What to do with half brown sword leaves?

AdoraBelle Dearheart

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Picked up this sword last week, once I removed the plant weight and foam, turned out to be four little plants. I've temporarily put them in this tank with some root tabs just to keep it going until I set up tanks and find it's permanent spot. But I'm not sure what to do with these leaves that are browning, whether to just trim them off, or wait until they go slimy. I took off two leaves and stems that had already gone slimy when I got it.

I'm sure the plants will pick up and recover with some good root feeding, seem to be surviving and some leaves were half brown when I got it, so I left them for now before getting advice - still new to planted tanks.
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I thought I'd leave them for now since they're not polluting my tank and most of the leaf is still good, so while the plants are getting established and recovering from being in a store tank without root feeding, might give it the few weeks to recover while I'm setting up new tanks anyway, then trim them off once I move them to where they're going to stay. Sound okay?

Also, is it possible that one or two of them would be okay in a softer water tank with root tabs and ferts? My otocinclus are loving these, keep finding them sitting on this one. I'd also love it if it's possible to trim them so they remain short but bushy? My other amazon sword (different type though) got huge and had to go to the back of the tank, but I'd love to keep at least one of these shaped smaller so it can be midground, so I can enjoy seeing the otos enjoy it :)
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AdoraBelle Dearheart

AdoraBelle Dearheart

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As unsightly as they are, I leave them as the shrimp appear to enjoy eating it
Cheers dude :) I'm not worried about them being unsightly at the moment since it's all temporary and the tanks are already all over the place while I'm medicating and re-arranging :)

How about when I move it? Do you think there's any way to trim one of them so I can keep it in the midground and see the otos using the hammock leaves? Or do I need to let it get tall and keep it at the back? It's a bit trickier with swords isn't it, since the leaves all come from the base.
 

PheonixKingZ

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I assume its the same as Java Fern... if it is, you need to cut off any completely brown leaves, to encourage growth.

You can trim one up and keep it in the mid ground if you like. I think it would be cool to see them resting on it. :)
 

mbsqw1d

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When I got my amazon swords (bought online) they came in a right state .. had to remove majority of the leaves, sometimes only leaving two on a plant. The roots should be trimmed down, and people say it promotes growth when you do. Its almost impossible to feed the long roots back into the substrate anyway. Mine are still taking a while to get going..
 
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AdoraBelle Dearheart

AdoraBelle Dearheart

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You all make excellent points! Ta very much :D

I assume its the same as Java Fern... if it is, you need to cut off any completely brown leaves, to encourage growth.

You can trim one up and keep it in the mid ground if you like. I think it would be cool to see them resting on it. :)
Thank you, I do like seeing them rest on it, they seem to like it a lot, so I thought if I tucked it away at the back, I might never see them on it, lol. If I plant it midground and to the side though, should be able to still see them without it overwhelming the tank either.
When I got my amazon swords (bought online) they came in a right state .. had to remove majority of the leaves, sometimes only leaving two on a plant. The roots should be trimmed down, and people say it promotes growth when you do. Its almost impossible to feed the long roots back into the substrate anyway. Mine are still taking a while to get going..
Thank you for this tip! True, I've been pretty brutal with some different amazon sword when need be. I forget that a lot of this stuff is pretty much like normal gardening, where the same principles apply, and trimming roots and pruning leaves does encourage new growth in outdoor plants. I hadn't thought about trimming the roots, but it will make replanting the big sword and the tiger lily a lot easier!

My friend who is a horticulturalist years ago explained how pruning, and cutting a plant back hard, helps. She said "when you cut it right back, the plant goes "Aaarghh! I'm gonna die! Better grow back some more leaves, quick!" only with more swear words. Make me per on myself laughing, but she's right, that's pretty much how it works.
Cut off brown8ng leaves. Leaves thatvare brown are still utilizing nutrients that could other wise be utilized for healthy leaves and new growth.
Makes complete sense, ty and will do! Having pondered on it since posting this, I also wonder whether planting it in the midground on one side could work, if I make sure to remove the oldest, largest leaves now and then. That would encourage it to send up more new leaves, and could maintain it more at a reasonable size, maybe?
 
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Byron

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Cut off brown8ng leaves. Leaves thatvare brown are still utilizing nutrients that could other wise be utilized for healthy leaves and new growth.
Actually, with swords this is not the case. The older leaves if they are still connected at the crown (not brown but solid) will transfer nutrients down through the crown and up into new leaf growth. This is the plants way to provide energy to new growth at the expense of old growth. I generally leave the outer (older) leaves if they begin to obviously die until the stem base is no longer connecting the leaf. A slight tug on the leaf will usually easily break it off at the crown if it is no longer connected.
 

Byron

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I would leave the leaves for now. Add a substrate tab close to the crown of each plant and let them establish. Move them now rather than later so they can settle in. Once you see new leaves emerging from the centre of the crown, you can then decide whether or not to cut off the outer older leaves that may be browning. As I mentioned in my post above, Echinodorus will transfer nutrients from older dying leaves to new growth, provided the stem at the crown is still intact; once that browns and the leaf easily comes away with a very slight tug, no point in not removing it.
 

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Thanks for the info, I have been leaving the old leaves on until they almost fall off on their own,
 
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