[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

My yellow, dying Swords :-(

	Since I'm up late with another bout of insomnia, (no doubt caused
by what I'm about to describe ;-) ), I thought I'd finally turn to the
collective wisdom of the APD for help... for my swords, not my insomnia
heh, heh.

	I have two tanks with various Echinodorus spp., none of which are
doing well:

	Tank #1 Size: 25 gal 30x12.5x14
		Lighting:  2x17w Sylvania Octron 5000K T-8 12hrs/day 	
			   2x18w Lumichrome 6500K T-8 2hrs/day
			   Lights are mounted inside a SeaClear 
			  (black, ABS plastic), inside painted w/
			   flat white paint
~^~		Substrate: A relatively fine gravel (Texas Grit), with 
			   the top inch or so a larger gravel called
			   Aztec Brown mixed with Roan River Red. All
		Fertilizer: Kent's micronutrient, freshwater supplement
			    (Can't recall it's name, but many of you are 
			    familiar with it, I'm sure.
		Tank Chem: _ Nitrates_ stay under 20 ppm for at least 3
			    weeks w/out water change, but tank gets a
		  	    ~20% change pretty much every week.and so
			   stays just below 10ppm.
			   _pH_ ~7.2 am --> ~7.4 pm
			   _KH_ ~0.0
			   _GH_ ~10ppm
			   _Fe_ trace 
		Filtration: Aquaclear 200, sponge only
		Fish: 3 Mastacembelus sp., 3 D. filamentosa, 2 Red Phantom
		      Tetras, 2 Kerri Tetras, 3 Black Neons, 1 female
		      Apisto.sp.Pandurini, 2 Gastromyzon punctulatus, 2
		      Botia Striata, 1 Farlowella sp.

	My Swords turn more and more pale; even the new growth is pale and
not exactly rapid.  In fact, fewer and fewer leaves are produced.  On the
one species (possibly tennellus) the leaves eventually become
colourless,ever softer and eventually die. Veins remain prominent retain
their colour longer On the other species (the Red, or Black Mellon Sword),
 the same symptoms, although the veins seem to remain more pronounced and
 colourful (albeit not exactly the blood red I've seen in these same
plants I've given to friends in the area).  Also, this sp. seems more
prone to developing holes in its older leaves, a tendency which I don't
see as much in the tenellus leaves, perhaps because the leaves don't last
long enough!
	At first, I had both pairs of lights on all day, but found my pH
would climb to 7.6 and beyond, and so gradually cut back to just the two
Sylvanias, but even with just those two, my pH would climb to ~7.2-7.4.  I
don't have a lux meter, much less a quantam one, but w/out getting into
lux or PAR/PUR, I have if anything too much light!  I've tried Calcium,
Potassium, and Magnesium additions, thinking my extremely soft tap water
is deficient, but using these in various combinations and singly has never
shown any difference in the swords.  Floating plants, either Salvinia or
Ceratopteris, have always flourished, and have been removed and /or added
back as I tried various combinations.  (I thought perhaps these plants
were starving my swords of some essential nutrient).
	Tank #2 is a 40 gal w/ 3x25w 4100K Sylvania Octrons, and 1 30watt
aquarilux, black acryllic hood, painted w/ flat white.  Aquarilux is on 12
hrs, Sylvanias ~10.  Filtration is two powerheads w/ sponges. Fish are 6
Cory. sterbai, 1 Farlowella sp., 4 Hypoptopoma gulare, 2 Gastromyzon sp.,
2 Bristlenose, 3 Botia striata, 1 Apisto. sp. Pandurini, 1 unidentified
Apisto., 1 Parotocinclus sp., several Ghost Shrimp.  Water parameters and
water changing regimen are virtually identical to the 25 gal., except the
tap pH is higher here in Seattle (anywhere from 7.2 -7.8) than in the town
in B.C. where the 25 gal is located (pH 6.8 - 7.0). Substrate in this case
is again Texas Grit w/ some even finer gravel mixed in, and was set up w/
lateite and Tetra Hilena Initial D.  (BTW, watch out for this Tetra
product, since it has a very low pH and if you overuse it, like I
originally did, you can easily burn your roots).  Fertilization is
Flourish, and again I have tried the same recipe as in the 25 gal to stop
the yellowing, etc. of my Swords.  The field of Anubias barteri is doing
fantastic, the Crypt. wendtii Green and wendtii Red  is doing well, and
again salvinia and Ceratopteris do great when they are in there. (Except
for the annoying aphids or springtails or whatever those annoying little
insects are -- anyone know how to get rid of them? Hatchetfish?).  Again,
Red Mellon Swords, and various large Echino. spp. have exhibited the same
symptoms as above.  I recently removed the small remains of these plants
(the roots were still okay), and am trying some experiments in pots in
other tanks.  I put in the 40 ga; two, large, beautiful submerse grown
Echino. spp. just two weeks ago as part of an experiment, and they are
already manifesting the same symptoms.  Oh, yes: I've also tried some
Jobes Plant sticks in the substrate, and even some Miracle Gro plant
sticks.  My Crypts love them , the Swords are not impressed one way or the
	I would have thought the problem was simply CO2 related, but the
pH in the 40 gal doesn't significant swings, not moving more than ~.1 per
day, and staying below or around 7.  I thought simply adding more fish
might help, if it were a CO2 problem, but then at one time I had over 40
White Clouds in the 40, (those things just don't stop breeding!) and it
didn't make any difference.
	Oh yes, temperature in both tanks is in the mid to upper 70s. 25
gal has been up for years, though it was resubstrated (for aesthetic
reasons), about 1/2 yr. ago.  40 gal has been up over two years.
			Sorry for such a long, desultory post, but it's a
			problem that's been plaguing me even longer,