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Re: Sword plant trimming

I ended up leaving the sword
in a bucket of water overnight.  I have now realized that I violated the
rule of never moving swords if you want them to live.  A large portion of
the leaves are now all or mostly transparent, as they appear to have lost
all of their chlolorphyll.  The leaves appear to be slowing dying  off.  I
have two questions.

1) - I have some healthy leaves, probably about 1/3 of the remaining leaves
look fine.  Can I safely cut out all of the dead leaves and let the plant
recover?  Or would it be too stressful on the plant to lose ~2/3 of its
leaves all at once, causing it to die completely?  This is a very pretty
plant that I don't want to lose.

2) - I do 25% water changes about once every 2 weeks.  I check the water
chemistry right before the water change to check on things.  I normally
low NO2, NO3 & NH4 levels.  On this last water change the NO3 level was out
of the range of the test strip, but definitely in the "stress" range.  I've
never had NO3 levels that high in my planted tank, and it's been set up for
about 6 months now.  Is it possible that the decaying plant matter could be
causing these high levels?  I haven't had any fish die, and I feed
so I don't think decaying food could be causing the problem.

Thanks very much for your help!


In my experience, my swordplants have done quite well after moving them
across the tank.  I have seen plants get stressed after several hours
wrapped in wet newspaper at room temperature (the evaporation process
always seems to chill them unacceptably).

I would advise trimming the dead/dying leaves off the surviving swords.
This should allow the plant to put maximum energy into new growth, rather
than trying to sustain the wilted tissue.  I suspect your intuition is
correct...elevated NO3 levels are due to the heavy load of dying plant