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Re: Red Sword Recommendations

>From: "Robert H" <robertpaulh at earthlink_net>
>>>Is the Ech. uruguayesis
>and Ech. hormanii the same plant?
>>Uruguayesis is not a red sword, but I like the look of it because of its
>long ribbon like leaves. 

E. uruguayensis is the name used by Haynes and Holm-Nielsen (1994) to
describe a number of related Echinodorus which include E. horemanii. The
leaves can be narrow or wide. The one with narrower leaves is typically
called uruguayensis; with wider leaves it is horemanii. There is a green
horemanii, with beautiful translucent leaves and there is a particularly
striking one called E.horemanii, red. You can see a nice, but very small
picture of red horemanii in ZooMed's ad in PLANTED AQUARIA MAGAZINE (lower
left). It is my photo and my plant.  This is the quality that the publisher
(Gomberg) intended for all the photos, but unfortunately there was an
unanticipated problem with the slide scans. 

>They can get quite large. I had one for three years
>that ended up taking up a whole corner of my 100 gallon tank.

Indeed they can grow large, but with care their size can be controlled. I
have been keeping red horemanii in the same (2 wpg)70 gallon tank for
almost ten years now and I have had them range from 12 inches to over 20
inches. It is all a function of light and nutrients. In a 125 with more
light and nutrients, it took up 1/3 of the tank. Now I am keeping them as a
group of bonzai plants and the look is stunning. They are one of my
favorite plants, but unfortunately they may not longer be available
Because of its beautiful dark red leaves, the red horemanii has become the
mother of several red sword hybrids - including 'rubin', 'narrow leaf
rubin' and 'rose'. I possibly have a new one from eastern Europe that is
similar to narrow leaf rubin and it looks very similar to red horemanii.
The hybrids CAN be grown emersed, so they should all be readily available.
Unlike all the hybrids, however, the red horemanii retains its red color on
all the older leaves. I believe the reason it is not widely available is
because it may not grow emersed. Gasser's Specialty Plant Nursery (my
original source which has since closed down) raised both the green and red
forms underwater. It reproduced by producing new plants on the woodly

>Several lurkers here have both the
>Ruby and the Indian red, perhaps someone will tell you on or off list how it
>has grown for them.

The Indian Red is great new plant. It is yet another hybrid of E. X barthii
(the "so-called" double red hybrid of E.osiris). The nice thing about
Indian Red is that it does not appear to get large. The largest mine have
gotten is ~8 inches, but I have not yet exposed it to relatively high
light. It has been growing a few years in my low (~1wpg) light 70 g tank.
There is a picture of it on pages 7 and 28 of the Spring 2000 issue of PAM.
I suspect that with brighter light, the older leaves may retain more red.

Another neat plant is the so-called "Red Flame." This is a variant of
ozelot. I call it the "green on red" ozelot. Although I am red-green color
blind, the colors are very constrasty and show up much better (to me) than
the orginal ozelot.