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Re: Transparent sword leaves

Allow me to add _my_ anecdotal evidence on this topic:

I observed transparent sword leaves twice. When the tank was relatively new
(a few mo. old I think) E. tenellus got some transparent grow at the tips.
This is a 3 watt/gal tank with plenty CO2, laterite and PMDD. The transparent
leaves eventually died and where replaced by normal growth when I shoved a 
few small pieces of Jobe's sticks under the plants. The symptom never came back 
again. I keep adding more stick pieces every couple months or so. So in
this case it was clearly a lack of macro-nutrients at the substrate.

The second time it happened with a large ozelot sword that, due to total
lack of room in the tank, I had to move to the garden pond. I planted it in a
large pot with heavy clay soil, Osmocote pellets and a piece of Jobe's stick. 
The pond at that early spring time had some green water and string algae, 
that quickly smothered the leaves. I think due to lack of ligth and perhaps
severe shortage of CO2 and nutrients in the water (just 3 goldfish in 240 gal 
and water with consistently 0 nitrate readings), the entire plant eventually 
turned transparent ! Then I added 4 more goldfish, put in place a 
mechanical/bio/veggie filter, and started weekly massive doses of potassium, 
nitrate and iron. The water transparency did improve a lot, and the string 
algae disappeared. I moved the pot to a shallower marginal shelf and pruned 
the dead leaves. A stalk with six babies had sprung from the dying plant. 

Now the mother plant is fully recovered and all the babies, planted in kitty 
liter, are also growing well, all under semi-emersed conditions (leaves with
long petioles). I keep adding Jobe's to everybody and also keep the water
fertilization. In this case, despite the rich substrate, a severe lack of 
light, and perhaps CO2 and nutrients in the water column, apparently was 
responsible for the condition.

- Ivo Busko
  Baltimore, MD