Amazon Sword Turning Brown-3 Reasons & Solution

To decorate an aquarium plants are equally important as fish. In that field, Amazon Sword is quite prominent. But people often get tensed regarding Amazon Sword turning brown.

There are several reasons why the Amazon Sword will change color to yellow or brown. It can be the effect of nutrient deficiency, growth of parasitic plants, algae buildup, imbalance of pH, etc. Once the reason is known, it gets easier to take care of the issue.

In this article, you can learn about common reasons behind the color change of Amazon Sword and how to take care of them. For every aquarium lover, having a healthy life cycle in their aquarium is both pleasant and important.  

Why Amazon Sword Turns Brown and How to Fix

Amazon Sword Plant Turns Brown in Aquarium

1. Lack Of Nutrition

The major reason behind the color change is the deficiency of nutrients. A lack of Potassium and iron can cause a color change. If the plant’s leaves are forming holes in them then there is calcium deficiency. 

Also when the nutrients in the aquarium are not well distributed then plants lack nutrients. Especially if there are too many parasitic plants in the aquarium. These parasitic plants suck up the necessary nutrients and create imbalance.


To get rid of the nutrition deficiency of the plants first you have to remove the parasitic plants. Remember, Amazon Sword is a root-feeding plant. This means it absorbs nutrients through the roots more than they do through the stem or leaves. Therefore, clean up the ground of the tank.

Once you remove the parasitic plants it is time to provide nutrients to the Amazon Sword. As Amazon Sword is a root feeder thus spraying potassium will not be enough. You will need to use root tabs as a source of nutrients in the aquarium. (Our Pick: API ROOT TABS Freshwater Aquarium Plant Fertilizer)

2. Algae Build Up

Build up of algae in the leaves of aquatic plants is very common. They don’t cause much harm to the plant, but they cause a temporary color change. It is very easy to detect, unlike nutrient deficiency. 

When algae form on the leaves they create a layer. It seems that the layer is floating in leaves every time the water moves. 


Algae work as a nutrient for some fish in the tank. Thus it is not wise to remove the Algae completely. But it is good news that you can remove the algae build-up from the leaves leaving them green and fresh to look at. For these, you will need to use a fresh cotton cloth. Use the cotton cloth to remove the Algae delicately. (Our Pick: Amazon Basics Microfiber Cleaning Cloth)

While removing the algae, be gentle so that you don’t harm the leaves. Also, be aware of contaminating the water. Take proper caution like using gloves or using clamps to hold the leaves.

3. pH Balance

pH balance is a very important factor. If the pH balance is more than 7.8, then it will start to harm aquatic life. As a result, you will get to see the change of color in your Amazon Sword. It will slowly turn yellow to brown and end up falling off. It can also happen if the pH is less than 6.5. Use a pH meter to know the accurate result. (Our Pick: VIVOSUN pH and TDS Meter Combo)


To balance the pH you can use reverse osmosis (RO) or deionized (DI) water. They will create the required pH and buffering. It is very important to prepare water and test pH before using it in the aquarium.

You can also use crushed coral or dolomite gravel. They are used for substrates. With these calcium carbonate-based gravels, it is possible to raise and buffer the pH in the water. They dissolve slowly and work more conveniently.

These are some of the curative measures that can help you to get rid of the disturbing brown color. For severe cases, you can consult experts.

Other Ways To Take Care Of Amazon Sword

Cut Older Amazon Sword Leaves

Before the color-changing situation arises, it is better to take preventive measures. Here are some other steps that can come in handy.

  • The older leaves of the Amazon Sword can turn brown and die. Once you see the older leaves turn yellowish, cut them off and get rid of them. Otherwise, they can affect the other leaves.
  • Use a water purifier in the tank or change the water from time to time.  
  • Check pH balance frequently. Make sure it is between 6.8 to 7.8.
  • Try to plant healthy plants, to begin with. One unhealthy plant can end up contaminating other plants.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why is my Amazon Sword melting?

The whole setting of the aquarium might have an imbalanced CO2 supply, low lights, or light period. Not providing sufficient plant supplements to the underlying foundations of leaves is making enormous water changes consequently changing the chemical balance of water.

Is the Amazon Sword a low-light plant?

Amazon swords will develop under low to medium lights. Yet the growth won’t be quick and they won’t turn that dazzling green variety you want them to be. All things considered, they’ll turn dark green and you’ll probably battle to get any great development out of them in really low light.

Will goldfish eat Amazon swords?

Goldfish truly enjoy biting on the Amazon Sword plant. Sword Plants consistently develop and deliver new leaves. therefore they grow faster and revive in no time. Thus except if the tank is overcrowded with goldfish, it will not be a matter of concern that your goldfish will be eating your plant.


Amazon Swords turning brown can raise concern for the owner. But recognizing the reason behind the color change either yellow or brown helps to deal with the problem. Also if they are taken care of properly the plants can be saved.

To keep your aquatic plant in a healthy state, make sure they are placed in proper lighting and air supply. It is necessary to synchronize the type of plant. For example, place a root-fed plant with a root fade plant. It ensures that the nutrients are well balanced.

Howard Parker

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