When I was given the clay substrate to put as a base in my tank, I added the Amazon Sword Plant and the clay sand didn't cover all the roots. From the beginning my plant hasn't been looking good. I've changed its amount of sunlight, tried to keep the tank in a warm place. I've given the plant some plant food pellets that the University gave us. I've cut out the damaged/dying leaves, and up until now the plant is still hanging on by its last thread. I decided that I am going to try something more for the last time. This will be the deciding factor whether or not the plant will survive.
I noticed that every time I do the water change, the water goes a little murky. I figured it was because of the stir up of water movement during the change. This murky sediment would settle on the leaves in a whitish colour. I would try to not unsettle the sand, but old food and fish feces would sink to the bottom and I would have to scrape them up from the sand, resulting in the unsettling of the sand and depositing the white murky sediment onto the leaves. Together with this concern I always wondered about the exposed roots. Maybe if I got stones instead of sand to cover the bottom of the tank and the roots, the plant might recover because of no more white substrate coating the leaves and because the roots won't be exposed to light.
I went back to the pet shop to seek advice. They have no more suggestions and say that plants don't live forever and will die eventually anyway. This is what they told me righp at the beginning of the assignment when I first noticed the browning of my leaves.
Determined to give my plant one last chance, I bought some tank pebbles. If my plant does die in the end, I want to remove all the clay sand substrate and replace it totally with pebbles. I think this would make the water changes a much easier job.
When I got home I rinsed the pebbles with fresh tap water and added them to my tank on top of the clay sand to keep the murky substrate down. I carefully placed the pebbles around the base of the plant and completely covered up the roots. I added one more plant food pellet I had left from the University and placed it under the pebbles close to the roots. I asked the pet shop about plant food and they seem very much against keeping live plants in a tank. They say it’s more hassle than worthwhile and recommended plastic plants. I personally would much prefer real plants. So for now I am disregarding their recommendation. After adding the pebbles, I did the water change and de-chlorinated the water. This time there was to murky white substrate settling on the leaves, and the plant was sturdy because of the pebbles throughout the water change process. I did this whole procedure last week Thursday and the plant hasn't completely died, but I'll give it one more week. If there isn't any improvement by next week, I would sadly say that my amazon sword plant has come to the end of its days.
|Just before the water change|
Here is a better view of the brown and dying leaves. Only 4 leaves left. One of them is a new little leaf that grew after I cut out the first of the dying leaves.
|Last week Thursday 12 April 2012|
This is just a zoom out of the over all sight of the tank. You can see here that the plant is covered completely up to the base by the pebbles and how thin the clay sand substrate layer was. You can also see how some of the leaves have gone transparent where they once were brown.