Name: Echinodorus tenellus
This is a GREAT foreground plant! Once it fills in the bare spots, it gives a wonderfully "spidery" look. This plant is often 10 cm tall in the stores, and like many sword plants, once it is in the home aquarium, it changes its look. It will appear to die, but many times will have new growth near the roots which will grow in the "spidery" fashion mentioned above. This plant likes a nice, rich substrate, and needs lots of light. If these 2 conditions are met, the plant will multiply quickly with lots of daughter plants. The daughter plants are sprouted from runners the parent plant sends under the gravel. These daughter plants should only be allowed to remain attached to the parent for a little while. Once the daughter plants are 1/2 the size of the parent, the runners should be cut to allow both plants to continue to grow independent of each other.
Pygmy Chain Swords stay smaller than most swords and send out runners often. It enjoys a lot of light and does good when a little liquid fertilizer is added to the water. This plant makes for an exceptional foreground plant with its bright green leaves. With a little care you can have a beautiful foreground.
I just bought one of these plants for my first tank, a 100 liter commnity tank. It looked like it was in good shape when I bought it and looks even better now. Within 5 days it has already sent out 3 different runners and started to make new pygmy swords. The water is really soft and I haven't even added any fertilizer. Maybe it's just beginner's luck.
These plants in my experience don't need too much lighting. After putting 4 in my tank I now have about 20 new plants (after 6 weeks)! They grow under my Amazon Swords in low light conditions and don't seem to mind at all. Only problem is cutting the shoots every week or so or else the growing process is a little slow.
This dwarf sword is common in most LFS, although size may vary - high light = low growth, low light = taller, elongated growth. This plant can grow tightly together, creating dense stands in the aquarium. Pulling up some of the growth occasionally will prevent the plants from getting too tall by shading each other. Fertile substrate is recommended for fastest lawn-like results. Add CO2 and get the lawnmower out! :)
I grow these plants in ponds as well as in my show aquariums. These look really beautiful when planted along with Echinodorus Ozelot. Ozelots have a deep red/maroonish foliage, so a few ozelots surrounded by a carpet of tenellus gives a very striking and captivating view. In my ponds with running water it grows like anything forming a carpet just in a month.