The Amazon Sword (Echinodorus Bleheri) is a very popular aquarium plant originating from the Amazon River Basin, as its name already suggests. Amazon Sword is usually a generic name for a few different species, of which Echinodorus Bleheri and Echinodorus Amazonicus are the most common.
Although their features are slightly different, they have basically the same needs and requirements.
This plant is very commonly found in pet stores all around the world and a very popular beginner plant, as it is very easy to care for and not very fussy.
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Amazon Sword Plant Overview
Amazon Sword Plant is a bushy plant with a short stem. It originally emerged from the middle and lower sections of the Amazon River Basin. The word “sword” refers to their sword-like unique shaped leaves, making them different and stunning. Echinodorus plants are located in the USA, Columbia, and Cuba. Generally, markets sell this plant under the name Paniculatus. Most wild Amazon swords thrive in flora and fauna surrounding the Amazon basin. The plant’s length grows close to 14 inches, and if it is a tall plant, it can grow up to 15-16 inches.
As it has excellent benefits like sturdiness and the ability to tolerate at several temperatures, this becomes the most common plant found in aquariums all across the world. Their sturdiness and resilience help them survive in all water conditions.
Moreover, its price is very low. The Amazon Sword Plant cost ranges between $5-7 per plant. This price may vary depending on the size, and at a few places, retailers offer extra-large plants for $10.
|The Amazon Sword Plant
|Minimum Tank Size
|72-82o F; 6.5-7.5 pH; 8-15 o dH
|Mild to moderate
The Amazon Sword Appearance
As these plants fall under the “Echinodorus” genus, they inherit similar appearances, making one mistaken for another. This confusion increases when aquarists keep one or more types of these plants in aquariums.
The Amazon Sword Plant is a bushy plant with long leaves. Their leaves grow and reach the ground, with great thickness at the middle and narrowing down towards the leaf’s top. We can see cultivars with wide or thin leaves, and a few of them have crinkled edges with defined waves which gives an amazing look for aquascaping.
The Amazon Sword Size
The typical Amazon Sword plant grows up to 14 inches on the lower end and 15-16 inches for larger specimens. These plant leaves are extended straight from the roots on thin shafts.
The Amazon Sword: Plant Care and Tank Set-Up
The Amazon Sword Plant: Tank Size And Specifications
Optimum Tank Size For The Amazon Sword Plant
This plant can grow up to 24 inches high, it will do best in a tank larger than 20- 30 gallons. This size will ensure enough space for the vertical growth of the plant and not over-crowd the water tank with tank inhabitants either. Water pH should be between 6.5-7.5 and temperature between 72-82 degrees Fahrenheit. The amazon sword accepts soft to moderately hard water in aquariums as their natives thrive in absolute soft water.
Tank Shape For The Amazon Sword Plant
Since the Amazon Sword plant is very tall, it’s preferable to use deep tanks over small, shallow ones. Although the Amazon Sword survives being partially submerged, it’s not a valid reason to plant them in shallow tanks. This way, you’ll cause their runners to get damaged in shallow tanks.
Even though the highly preferred substrates are sand, gravel, and aqua soil, the Amazon Sword plant can grow in any type of substrate. Begin by planting the Amazon Sword in small grain gravel or, ideally, a specialty planting substrate. As long as the substrate is quite loose for easy rooting and 2.5 inches thick, it’s all good for the amazon plants.
Be very careful while planting it in the sand, as it will be very easy for large fish to uproot it if roots are not well developed.
The Amazon Sword will make an excellent background plant or a centerpiece for large tanks as it grows high and wide. Avoid planting it in small tanks (under 20 gallons) or trimming the leaves constantly to create space in the tanks. Shallow tanks will cause problems for your plant’s growth and leave too little swimming space for the fish.
If you plan to grow your plant similar to its wild natives, consider keeping the water level above the leaf blades for its optimal growth. In the wild, these plants are submerged in marshy water till its leaves and thrive in a boggy environment.
Fertilize the water column after the weekly water changes to keep the plant healthy and bright green. Iron is the most important nutrient, as well as CO2 root tabs. The Amazon Sword will thrive and grow well even without CO2 supplementation, unlike many plants.
Constantly check for and trim torn or damaged leaves, as they won’t recover. This way, the plant may redirect its energy to healthy extremities and help the tank appear clean and tidy.
Algae are a common problem for this plant, as it lives in warm, tropical water.
Whenever you notice algae growth on the leaves, gently wipe them down to allow the plant to receive all the light and nutrients it can absorb.
Provide 10-12 hours of moderate light per day, at around 3 watts per gallon; you can use a specialty plant bulb or fluorescent tube, as well as a high-quality LED. Strong lighting will also encourage algae growth, so be careful not to provide too much. Always use a moderate amount of light, as excess light invites algae growth or even causes “burns” on the leaves.
The Amazon Sword multiplies by growing a single stem with adventitious runners about 3-4 inches away from one another. These runners will grow into smaller plants, developing their roots, respectively. When fully developed with strong roots, the plant can be cut apart from the mother stem and replanted in the substrate.
Before replanting, you should trim the roots by the ends to encourage faster growth. This plant grows with strong roots; hence make sure you provide thick enough substrate to support their growth.
Water Parameters For The Amazon Sword Plant
The Amazon Sword plant can grow well in community tank water under specific conditions:
Water Temperature should be tropical fish range between 72-820 F.
Aquarium pH should be between 6.5-7.5, and few members suggest pH as low as 6.0 is accepted.
The Amazon Sword Plant Tank Landscape
This plant can be kept together with other contrasting colored plants, as it will form a nice background to the tank. It also serves as a good spot for fish spawning to protect their eggs and other smaller fishes from larger, aggressive fishes in the tank.
The Amazon Sword can be compatible with only the plants from the same genus (Echinodorus) and a few species of the Alismataceae family. The spade-leaf sword plant (Echinodorus cordifolius) is one of the most preferred plants. It can grow naturally well in a communal tropical freshwater tank. You can keep various predatory fish species such as tetras or other cichlids in your aquarium. Also, characids and other popular species such as gourami, zebra zebrafish, guppies, mollies, pieds, discus, and angelfish can be great additions to your aquarium. In addition, the bottom dwellers or small cleaners keep the tanks clean, improving the plant’s overall health.
Worst Plants for the Amazon Sword plant Tanks
Avoid large, destructive fish like Plecos, Oscars, Texas Cichlids, or Jack Dempseys, as they can dig up or tear down the stems. Goldfish will constantly try to pull them out and graze on them as on any narrow-leaved plant, so only place these two species together if you want to feed your Goldfish some salad.
Decoration for the Amazon Sword Plant Tanks
Replace your artificial plants with the hardy Amazon Sword to provide your tank with a natural filter and relieve the mechanical one of some extra load. The broad leaves provide some extra privacy to shy fish as well.
Lighting for the Amazon Sword Plant Tanks
The amazon sword plants appreciate moderately bright light. They spread out to their fullest potential when you provide them with 10-12 hours of light. You can either keep them near sunlight ( provided you don’t have fishes as fishes don’t live in warm water) or provide light by using fluorescent or regular filaments. Also, a good aeration system will optimize the growth rate of these plants.
The Amazon Sword Plant Compatibility and Tank Mates
Ideal Amazon Sword Plant Tank Mates
- Spade-leaf sword plant.
- Coming to the fishes, tetras, or other cichlids,
- characids or other fishes from the Characiformes,
- Zebra Danios,
- Discus, and
Bad Tank Mates For The Amazon Sword Plant
- Texas Cichlids, or
- Jack Dempseys
Facts About Amazon Sword Plant
- Most loved plant: Less maintenance is required for maintaining the amazon sword plant well. Rather it is one of the favorite foreground plants for aquarium lovers. When this plant’s thick leaves spread completely all over the aquarium, their green color will pop up, enhancing the overall look of your aquarium tank Addition of colorful fishes increases attraction towards this aquatic plant. Even the fishes hide behind their bushy leaves from predators.
- High-intensity lighting: Amazon Sword requires more light. They require moderate lights up to 11-12 hours a day for photo-synthesis.
- Do not require as much care as you are thinking: Surely, beginners can adopt this variety of plants as it has a simple level of maintenance. It requires very little care, which makes you amazed. Once you have settled the tank conditions with specified water temperature, lighting, and Aquarium pH, it forms the natural environment. Then you don’t have to be worried when you change the water in the tank weekly once.
- Spreads throughout: Amazon Sword’s growth rate was quite slow, even though it slowly grew and spread all over the aquarium.
Are Amazon Swords Right For You?
We recommend choosing this plant if you wish to have a small aquarium that carpets the whole tank with its bushes. This plant does not need CO2. It is a sturdy and easy-maintained plant, which does not require much attention, making it an ideal choice for beginner aquarists. Even experienced tank keepers can also enjoy seeing this beautiful plant.
Frequent water cycles are an important aspect of this plant. Dirty and polluted water makes the plant sick and die. Apart, acidity may also occur. As we know, this plant can tolerate any water and several types of animals and fish. It looks very excited with its bushy green leaves spread over the tank.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is The Best Area Of Placing The Amazon Sword Plant?
You can place these Amazon Sword Plants in community fish tanks as they are well-behaved plants. You should not keep this plant along with Oscars, Jack Dempsey, Texas Cichlids, Plecostomus, or any other roughens because these fishes can easily damage the plant leaves.
What Are The Things I Need To Look at Before Purchasing The Amazon Sword Plants?
Firstly, look for the Amazon Sword Plant with healthy green leaves. Now, check the leaves for holes, cracks, or brown spots. Next, pick the plant with a robust root structure that looks healthy. Do not choose the plants with discolored or dying leaves. The best choice for purchasing the plant is when the leaves are brown, yellow, or turning clear.
Is Amazon Sword Care Hard?
The care for the Amazon Sword Plant is pretty easy as it can grow well in community tank water with specific conditions for Aquarium pH, water temperature, and lighting. Hence, it can be good for beginners too. The Aquarium pH should be between 6.5-7.5, the water temperature should be tropical fish range between 72-82 0 F, and the lighting should be moderate to strong, which should be between 10-12 hours per day.
What Is The Growth Rate Of The Amazon Sword Plants?
The growth rate gets slow in low-tech tanks if the plant gets accustomed to its current environment. Even though it can grow up to 12 inches in height, this plant can grow 18 to 20 inches or more under specific conditions. So, it is better to place this plant in tanks with lots of height, such as a 29-gallon aquarium.
Is The Amazon Swords Hardy?
Yes, it is a hardy species that is popular among aquarium hobbyists. A moderate level of care and moderate to strong lighting is required for this plant. It also requires certain nutrients to grow healthy.
Benefits Of Amazon Sword in Your Tank
If your freshwater tank is filled with shrimp or skittish fish, you need an Amazon Sword plant in your tank. Apart from providing an area for hiding, exploration, and even breeding, this plant provides tons of enrichment for tank inhabitants. Most of the aquarists preferred this plant as a background plant as the group of these plants creates a dense jungle of greenish vegetation. Additionally, a single plant also can act as a purifier more than a decorative element in the aquarium. Absorbing the CO2 in the water and producing O2 for the fishes present in the tank are some of the most interesting benefits of the Amazon Sword Plant. Moreover, it utilizes the waste and organic debris in the aquarium for growing. Also, the Amazon Sword maintains ammonia and nitrate levels at bay.
Planting an Amazon Sword Plant
The Amazon Sword Plant is resilient and can grow well in the aquarium gravel. The better choice for this plant is a loosely packed plant substrate. The Amazon Sword plant roots grow extensively deep down and wide all over the tank. So, it is a good choice to have enough substrate depth to accommodate this plant, which results in a very tall plant soon. The plant roots should be anchored well, and you should not bury the crown while planting. Make sure that the plant crown should be visible.
By placing it at the center of the tank, this plant gets enough space to grow and reach its maximum height. Due to its bushy leaves, most aquarium inhabitants use this plant to hide against their predators. The plant substrate you have chosen should be around 2.5 inches thick irrespective of the material. You can use any substrate for planting; large-grained sand is better for newbie aquarists.
Care For Your Amazon Sword
Actually, the Amazon sword plant does not need much attention. First of all, make sure the Amazon Plant has enough space for its horizontal and vertical growth. Even trimming is also not required. Just cut off unwanted shoots during the propagation and watch it continue to grow in the tank, and its leaves grow larger than the stem itself. Before planting, adding nutrient-rich soil in the tank enhances the propagation of healthier plants.
This plant ends with a blackish outgrowth when the leaves are infected or ill. In this stage, the leaves of this plant start losing their shape and begin changing color.
As we already discussed, it can tolerate any water parameter. The plant shows signs of mineral starvation when the water in the tank is too soft. In addition to that, remember that dirty water cannot develop the plant. It’s highly suggested to change the tank water at least once a week by about 20% to help this plant live healthy and beautiful. To prevent the symptoms add combined supplements that contain micro-elements to the tank, nearly 0.05 oz. Per 25 gallons should be used once a week.
A few tips for caring for this plant:
- No need for supplements. Fish food and fresh water provide the nutrients to this plant.
- This plant keeps the water clean and gets rid of unwanted compounds.
- Unfollowing the lighting regime will become prone to algae growth. The algae increases by leaving the light switched on for a longer time. So, take care of following the lighting regime.
Algae Growth on Leaves
The Amazon Sword plants grow very slowly and need strong light for long hours, leading to the growth of the algae. If algae are spread over the leaves, it is advised not to wipe the algae growth leaves as they can crack. To check the algae growth in plants, Amano shrimp, Mystery Snails, Red Cherry Shrimp, Nerite Snails, and Otocinclus Catfish are very helpful.
The excess algae are grown on the leaves due to aquarium water conditions and excessive light. So, take care of water conditions to satisfy the plant by testing and conducting regular partial water changes. The lighting is essential for this plant growth which needs strong light for hours.
The maintenance, caring, and tank requirements of this plant are quite simple. Apart, there is no requirement of adding supplements too. No need for any experience required for growing this plant. This plant has a few beneficial features which help your tank and the animals present. Hence beginners can surely grow this plant easily by following a few specific conditions.