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Re:Large Swords

>From: krandall at world_std.com
>Ken Guin wrote:

>>Has anyone come up
>>with a method of pruning or any other approach to overcome such a problem.

>only way to control the height is to change conditions to limit growth.
>This is usually best accomplished by reducing light and/or CO2.  If you
>reduce other nutrients, you may get deformed or unhealthy growth.  The
>problem with this approach is that it will affect most of the plants in the
>tank, not just the swords.  

Echinodorus species also known as sword plants are very variable
underwater. Some species are known to respond to length of daylight hours
and I am sure they also respond to nutrients. As Karen mentions, if you
deprive the plant of nutrients, they WILL get deformed leaves, but there
are also a wide variety of water conditions that will enable them to be

As daylengh changes, different forms of underwater leaves will develop or
the plant will become emersed. It varies with species. I have also observed
that both Echinodorus and Sagittaria are sensitive to CaCO3 levels.  I have
seen species grow taller by increasing the hardness from KH of 1-3 to 6-8.
At the higher levels, my red E. horemanii leaves get too large for my 70gal
tank and the leaves float on the surface, try to get out of the water and
dry out. Reducing the amount of CaCO3 will make the leaves smaller. If
there is not enough hardness (from Ca?), however, deformed leaves will form. 

I keep CO2 injection at a slow constant rate, so I also wonder if the total
amount of available carbon may be a factor. I have not experimented with
light intensity. 

--Neil Frank, AGA