Plants getting brown spots

Oli

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One of my large leafed plants is starting to develop these brown spots. Unfortunately I don’t know what kind of plant it is. Does anyone know what the cause would be? Aquarium gets lots of natural light as well as around 6 hours a day white LED lights. Planted in gravel with root tabs.

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Oli

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Ahhh it very may well be! I have no idea the species but I just didn’t recall it having that many brown spots when I first got it. It is relatively new however, maybe I just hadn’t noticed!
 

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All Echinodorus species can change their submersed leaf size, shape and colouring (the "spotted" varieties) according to conditions. Light and nutrients being the conditions. I don't see any cause for alarm here, just see how the newer leaves develop. The outer leaves are the older ones, new leave develop from the centre of the crown.
 
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Oli

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Hi guys, just a follow up regarding the above plant. I have had it a little over a week now and I have noticed what seems almost over night, a large stem with a leaf on the end shoot up to the top of the tank. As I am I Unfamiliar with this plant, am I supposed to do anything with this shoot regarding cultivating or will it simply grow larger and stay above the rest of the leaves? Pics attached
 

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Essjay

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It's the plant settling in to your tank.

Most aquarium plants on sale have been grown emersed - that is, with their leaves out of water and just their roots in water. When they are put in a tank under water they need to start growing underwater, or submersed, leaves which are often different from their emerse leaves. Sword plants like you have grow new leaves from the crown, the centre of the plant and yours is just growing new submersed leaves.
 
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Oli

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Will it always be so high up and skinny. Looks kind of strange in comparison to the rest of the plant?
 

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Will it always be so high up and skinny. Looks kind of strange in comparison to the rest of the plant?

Difficult to say, there are a couple of factors at play here.

As essjay mentioned, the submersed form and the emersed form of the leaves of every species of Echinodorus are different. Aerial or emersed leaves have to be thicker in order to retain moisture in the air, whereas submersed leaves do not have this need in water so those leaves will be thinner. These plants are marsh or bog plants, not true aquatic plants, because they naturally spend half the year emersed and half submersed, or at least they can; in many of their habitats they may be exclusively emersed.

The other factor though is the conditions. I have had adventitious plants (the "daughter" plants) of the same parent sword plant grow very differently depending upon the tank each plant was growing in. These are heavy feeders, with extensive root systems. Several years ago I tore down my largest tank, a 5-foot 115g, and the roots from the sword plants were thick throughout the 4-inch sand substrate, literally holding the sand together. Give the [lant good nutrition, and here the substrate tabs are best. Flourish Tabs are one of the best, the API tabs are not as good and can be very messy. I'm sure there are other tabs as well. But a Flourish Tab inserted close to the crown and poked into the substrate, replaced every 3 months, will make a real difference.

If the existing ;leaves are emersed, they will die off over the next few months, as new growth appears, which will obviously be the submersed form.
 
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Oli

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Difficult to say, there are a couple of factors at play here. As essjay mentioned, the submersed form and the emersed form of the leaves of every species of Echinodorus are different. Aerial or emersed leaves have to be thicker in order to retain moisture in the air, whereas submersed leaves do not have this need in water so those leaves will be thinner. These plants are marsh or bog plants, not true aquatic plants, because they naturally spend half the year emersed and half submersed, or at least they can; in many of their habitats they may be exclusively emersed. The other factor though is the conditions. I have had adventitious plants (the "daughter" plants) of the same parent sword plant grow very differently depending upon the tank each plant was growing in. These are heavy feeders, with extensive root systems. Several years ago I tore down my largest tank, a 5-foot 115g, and the roots from the sword plants were thick throughout the 4-inch sand substrate, literally holding the sand together. Give the [lant good nutrition, and here the substrate tabs are best. Flourish Tabs are one of the best, the API tabs are not as good and can be very messy. I'm sure there are other tabs as well. But a Flourish Tab inserted close to the crown and poked into the substrate, replaced every 3 months, will make a real difference. If the existing ;leaves are emersed, they will die off over the next few months, as new growth appears, which will obviously be the submersed form.
 
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Oli

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Ahhh okay, I haven’t had a plant do this before. So the current leaves have potential to die off, and the new sprout is likely the start of submersible leaves? In any case, I should just leave the plant to do it’s own thing? I have plenty of root tabs in the substrate
 

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Ahhh okay, I haven’t had a plant do this before. So the current leaves have potential to die off, and the new sprout is likely the start of submersible leaves? In any case, I should just leave the plant to do it’s own thing? I have plenty of root tabs in the substrate

The plant will grow according to the environment, and correct, there is nothing you can do beyond providing a good nutritious environment. The genetic makeup of the species will determine how the plant responds to your conditions.
 

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