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Amazon Sword Plant Care & Propagation Guide

Amazon Sword Plant Care & Propagation Guide

The Amazon Sword (Echinodorus amazonicus) is a stunning, beginner-friendly aquarium plant adored for its vibrant bushy appearance. 

Originating from the Amazon River Basin, this hardy plant is a favorite for its captivating presence, ease of care, and natural touch of beauty.

This article will cover Amazon sword plant care including planting, propagation, trimming, tank mates, and what to look for when buying these beautiful plants.

Key Takeaways

  • The Amazon sword plant is a beginner-friendly option for aquariums and can adapt to different water parameters.
  • To properly care for the Amazon sword plant, provide an appropriately sized tank, maintain proper water parameters, provide adequate lighting, and use suitable substrate and fertilizer.
  • When planting, select healthy plants with robust root systems and follow proper planting techniques.
  • Propagating the Amazon sword plant is a fairly straightforward process.

Amazon Sword Plant Overview

  • Scientific name: Echinodorus amazonicus
  • Native to: South America
  • Care level: Easy
  • Growth Rate: Moderate
  • Maximum size: 20 Inches (50 centimeters)
  • Water temperature: 60.8-82.4°F (20-27°C)
  • Water pH level: 6.5-7.5 pH
  • Water hardness: 8-15 dGH
  • Lighting: Moderate to strong
  • Tank placement: Mid to Background
  • Co2 requirement: None

The Amazon Sword Plant is a popular freshwater aquarium plant native to South America.

Its lush greenery, ease of care, and ability to transform underwater landscapes make it a big hit for fish keepers around the world.

Appearance and Growth Rate

The Amazon sword plant has long vibrant green leaves that extend from a central point and taper elegantly to their ends, creating an overall stylish and eye-catching look for any freshwater aquarium. Under the right conditions, some plants even display small white flowers above the water’s surface. A nice little bonus, right?

Under favorable conditions, this plant can grow to be quite large – up to a foot or even taller, around 18 to 20 inches. It’s like a skyscraper among aquatic plants. It has robust root systems that help firmly anchor it into the substrate, allowing for healthy growth in larger tanks.

Amazon Sword Care

For optimal care, ensure that you have an appropriately sized tank, maintain proper water parameters, provide adequate lighting, and use suitable substrate and fertilizer.

Tank Size

Amazon swords can thrive in 10-gallon tanks at a minimum. This size tank will provide enough space to accommodate this plant while keeping the water conditions just right.  If the tank is smaller than this, your plant might not have enough room to grow and become overcrowded.

That being said, larger tanks ranging from 20-30 gallons are a better option for these plants because they provide ample vertical space for these plants to grow and thrive.

Tank Placement

This plant is ideal for midground or background placement. Its tall, broad leaves work well to create a dense forest-like backdrop in larger tanks and serve as a perfect centerpiece in smaller tanks.

Water Parameters

The Amazon sword plant is a hardy species that can adapt to a wide range of water parameters. It thrives in temperatures between 60.8°F and 82.4°F (20°C – 27°C).

The pH level should be maintained between 6.5 and 7.5, while water hardness should fall within the range of 8-15°dH

Required Lighting

This plant requires moderate to strong light for optimal growth. It is recommended to provide about 2-3 watts of light per gallon in the aquarium and provide lighting for 10 – 12 hours per day.

Adequate lighting helps prevent the stems from getting too long and encourages a compact growth pattern. However, it is important not to use excessive lighting, as it can lead to issues with algae.

Substrate & Plant Fertilizer

Amazon swords can grow in standard gravel substrates, but using specialty plant substrates or fine-gravel substrates can produce better results. These substrates are specifically designed for aquatic plants and provide a nutrient-rich environment that supports their growth.

Regular fertilizing will give these plants the nutrients they need. Using liquid fertilizers or root tabs specifically formulated for aquatic plants will help promote healthy growth.

It’s important to follow the instructions on the packaging when applying fertilizer to avoid over-fertilizing, which could harm your plants or lead to algae problems.

How To Plant Amazon Sword

Before planting, make sure to examine and quarantine your plant to avoid introducing any potential diseases or pests into your aquarium. 

Loosely packed plant substrate is the best option for an Amazon sword plant but due to their resilience, they can manage well when planted in aquarium gravel.

When planting, ensure that the plant’s roots are securely anchored, being cautious not to bury the crown. The crown of the plant should remain above the substrate, easily visible to the eye.

How To Propagate Amazon Sword Plant

Propagating the Amazon Sword Plant is a fairly straightforward process.

These plants grow a long maternal stem, from which small plantlets emerge. Over time, these plantlets develop their own root systems and a couple of leaves.

When you notice the growth of both roots and leaves, you can snip off the plantlets and relocate them within the same tank. Placing them in different tanks is also an option, it’s best if the substrates are similar, as young shoots may struggle to adapt to entirely new environments.

It’s essential to keep the cut-off plantlets submerged. This helps them grow faster and ensures proper development.

To establish the developed plantlets, you can plant them in the substrate and anchor them with small rocks. During their early stages, providing extra CO2 and supplementary nutrients can aid their health and growth.

Be careful to avoid cutting off young plants that are still in the early stages of development. Don’t worry if you notice a slight yellowish tint in the emerging plantlets; this is a common trait among young Sword plants.

Amazon Sword Tank Mates

An Amazon Sword Plant is a good choice for community fish tanks. Some fish you might consider keeping in the same tank are tetras, guppies, and rasboras as they won’t disturb the delicate root system or damage the leaves of your Amazon sword.

Other tank mates, you may want to consider:

  • Mollies
  • Gouramis
  • Platies
  • Discus
  • Angelfish

Another excellent choice is small invertebrates like shrimp and snails. They help clean up debris and algae and add a bit of interest to your tank at the same time.

When selecting tank mates, consider their size and behavior. Avoid aggressive or territorial fish that may nibble on your plants, tear their leaves, or compete for resources.

Troubleshooting Common Problems

If you’re noticing yellow or brown leaves, frequent plant deaths, or struggling with algae growth, this section will provide you with solutions to common issues.

Yellow or Brown Leaves

Yellow or brown leaves are a common indication of nutrient deficiencies. When the leaves turn yellow, it typically means that the plant is lacking essential nutrients like iron, potassium, or nitrogen.

These deficiencies can be caused by poor water quality or a lack of proper fertilization. Similarly, leaves that turn brown can also signal nutrient deficiencies or even excess light exposure.

To address this issue, it’s crucial to ensure that your plant has access to adequate nutrition through regular dosing with a balanced fertilizer and maintaining proper water parameters.

Controlling Algae Growth

Amazon sword plants can be susceptible to algae growth. Maintaining proper water conditions is crucial for controlling algae growth in your freshwater aquarium. You can prevent excessive algae by regularly testing and adjusting the pH levels, temperature, and water hardness.

Performing regular water changes helps keep nutrients in balance and reduces the risk of algae blooms. Proper lighting is also essential; make sure to provide full-spectrum light for your Amazon sword plant without overexposing it.

Overfeeding fish can lead to excess organic waste, which contributes to algae growth. Be sure to promptly remove any uneaten food and tidy up debris in your tank.

Finally, consider adding algae-eating fish or invertebrates like shrimp or snails as natural controls for keeping algae at bay.

Frequent Plant Deaths

Frequent plant deaths can be disheartening. It’s essential to understand the common reasons why plants die in order to prevent future losses. One of the main reasons is poor water quality, which can lead to nutrient deficiencies or toxicity.

Insufficient lighting or improper fertilization can also contribute to plant death. Moreover, overcrowding and neglecting maintenance tasks like regular trimming and removing decaying matter can negatively impact your plants’ health.

What Are The Benefits Of Amazon Sword Plant?

Amazon sword plants offer a range of benefits for both your freshwater aquarium and its tank mates. 

Aesthetics: With its distinctive sword-shaped leaves, it adds an element of beauty and aesthetic appeal to your tank. 

Shelter: This plant provides much-needed shelter and hiding spots for fish and other aquatic pets. This can help reduce stress in your fish by providing them with places to retreat and feel secure.

Natural water purifier: Similar to many other aquatic plants, the Amazon sword plays a role as a natural water purifier. Using photosynthesis, it takes in the carbon dioxide released by fish and gives out oxygen, which in turn enhances the quality of the water.

The plant also takes up excess nutrients such as ammonia and nitrates, which can be harmful if they accumulate in high levels. By absorbing these nutrients, it helps maintain a healthy balance in your tank.

Propagation: The Amazon sword can easily make more plants right in your tank. It sends out these runner stems that develop into new plantlets with their very own root systems. So, you can grow your collection or even swap plants with other tanks without needing to buy more. Pretty smart, right?

Is Amazon Sword A Beginner Plant?

Yes, it’s an excellent choice for beginners and quite a crowd favorite. Its easy-care nature and ability to adapt make it a popular choice.

This plant can tolerate a wide range of water conditions, it’s quite forgiving if you make any mistakes while adjusting parameters. It’s also relatively low maintenance and can handle moderate lighting levels, making it suitable for various setups.

And as mentioned above they reproduce easily through runners, allowing you to propagate new plants without much effort.

What To Look For When Buying Amazon Sword Plant

When purchasing an Amazon sword plant for your aquarium, there are a few key factors to consider. Firstly, check the overall health of the plant. Look for vibrant green leaves without any signs of yellowing or browning.

Healthy plants will also have strong roots and stems that are free from damage or rot.

Next, consider the size of the plant in relation to your tank. Make sure it is appropriate for the space you have available and that it won’t overcrowd your other aquatic plants and buddies.

It’s also important to check if the plant has been grown submerged or immersed. Submerged plants tend to adapt better to aquarium life and have a higher chance of thriving in your tank.

Finally, look for any pests or signs of disease on the plant before making your purchase.

Amazon Sword Plant FAQs

Do Amazon sword plants need CO2?

No, Amazon sword plants can still grow well without adding CO2. If you want to help their growth, you could add root tabs to fertilize them and help them thrive.

Do Amazon sword plants spread?

Yes, Amazon swords can spread out and make more plants. They send out baby plants called “runners” that grow nearby.

Where should I plant my Amazon sword?

Plant your Amazon sword in the midground or background of your aquarium.  They grow very tall so you want to make sure they don’t block your view of other plants.

Wrapping Up

Caring for and propagating the Amazon Sword Plant can be a truly gratifying journey. Its distinctive appearance and adaptability make it a popular choice for both beginners and experienced aquarists. 

This versatile plant not only thrives in various water conditions but also offers harmonious living quarters for compatible tank companions.

Exploring propagation methods such as runners and division can allow you to expand your plant collection and even share its beauty with others. As you care for the Amazon Sword Plant, you’re not just cultivating stunning greenery; you’re nurturing a thriving aquatic environment.

I’m Elle, the founder of FishHQ. I created this website to share knowledge, tips, and inspiration for beginner hobbyists to help them create a healthy, happy, and vibrant environment for their fish to thrive. Read more...