By Mark Nicholls from aquatixmadesimple.wordpress.com
This article is a brief introduction to Amazon Sword and will cover everything from buying to reproduction. If you apply these simple rules, you are sure to have as much success as we do.
This article does not cover Pygmy Chain Swords but the rules below will apply to most other species.
Swords come under the genus Echinodorus and there are many species and cultivars but I will be covering the two varieties most often seen in aquatic shops. These are E. Blehri and E.Paniculatus. Blehri is the plant most commonly available and Paniculatus is very similar except for having wavy leaves.
Top tips for amazon swords’ success
We have been keeping these with great success for several years now and here are our top tips for continued success:
These two glorious specimens are in our 200ltr aquarium and are approx. 15″ tall. They need monthly maintenance to thrive. The Swords in here are almost 2ft tall!
- Use a good quality root fertilizer under the plant and renew the feet every 3 months. This is essential as swords grow massive root systems.
- Plant the Swords so that only the roots are buried. The growing crown MUST be ABOVE the substrate.
- Once planted, don’t be tempted to move the plant as they don’t like being disturbed.
- They are adaptable to both acidic and alkaline water and seem to show no preference.
- High-intensity lighting or CO2 isn’t necessary for quick growth. (The Swords in the picture are grown in gravel, under basic lighting yet STILL grow fast)
- Every few months, pinch out the outermost leaves to make room for new growth.
The amazon sword is one of the low-light plants in home aquariums, which require the minimum light to survive. For more care of them, please go to Caring For Amazon Swords in Planted Aquarium.
If you are lucky, you will not only have a healthy plant and it will also produce babies!
A mature Sword will produce a flower spike. If this stays underwater, baby plants will grow on it. Once they have roots a few inches long, they can be removed with sharp scissors and planted!
If the spike reaches the surface, it will produce small, insignificant white flowers which CAN set seed although these are tricky to grow.
You now have all the info you need to successfully grow all species of Amazon Swords. If you need to keep your small tank warm for Amazon Swords, a Remarkable Little Heater will help you.
For MORE great advice and inspiration, check out the Hygger Aquarium Life group on Facebook.