Amazon Sword Melt
What is it?
The centre sections of each leaf in Swords in between the veins start to get thin and eventually rot away leaving the outside edge usually intact with lots of veins until the whole leaf finally rots away.
- Known as Amazon Sword Melt. But happens to many plant species when treated incorrectly.
These plants are grown emmersed. That is the roots only are covered in water and the leaves are left out of the water. This allows the growers to produce faster growing Swords.
However when newly purchased and immersed in a aquarium tank the plant only has leaves which have adapted to the atmosphere and can not absorb water-based nutrients. The leaf has adapted to a life of photosynthesis and exchanging gases only.
So the plant discards its leaves and grows new ones which are adapted to a underwater life for the current water and its hardness, nutrients, etc.
This process takes typically 4–6 weeks and during this time novice aquatic plant growers often believe the plant is dead or dying and discard it. But keep the plant in place and if it has the right nutrients and CO2, it will grow back.
If the plant is not fed correctly with nutrients in the roots, CO2 in the water then it will slowly use up its internal storehouse of nutrients until it runs out and die. This can take 3–8 weeks depending on the size of the plant and its rhizome.
Feed with the right nutrients to its roots not forgetting CO2 if it's not too late.
The aquarist makes big changes to the conditions of the plant. The owner may have a inconsistent CO2 supply, weak lights or has changed the light period, not supplying enough plant nutrients to the roots of leaves or is making large water changes therefore changing the water chemistry.
The plant reacts by dropping its leaves in an effort to grow new ones that better suit the latest water chemistry.
Perform regular consistent fertilisation with a constant CO2 supply, check lighting has not become old and need replaced. Keep water changes to a minimum.
After 6–8 weeks, often a lot sooner, the plant should be showing new leaves.