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Killer Plants???

I have recently had a meltdown in my 75 gallon tank.  The scales on many of 
my cardinal tetras are standing out from their bodies and many have died, my 
loaches (clown and yo-yo) are moribund and my glass catfish are rapidly 
swimming against any water current and their antennae are "melting."  Also, 
my cryptocorynes are "melting" more than usual.  I tested the water with an 
eight month old Seachem ammonia test kit and came up with some color change, 
less than or equal to 0.25 ppm.  However, I brought a water sample in to the 
local Petsmart and got 0 ppm ammonia with their Aquarium Pharm. test and I 
duplicated that with the one I bought that day.  Other parameters are pH 6.7, 
nitrates 5 ppm, nitrites 0 ppm, temp. 82F.   One of the suspected causes of 
my problem is a "ruffle sword" I bought at Petsmart three days before I 
started seeing symptoms on my cardinals.  The plant sat in my 
un-airconditioned truck for too long and the next day, after planting it in 
my tank, was covered with necrotic lesions.  I'm wondering if anyone has 
heard of a plant releasing toxins into an aquarium.  Friday I did a routine 
partial water change which was when I discovered the problem. Saturday I 
added activated charcoal to all of my filters in the hopes that the charcoal 
would absorb any toxic organic compounds. Sunday I did another partial water 
change and added Ammo-lock and Stress Coat.  I also pulled out the three 
"ruffle swords" I had in the tank.  It appears I've had some improvement in 
symptoms but, as of this morning, no turn around.  My tank has been stable 
for about three years (with the exception of the times I have messed up by 
adding too much fertilizer).  Any suggestions?

Distressed in Mobile,

Chazz Hesselein