If your tank is mature-you may not need root tabs yet....you will...but, you may want to wait unless the plants look like they need something to eat....lol....also if you feed flake food and any is left in the substrate-that counts for plant food too, just like fish poop......if they look healthy you don't want them to grow too fast, swords can out grow a tank pretty fast
What kind of substrate, how big is the tank, how many fish and livestock and what other plants and amount.
The seachem brand is a good brand and so is the API root tab- the Seachem will cover more and you don't have to use as often-if it is for a smaller tank I would use the API and larger tanks the Seachem.
I have used the regular Jobe house plant stick in my sword tank, but you have to be really careful with them because if they get moved out of the substrate you can get massive algae problems, I had one get pushed out by a trumpet snail and man what a mess....lol......cory cats, loaches and any burrowing critter will do this too
I don't use a lot of ferts unless I am propagating or the plant looks like it needs some help, since I have soil based tank I have also made some clay balls with a tiny snip of a Jobe stick in the middle and then sun dried the clay ball (iron & trace) before shoving it in the dirt around the base of my root feeders and this has worked well for me too.
I have a 10 gal. tank with the two ECHINODORUS PARVIFLORUS 'TROPICA' (small sword) and my impression is it is supposed to stay fairly small. That tank has one baby (3-4 months) male betta (Young Blood). I figure for SURE I'm going to have to feed them. In there is also some ancharis (floating) & some Bacopa Australis (also floating). For the floaters I use the Seachem Flourish.
The other plants are in a 38 gal. community tank that is overstocked since my female betta tank sprang a leak. Three swordtails, three angels, five paltys, two dwarf bristlenose and NINE female bettas - YIKES!!! Feed this tank NLS in the morning & flakes in the evening. I KNOW that tank is overstocked & that is one of the reasons I wanted to add more live plants to it.
That one has: three vals, CRYPTOCORYNE WENDTII 'RED', HYGROPHILA CORYMBOSA 'STRICTA' and a variety of anubias, wisteria, Christmas moss etc. that feed right from the water column.
Two power filters, weekly tank cleaning and a double tube plant light top. So far, so good with the 38. :)
Thanks for getting back to me, OFL - you are simply the best! :)
With gravel you may need to start with the root tabs, let me know how you like those swords, I read about them but have never had them and they sound pretty nice for smaller tanks
You may want to get more stem type plants for the stocked 38g-they will help with water quality...... but you already know that....lol......plants have saved my fish more than once....laffs.......ice storms and no electric...they got cold but the water was perfect otherwise....lol.....
Nope, those are angels & not something else. I have been VERY lucky with that tank - ESPECIALLY after my "Diva" tank sprang a leak & I had to add the 9 female bettas to it all at once!!! More filtration, more plants & more water changes saved the day, though!!