Amazon sword plant is the most popular and common freshwater aquarium plants which is available in the pet stores with sensible cost. There are two popular varieties of amazon sword plant of which one is Echinodorus bleheri that has broad leaves while another variety is Echinodorus amazonicus that contains narrower leaves. These plants provide great addition to any freshwater aquarium and make a great background plants.
If you keep this plant alone in your fish tank, it can be a striking showpiece plant due to its lush green leaves. It also makes the eye-catching and attractive foundation against a black background. If you keep this plants with other kind plants, it can generate a thick green forest-like effect in your freshwater aquarium.
Origin of Amazon Sword Plant
Amazon sword plant originated from the Amazon River Basin. It also found in Columbia and USA with other floras. It is also found in the ponds and lakes along with the rivers.
Appearance of the Plants
They have a short stem with long and broad green leaves. The leaves are pointed and look like a sword blades which gives the plant name ‘Amazon Sword Plant’.
Under suitable condition, the plant color changes to dark green. If the tank does not contain proper nutrients, the plant becomes muddy or brownish in color. They have powerful and strong roots which can spread out widely and deeply into the tank substrate.
In the wild condition, the plant grows up to 20 inches (50 cm) in length. If you keep it in your aquarium, you should trim down the leaves otherwise it grows out from the tank.
Fish Tank Mates
It is the best choice for the community fish tanks but it is not suitable if your tank contains the following fish species:
- Jack Dempsey
- Texas Cichlids
- Other fish
Above mentioned fish can damage leaves of plants very easily. These plants are not also ideal for goldfish tank because they pick it from time to time and eat the plant leaves.
There are many fish which are suitable for amazon sword plants. The following fish species prefer to live in the aquatic ecosystem made by amazon sword plant in your tank:
- Zebra Danios
Suitable Plant Tank Mates
Amazon sword plant is a freshwater aquarium plants and you can easily keep it with same genus and some other suitable well-matched plants. The following plants are the best suitable as a tank mates of Amazon sword plant:
- Spade-Leaf Sword Plant
- Pygmy Chain Sword
- Water Lettuce
It is easy to care for and is perfect choice for beginners. It can do well in community fish tanks with good water conditions. In new environmental condition with low-tech tanks, it can grow slowly with 12 inches in height but under the right conditions it can grow up to 20 inches or more in height. If you keep this plant in a 10 gallon tanks, it requires a more trimming otherwise it can grow over fast. The suitable water temperature for amazon sword should be 60.8-82.4°F with a pH of 6.5-7.5 and hardness of 8-15°dGH.
Some important care facts are given below:
- Growth rate: Moderate
- Maximum size: 20 inches
- Minimum tank size: 10 gallons
- Lighting requirement: Mild to Moderate and for between 10 – 12 hours per day
- Water temperature: 60.8-82.4°F
- Water pH: 6.5-7.5
- Water hardness: 8-15°dH
- Propagation: Vegetative; Runners
- Placement: Mid-ground
- Care level: Easy
How to Plant Amazon Sword Plant in Aquarium
It is a perfect background plant for your aquarium which makes the tank more brightens. The plants have forest thick foliage which covers the heaters and filters in your aquarium.
For proper growth, you should provide a healthy substrate. Before planting, you purchase a good specimen and plant it on the layer of substrate just back-side of the aquarium. In this case, the substrate should be around the plant. If you see the apparent scratches and edges of the leaves, in this case, you try to sharp-up the edges of the leaves.
Some suggested steps to place plant in your Aquarium:
Adding Nutrient-rich Soil to the Tank
You should add nutrient and iron-rich soil into the tank for better growth of your plant. In this case, substrate should be thick. For proper growth of your plant, a minimum 10-gallon tank is required. Keeping the substrate at the bottom of your tank, you can use 5 cm diameter PVC pipe which help to prevent erosion of soil. In this case, you just lift the pipe slightly for better distribution of substrate at the bottom of the tank. You can also provide liquid plant food for the better nourishment for your plant.
Digging the Plant Deep into the Soil in the Tank
You make a small and wide hole to conceal the root of the plants. In this case, the hole should be deep enough where you can see the plant crown on the soil line. During burying the roots, you should never cover the plant crown. After putting the plant in the hole, you should raise up the mud back into the roots.
Planting the plant at the Background of the Tank
You should keep the plant at the background position of the tank because Amazon sword plant can grow too large. So you should avoid to keep the plant at the front or middle of the tank. If you keep it front or middle point of the tank, it really blocks out the lights of the tank and it also obfuscates your tank view. If you place it at the background of the tank then it makes the attractive decoration and provides beauty of your fish tank.
Keeping the Aquarium near the Sunlight for Sometimes
Proper sunlight is very essential for each green plant which enhances the photosynthesis process. After planting the plant, you should place the tank just near the window where available sunlight passes and directly fall on the leaves of the plants to make appropriate chlorophyll for the process of photosynthesis. In the case, you have to shift the fish to another tank to avoid warm of the tank water because warm water is harmful for your fish.
Care Guidelines of Amazon Sword Plant
Proper care and nourishments are required to grow amazon sword plant. In this case, you should follow the following guidelines:
For proper maintaining hygiene of your fish tank, unwanted dead leaves should be cut down from the plants. In this case, trimming helps grow the plant progressively.
In many cases, the plant leaves lose shape and color which result in plants death. If you face such problems, you should use proper medicine and nutrition for your amazon sword plants.
Water quality should be checked and 20-25 % tank water should be changed weekly basis to prevent water deterioration otherwise it can cause a problem to the aquarium inhabitants.
Proper light energy is required to grow the plant. In this case, you should keep the aquarium under sunlight for sometimes to absorb vitamin D.
You should provide 11-12 hours lights a day for the proper nourishments of the amazon sword plants in the tank.
This plant is prone to the growth of algae, so you should not keep the light for more than 11 hours a day. In this case, you have to clean the aquarium thrice a week. Besides, you can use some tank-cleaning species like Otocinclus Catfish, Red Cherry Shrimp and Nerite Snails which help to control the growth of algae by consuming it.
You should also check the algae growth routinewise on the plants leaves to maintain proper hygiene of the tank water and the plants.
You should use good filter to make the good water quality which is essential for both the fish and plants in your tank.
You should regular monitor the pH level and dirt of the tank water. If your tank water contains unstable water pH and more waste products which can affect the aquarium inhabitants resulting damage and death.
Reproduction and Propagation
It can easily breed without any hassles. It can reproduce by shooting a single long maternal stem and plantlets. The plantlets develop from the plants which appear on the stem. In this case, small plantlets develop roots and two leaves firstly. It should be cut and can be planted in the substrate to grow a new plant. For better development and growing faster you should keep the plantlets under immersed condition. Besides, you may also use small stone chips or rocks to keep safe the plantlets. For the proper growth of your young plants you can use following liquid plant nutrition:
- Seachem Flourish Excel
- Flourish Trace