no affiliations with them, just a satisfied customer, and the owner is an ex member of Aquaria Central and is great at answering questions etc.
 

authmal

Pseudonovice
I started dosing Thrive S twice a week about 2 weeks ago (coming up on my fourth dosing), and I'm seeing noticeable growth increases. I was skeptical, but it's happening. And my nitrate test results are up. I had been hovering in the 5-10 range, now about 20 when I do my weekly test.
 

FreshyFresh

Global Moderator
Staff member
I still question the 10-11hrs of strong daylight and what the specs are on the aquarium light.
 

fishorama

AC Members
Yeah, I'm going to say many of us oldtimers always look to sunlight through windows as a possible bad algae issue when setting up our tanks. It sounds like you have a LOT!

I have high windows but I've tried to take that into account seasonally...as best I can.

You might be better off looking to move your tank to a less sunny spot than deal with algae issues etc. Or look into shading the tank in some way...Is this an year around problem? Or just seasonal?
 
zoomed.com
hikariusa.com
aqaimports.com
Store
Top