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Re: Sword Probs

"Charlie Lear" <clear1 at optushome_com.au> wrote:

>Two months ago, I put three small e.tenellus chain swords in the corner
>of my 15gal tank.  
>Growth has been excellent, the corner is now completely taken over and
>I have to turn the runners around to avoid them dominating the tank.
>However the older leaves tend to melt - I thought the white/transparent
>new growth was due to iron deficiency, and I've been dosing with
>Flourish Iron for six weeks and new growth is back to green.  Calcium
>is low and I added a teaspoon of calcium carbonate to the filter a week
>ago, but it just seems to be sitting there.  Substrate is 5" of 3-6mm
>river gravel with clay balls and vermiculite.
>I'd appreciate it if a couple of the Plant Gurus could take a look and
>advise what could possibly be wrong.  The image on a 17" monitor is
>approx twice full size.
> Charlie
>Charlie Lear
>Melbourne, Australia


I used to see these same symptoms in my E. tenellus when I first started
with them. It looks like potassium deficiency. Mine also used to show 
periodically an yellowing of the leaves beginning at the tip, that I
attributed to a lack of nitrogen. Paler, whiter leaves I attributed to
lack of iron. Anyways, I learnt that, at least under my tank conditions, 
E. tenellus does not show a vigorous response to water column fertilization 
with macro nutrients. Now I prevent these symptoms by adding periodically 
(every other month or so) tiny bits of Jobe's sticks deep into the substrate. 
I use the "large indoor plant" variety, 14-3-7, found at a local Home Depot. 
On the other hand, it shows a satisfactory response to iron fertilization 
of the water column (I use PMDD). Btw, my substrate is a mix of sand and 
gravel, with laterite and vermiculite in the lower layer.

- Ivo Busko
  Baltimore, MD

  "Buy a fish, Save a tree !"
  Project Piaba: http://www.angelfire.com/pq/piaba/