If you are on the hunt for a great aquatic plant for your aquarium, look no further. The Amazon Sword plant is a great option for both beginners and experienced fish owners.
The Amazon Sword plant is easy to care for, resilient, and versatile among different types of fish tanks. Not to mention, its rich, forest-like green color is absolutely stunning.
If you want to learn more about the benefits and qualities of having this plant in your aquarium, keep reading to find our full guide below.
About the Amazon Sword Plant
The Amazon Sword plant is a rossette plant that is widely popular among aquarium connoisseurs. The scientific name of the plant is Echinodorus grisebachii or Echinodorus amazonicus – people usually call it one or the other, but they are the same plant. It comes from the Plantae kingdom.
Hence the name of this plant, it originates from the Amazon River basin. However, they have also been found to come from regions like Cuba, Brazil, and even the United States.
The plant’s leaves actually grow quite long. At the minimum, they will grow about 1 foot long. At its maximum, it is able to grow an astonishing 20 inches in length.
The Amazon Sword plant has lots of different factors that go along with it. Below, we will mention the benefits, requirements, planting methods, compatibility, maintenance, and propagation of how to properly care for this amazing aquatic plant.
Benefits of the Amazon Sword Plant
Resilience – One of the best things that makes this plant so popular is how resilient it is. While they can vary in the conditions in which they grow, these plants can usually tolerate a variety of water pH levels. They are not too sensitive to temperature; just make sure that it isn’t at an
Versatile – The Amazon Sword plant is incredibly versatile. It is compatible with a wide variety of aquatic life and other aquatic plants.
Low-maintenance – This plant is very low-maintenance making it a great aquatic plant for beginners. It isn’t extremely sensitive to pH levels or temperature, so you won’t need to be too tentative to those needs. Also, it doesn’t require lots of cleaning. The only thing you need to be hyper-aware and careful of is algae growth.
Size of tank – The Amazon Sword plant must be kept in a tank that is at least the size of 20 gallons but preferably larger. This is due to the fact that they can grow at least 12 inches in height. If taken care of properly, they can even grow to be approximately 20 inches tall or more. Their maximum size typically cuts off at around 24 inches.
Substrate – The Amazon Sword plant is versatile in terms of which substrate it is planted in. Ideally, a loosely packed substrate will allow this plant to grow to its fullest potential. The roots can grow quite large, and they will grow extensively throughout the bottom of the tank as well. The height of this plant will require lots of depth to the substrate (around 2.5 inches at least).
Temperature – In terms of temperature, the Amazon Sword plant should be kept in a tank with a temperature of around 68 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit. This will ensure that the plant will be long-lasting and healthy.
Water – The aquarium water’s pH levels are very important to ensuring the plant’s health. Typically, the pH level should be at around 6.5 to 7.5. Going below 6.0 is unacceptable and will severely damage your plant.
How to Plant an Amazon Sword Plant
Before planting any aquatic plants in your tank, it is important that the tank is properly cleaned. This means making sure the water is at a proper pH level, ensuring the temperature is acceptable, doing a complete water change, and filtering out excess particles and bacteria that may be floating in your tank.
The next step is making sure the plant you are going to place in your aquarium is healthy. To ensure that the plant is acceptable, there are a few things you need to be sure of.
- Ensure that the color is right. One of the earliest signs of a damaged plant is the color. If it is a dull, brown, or yellow color, discard it. A healthy Amazon Sword plant will be a rich, forest-like green color.
- Check the leaves. Make sure that the leaves have no signs of tearing or cracking. They should be strong and sturdy. Also, make sure there are no signs of dying. This could mean the plants looking dull and lifeless.
- Make sure your fish are compatible with the Amazon Sword plant. Most aquatic life live great alongside the Amazon Sword plant, but there are some species that you need to look out for. For example, goldfish are notorious for eating the plant. This will cause severe damage and even death.
- Ensure that the plant is free from holes. Holes in the plant could mean that it is prone to infection or already infected. This means it is at risk for severe damage and even death.
These questions are essential to making sure your tank is suitable to house this plant. If you notice that your plant or tank fails one of these requirements, it is not a good idea to plant it in your tank. This is going to save you from damaging your tank and possibly even killing your aquatic life.
Once you have determined that your Amazon Sword plant is healthy and compatible with your tank, you can start planting it.
First, you need to have the proper substrate. A good substrate will be loosely packed, and layered to at least 2.5 inches in depth. This is due to the root growth this plant produces. The depth of the substrate will give it a solid base for a healthy life.
Also, the Amazon Sword plant should be placed around the center of the tank. This plant’s leaves grow long and outward, so you don’t want them to be crammed against the side of the tank. By planting it in the center, you are giving it enough room to grow and flourish.
When it actually comes time to plant it, it works as simple as any other plant would. All you have to do is place it in a hole in the substrate. Do not fill the hole back up too much — Make sure you leave the crown of the roots showing.
This plant is very versatile, as it is compatible with many different species of fish. This is because, in its natural environment, it exists surrounded by numerous fish and other animals.
The Amazon Sword plant works great in communal tanks filled with tropical freshwater aquatic life, as they are accustomed to these species in their natural environment.
Some of the fish most popularly kept in tanks with the Amazon Sword plant are guppies, mollies, angelfish, discus, oscars, platies, and many more species of fish.
Fish to avoid pairing with an Amazon Sword plant are goldfish and plecos. Even though this plant is highly resilient, these species of fish will eat the plant and damage it over time, possibly even killing it altogether.
If you are worried about your fish eating the plant, our recommendation would be to get fish that feed off of algae. This will prevent them from eating the plants instead.
As far as plants go, you are going to want to stray away from other plants that have long leaves. This will hinder your tank from appearing too overcrowded. The Amazon Sword plant works best with plants in its same genus which is Echinodorus. Another great option is to choose plants from the Alismataceae family. These plants are going to best resemble this plant’s natural environment.
How to Maintain an Amazon Sword Plant
The great thing about these plants is that they don’t need a great deal of attention, so this is a great plant for beginning fish tank owners.
As far as trimming goes, you don’t need to trim this plant regularly. However, you are able to trim off unwanted parts when you are planting this in your tank. Additionally, when these leaves expand, you can trim them if they get too large for your tank.
Something important to keep your plant healthy is making sure you have the correct lighting. Just like your aquatic life, your plants also need a good lighting cycle in order to flourish. Lighting should be on around 12 hours of the day. It is a good idea to invest in a ramp timer, so the lighting can simulate a natural aquatic environment.
If you notice your Amazon Sword plant starts to become dull and lifeless, there are a few things you can do. First, it is essential that your water requirements and temperature are where they need to be. Otherwise, it can seriously harm the plant’s health. Also, cut off the leaves that look noticeably infected. This will prevent the infection from spreading to other parts of the plant.
Additionally, the Amazon Sword plant is capable of cracking and tearing. Even though the stem of the plant is very strong and resilient, the leaves sometimes can be very fragile and delicate. This makes them prone to tearing. If you notice that some of the leaves do begin to crack or tear, gently cut them off as close to the base as possible without disturbing the rest of the plant.
Algae growth is another concern when caring for an Amazon Sword plant. The Amazon Sword plant grows best when it is stimulated by light. However, this can be an issue because light can stimulate algae growth which can negatively impact your tank. To prevent this, make sure you are doing frequent water changes so waste does not build up over time.
Another way to prevent algae growth is by keeping fish in your tank that feed off of algae. Some of these fish include different shrimps, some species of catfish, and some plecos.
How to Propagate an Amazon Sword Plant
Propagation for the Amazon Sword plant is actually not complicated at all. If taken care of properly, it should propagate naturally on its own. On the maternal stem of this plant, small plantlets begin to grow with a couple of small leaves and a beginning root system.
Once you notice that the root system and leaves have grown and developed, you can very carefully cut them off and plant them elsewhere in the substrate of the tank. It is highly important that you do not cut off the plantlet too early. This means it will be underdeveloped, and it might be severely damaged in the long-run. If cut off too early, it can even cause the plant to die.
You are also able to plant them in other tanks, but the ideal scenario is to plant them in the same tank as the plant that they came from. This is due to the fact that these small, infantile plants can struggle to prosper in an environment by themselves.
When you plant the new plant, it is crucial that you keep it completely submerged in the water. This will allow it to grow at a faster speed and ensure the best development process.
If you are worried about the health of the new plantlet, you can incorporate different supplements to help it grow accordingly.
An Amazon Sword plant can make a great addition to many planted and community tanks. It is compatible with lots of aquatic life and aquatic plants. Additionally, it is low-maintenance making it a perfect plant to have for a beginning fish tank owner or for an experienced hobbyist.
The most important thing to ensure with this plant is the prevention of algae growth and water changes. These two things are going to ensure your plant’s health.
Ultimately, this plant is a great choice as long as you take care of it properly.