Not doing well


New Member
16 Dec 2018
Hi all, I bought a mixture of Echinodorus plants a few months back and they looked great:


However! They haven't been doing so great as of late. I've been using a weekly dose of TNC complete, doing my weekly water changes as normal and tried turning the light to different settings of cloud cover/brightness (Fluval aquasky unit), but the plants seem to be going transparent/brown/yellow on the leaves. I spoke to a guy in work who has a planted aquarium and he suggested the TNC carbon, I've been doing that on a daily basis for about 6 weeks but they still look worse for wear!

I've been trimming the dead leaves down and their is new growth especial on the ones in the middle, but others seem to grow and then die back!

Any ideas what I'm doing wrong?

Pictures just taken:



Thanks in advance ;)


7 Apr 2008
nr Bath
Hi all,
What is your Carbon source ?..All plants need a form of Carbon
They do, but what we usually call "low tech" plants (like the Sword plants (Echinodorus spp. and hybrids in @ParaJack's post)) can utilise the ~1ppm of CO2 that you naturally get via diffusion from the atmosphere. A lot of people (I'm one of them) <"don't add CO2">, but I use a <"floating plant as an indicator of nutrient levels">, mainly because it isn't CO2 limited due to access to (at least) 400ppm of atmospheric CO2.

You can add CO2 via pressurised gas (giving you up to about 30ppm CO2), or via an organic carbon source based upon one of the intermediate carbon compounds formed during photosynthesis (usually <"glutaraldehyde">, but also based on <"citric acid"> etc.), and this will improve the growth of all aquatic plants, and also allow you to grow plants like <"Hemianthus "Cuba"> that won't survive underwater without CO2 supplementation.

It is really a matter of personal choice, I'm not interested in aquascaping, rapid growth or aesthetics so I'm happy to have jungle tanks that don't require constant maintenance or added CO2.

cheers Darrel


27 Aug 2018
Gloucestershire, UK
seem to grow and then die back
Welcome to the Green side.

In a low tech tank with strong lighting or a long photo-period it is possible for plants to outgrow the available CO2.

As @dw1305 above, points out floating plants will be indicators of general nutrient levels and if these are OK, then plants out growing CO2 could be the problem. If so weaker lights or shorter photo-period or floating plants (not duckweed, you will never get rid of it) would be a way forward.

As @Edvet above, as said could be emersed leaves dying back. Look at what happens to new growth. Old leaves will always die, but should be replaced by new strong growth.

From your pics you will have a real jungle when the plants fill out. You will need to add fertilizers as it will be doubtful if your tap water will have enough nitrates and phosphates to keep all the Amazon swords going. There are threads on EI dosing on the forum. Well worth a read, 'dry salts' are very effective and low cost and you know what you are adding to your tank.

Happy tank keeping.