Echinodorus grisebachii (Common name: Amazon sword plant)
Overview: Native to Central and South America, Echinodorus grisebachii or popularly called Amazon sword plant is cultivated in freshwater bodies like ponds, lakes and even aquariums. Aquarists swear by the multifarious uses of Echinodorus grisebachii in aquariums. Depending on the growth conditions, this plant can attain a minimum height of 18 to 20 inches or even more. Aquarium hobbyists have used this versatile aquatic plant in many ways inside the aquarium; whether it is used as a background plant or mid-ground plant as a focal centerpiece, Echinodorus grisebachii works like a charm either way. Echinodorus grisebachii has relatively low demands for optimum growth inside the aquarium. It demands at least 3 to 4 inches of the substrate layer to accommodate its large roots.
Appearance: Echinodorus grisebachii can attain a growth of 16 to 20 inches or more depending on the optimum growth conditions it is subjected to. It has large leaves that impart a beautiful contrast to its smaller counterparts. The leaves of Echinodorus grisebachii have a bright green coloration and new leaves may have a reddish or bronzish color. The leaves about 50 cm long and are submerged inside an aquarium. This plant often bears small white flowers with flat triangular petals. The leaf blades are lanceolate in shape.
Ideal water temperature conditions: Echinodorus grisebachii prefers a warm tropical climate with temperatures ranging between 22 and 28 degrees Celsius.
Water pH conditions: It tolerates both soft and hard water and a wide range of pH levels between 6 and 8.
Ideal lighting conditions: Echinodorus grisebachii prefers moderate lighting for optimum growth. In low lighting, the plant will grow at a very slow rate and fail to develop its characteristic large root system.
Uses and advantages:
1) Aquascaping – Echinodorus grisebachii is best suited as a background plant in large aquariums. However, some aquarists also use this plant in the midground as a centerpiece. The rich green hue and large leaves are in perfect contrast to smaller leaves of other plant species.
2) The large foliage of this aquatic plant is a perfect breeding place for spawning fishes like angelfish. They also provide hideouts for small fishes and fry.
3) The large leaves cleverly conceal unsightly aquarium equipment in the tank such as heaters, cords, filter tubes, thermostats etc., thereby increasing the aesthetics of aquarium.
Did you know?
Cutting off the top part of the stem and replanting it into the nutrient rich substrate can easily propagate Echinodorus grisebachii. Soon, several plantlets grow that can be removed once roots appear. Over a period of time, they can produce many offsprings.