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Echinodorus amazonicus
Amazon Sword

 Age of Aquariums > Aquarium Plants

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eamazon1.jpg (12kb)
Photo Credit: Matthius Lettington

Name: Echinodorus amazonicus
Origin: Brazil

Care Gravel Light
Average Rich High


This sword plant is perhaps the most popular rosette plant sold in the pet trade today. They are royal-looking centerpiece plants that are fairly hardy and take root easily once they adjust to the new tank. I have a 12" sword in a 29 gallon and one almost twice that size (yes, in time they can be tank-busters!) in a 54 gallon tank, and they both do quite well. This species prefers softer water and needs CO2 fertilization to look its best. Old leaves that shed frequently and new "glassy" looking yellowish leaf buds are a sign that it is suffering from bad lighting or iron deficiency and liquid fertilizer should be added. The related Echinodorus bleheri is a related sword (also often called "Amazon") that tolerates slightly harder water.

Contributed by Pandora

This gorgeous "Viney" looking plant is great to have in a rather large tank. I know it was kinda dumb of me to just get this plant and stick it in the substrate but maybe I have some great begginners luck because I cut the stems right when I got them and after just two weeks I have about 5 1\12 inch leaves in place. I think the plant grows rather easily with some strong lighting. You might not want larger fish because for one thing they are uprooters and they nip those really long leaves, other than that the fish LOVE them especially the small platies and other livebearers who for some reason like to sleep on the leaves. I have woken up and found all my little platies (4 of them) asleep on a leaf. So in conclusion I would have to rate this as one of my favorite plants! P.S. some good liquid fertilizer really goes a long way!

Contributed by David

This was my first plant, and so far the amazon is doing the best from all my other plants (and that includes anubias). Its leaves grow large and, in my experience, it replaces dead ones quickly. This means lots of pruning, which I leave to my fish. Generally it is not advised to keep cichlids with the amazon swords, as it is a gentle plant and rips easily. However my malawi cichlids leave it alone and only pick at the dead leaves, which means less work for me. Don't keep this with larger cichlids such as oscars. Get a good substrate for it as its roots grow huge. Overall easy to care for with proper lighting. An 80 liter tank is the MINIMUM and that would be one crowded plant!

Contributed by Andrew Sienko

Very easy to grow. I've grown them potted (like houseplants, in an aquarium) and in aquarium gravel, and both ways worked extremely well. They have large root systems that will overwhelm other aquarium plants. And they can become simply huge! I've had them grow so large in my 170 liter bow front (50 cm deep) that the leaves stood above the water. And when they bloom, it can be either very attractive if your tank is set up so you can appreciate the blooms above water line, or it can be a big mess caused by the petals and flower parts falling into the water or on the floor by the tank. I've seen many pictures of sword plants with baby plants held on runners. I've never had one do this in my tanks.

Contributed by Hal Hynds

I have a 280 L tank and deciced I wanted live plants. So I got two decent sized swords. I don't know if I'm just lucky or what, but these things just took off. I got them at about 25-30 cm tall, both with somewhat wide leaves as well as tendrils with babies on them. I gave them chelated iron once a week for the first month. Most of the old wide leaves now two months later have been replaced with long thin dark green leaves that almost spiral. They're awesome looking, and I also have 11 babies that are just doing great. I had to cut the tendrils back because I ran out of room to put babies. The plants all have new leaves coming out everywhere. It's just unreal, so I would definitely recommend an iron supplement.

Contributed by Sean Sundin

I recently set up a 700 L freshwater planted aquarium. I started with 2 amazon swords. As the plants grew and rooted I took them out of the water and carefully cut them vertically in half. If you do this properly you should have two new amazon swords with some leaves and some roots each. In about a week the new plant will have healed and will begin growing properly. Repeat this every month and you could get a nice collection of one the most beautiful aquarium plants around.

Contributed by Daniel Courtney

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