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Echinodorus bleherae in platy tank

Discussion in 'Aquascaping' started by EllieTheJellyy, Mar 11, 2019.

  1. EllieTheJellyy

    EllieTheJellyy New Member

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    i just went out and bought a live plant to add to my fish tank.

    The fish seem to like it but how should I care for it? I removed the brown leaves and planted it straight away, It looks great and matches the fake plants.

    The live plant is at the back and two silk ones in front, I’ve left in in the pot as I took it off on another plant and ruined it.

     

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  2. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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  3. EllieTheJellyy

    EllieTheJellyy New Member

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    Thanks! I’ve just de potted my plant (because that sounded way easier) and put it in my tank again covering the bottom up with stones and it looks great! It’s way more natural now.
     
  4. Byron

    Byron Member

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    As Colin mentioned, sword plants (Echinodorus species) are heavy feeders. The simplest way to provide for their nutrient needs is with substrate fertilizer tabs. I use Seachem's Flourish Tabs, one tab inserted into the substrate an inch or two from the crown (base) of the plant, replaced every three or sometimes four months, will make an incredible difference and keep the plant healthy and thriving. You will get an infloresence in time, though flowers do not form when the plant is grown submersed but along the inflorescence at each nodes a pair of adventitious (daughter) plants will form. This is one of the finest aquarium plants, but it does need to be fed.
     
  5. EllieTheJellyy

    EllieTheJellyy New Member

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    I have some plant fertiliser that I pour into the filter after a water change. Would that be enough?
     
  6. Byron

    Byron Member

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    That depends. I was making things the easiest for you, as I understood from your initial post you only have the one live plant, this sword. Substrate tabs are without question the easiest way to feed sword plants. But liquid fertilizer will also work, depending what is in it. The GH of your water is also important as this is the primary source of the "hard" minerals especially calcium.

    What fertilizer are you using? And what is the GH of your source water?

    Another aspect is the fish. Liquid fertilizers are added to the water, and like every substance we add to the tank water, this ends up inside the fish. The less we add the better. If you had floating plants for example, a liquid fertilizer would be preferable as most of it would get taken up by the plants. With just the one sword, a substrate tab is easier.
     
  7. EllieTheJellyy

    EllieTheJellyy New Member

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    It’s ‘love fish plant fertiliser’ I’ve ordered a master water test kit but for now I’m using test strips so it may not be accurate but it’s 120.
     
  8. Byron

    Byron Member

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    The GH is fine, 120 ppm [I am assuming with this high a number it is in ppm, not dGH] which equates to 6-7 dGH is sufficient calcium and magnesium.

    As for the liquid, I found this
    http://www.petsathome.com/shop/en/pets/love-fish-plant-food

    but it doesn't say what is actually in this, and I cannot find any other data. Can you provide a link to the manufacturer's site?
     
  9. EllieTheJellyy

    EllieTheJellyy New Member

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    120 ppm yes. All I can find is what’s written on the back, hope it helps. (Please excuse the marks it just leaked)
     

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  10. Byron

    Byron Member

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    It has trace elements, iron, boron and potassium. No indication as to which (or if all) "trace" elements.

    Trace elements refers (or does botanically anyway) to micro-nutrients which for aquatic plants are boron, iron, chloride, nickel, copper, manganese, molybdenum, and zinc. Just so you know, there are also macro-nutrients which are calcium, carbon, hydrogen, magnesium, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus, potassium and sulphur. As the Greek prefixes suggest, macro nutrients are those required in larger quantity than micro nutrients. The catch though is that all of these have to be available in a rough ratio to each other, as insufficient as well as excess of some can cause issues for plants.

    So, back to this product, it may be all you need or it may be lacking. I would still recommend the Flourish Tabs for the sword, without the liquid unless you get more plants.

    If you do need a liquid, one of the best is also made by Seachem, called Flourish Comprehensive Supplement for the Planted Aquarium. This has everything necessary, and in the right ratio.
     
  11. EllieTheJellyy

    EllieTheJellyy New Member

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    Alright I’ll get some of them, thanks for the help!
     
  12. Guppylover3x

    Guppylover3x Fish Crazy

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    After reading this post I can confirm I also have the same plant in my tank and had no idea this needed fertiliser. I’ve heard the salt minerals I use are good for plant growth though.
     
  13. Byron

    Byron Member

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    You're welcome. I'll just mention that if the time comes you do want a liquid (if you get more plants including floating) make sure the Flourish Comprehensive Supplement is the one you get, as Seachem make several products under the "Flourish" name but this comprehensive (and the tabs) are the only ones you need.
     
  14. Byron

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    Yes, but that is just dealing with the "hard" minerals, primarily calcium and magnesium. But plant nutrients come from fish foods too.

    Different plant species have differing levels of nutrient requirements. It is certainly possible to have live plants growing well in a tank with fish and no additives; my 10g is like this. But the plants are low-requirement. Higher requirement plants will do better with some supplementation, but one doesn't want to overdo this as algae can then become a nuisance. It is all about balance.

    I have kept Amazon sword plants for decades, as I find them one of the easiest plants under the moderate lighting I provide. I have grown them with no additives, with liquid additive, with tabs, and with tabs and liquid. They survived in all situations, but really thrived in others.

    My Echinodorus major which is now in my 70g is presently in flower, for the third time since I have had this plant (nine years). This is the only species of Echinodorus that will produce flowers along the inflorescence when the parent plant is grown permanently submersed. All other Echinodorus species require emersed growing in order to produce flowers; they will produce adventitious plants along the inflorescences when grown permanently submersed, and if conditions are to their liking. Some of my common swords, Echinodorus griesbachii [this is now the accepted name for Echinodorus bleherae], have in the past produced three and even four inflorescences at the same time, and twice every year.

    Here's a photo of the E. major flowering back in 2017, and today. This is the second flower inflorescence in as many months from this plant, and this time I am letting it grow out of the tank as I have previously kept it under the cover glass as in the older photo.
     

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