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Red Tiger Lily Question

First, a bit of background:

I bought two of these plants from my LFS. They were like 15" tall, with 
leaves about the size of a silver dollar. I put them in my 25g tank that is 
rather tall and wanted some stable, tall plants for it. Within a week, both 
had melted down. Only one started growing back. The other never did. I had 
to pull out the rotting rootball. 

The one that lived is much shorter now, like 10", but the leaves are HUGE. 
The size of my hand! And I'm getting 1-2 new leaves each week. Needless to 
say, it's taking over one corner of my tank. My sword is getting shaded by 
it too. Though the sword is pushing out longer leaves to compensate. Rather 

So, my question is: How safe is it to remove the older leaves? Or should I 
just let it grow? It's beautiful, and I wouldn't mind letting it go...:-) 

Oh, and another question: It seems to be a rhizome based plant. If so, how 
big should I let the rhizome get before separating it? Does it reproduce 
vegetatively? I'd like to spread it around my tank some.