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Oddly enough, Amazon sword plants originally came from the Amazon River. These days they come mostly
Many Varieties: You’ll find several types of sword plants under the “Amazon” label. You’ll even find different species called Amazon swords. Certain farms produce their own particular strains. Others cross different species to come up with hybrids under the same rubric.
Starting Suggestion: Strip any damaged leaves off your new swords. Snip off any non-white roots. And snip the tips off any healthy roots. All these nips and snips encourage new growth.
Reproduction: Amazon swords usually reproduce by root division and by seed. Root division keeps the strain pure. Seeds produce the hybrids and the largest “litters.” Root division works best in your aquarium. Most sword keepers never see an adult sword plant bloom and produce seeds. Many Fareast plant farms use microbiology to turn out acres of identical sword plants. Do not attempt this at home.
Substrate: Swords grow best in smaller grained substrates about the size of a b-b. Adding clay to the substrate helps a lot. Mixing in large quantities of vermiculite helps even more. Some growers add soil. We think soil’s way too messy to use.
Fertilizers: The laterite products on the market were developed specifically to help you grow sword plants. Swords also respond very well to leaf fertilizers and even better to root fertilizers. Avoid over fertilizing them.
Lighting: If you’re serious about your swords, put a timer on your tank and give them exactly 12 hours of good light. Deep tanks require more bulbs than shallow tanks. Swords respond well to nearly any good light source.
Algae Problems: Too much light will cause algae to grow on your Amazon sword leaves. YOU cannot remove it. The Siamese algae eating sharks and the algae-eating shrimps can do the job. Otocinclus help a great deal also. Never add a plecostomus.
Other Threats: Plecos skin their leaves and make them look like lace plants. Silver dollars eat them down to their roots. So will Colombian ramshorn snails and apple snails. Big cichlids like to uproot them. Keep turtles and crayfish out of any plant tank.
Water: Amazon swords grow just
Size: Most tank-raised Amazon swords grow 12 to18-inches tall. Oddly enough, too much light keeps them from growing tall. They flatten out. On the other hand, we’ve seen these plant grow up and out of a 70-gallon tank under hanging lights. These big momma plants grow flowers and make lots and lots of little baby swordlets.
Great Egg Site: If you keep breeder size angels, you’ll notice your angels prefer to spawn on Amazon sword plant leaves. They’re both from the same river. Angels can wreck their leaves when spawning.
Last Word: Amazon swords will survive and grow even under less than perfect conditions. That’s what makes them one of the most popular decorative plants. LA.
More at More Sword Plants
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