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Too many roots

So, what does it mean when roots start growing above the substrate? 
I'm not talking about roots on the stem like H. polysperma - I mean
starting to creep out of the substrate.  I have a feeling that all of
the roots (there are a lot) are from my center-piece sword.  
  Most of the roots are just hair roots, but some are a little thicker
(2 mm) and green.  I am wondering if these are runners?  Does the
presence of surface roots mean the substrate isn't deep enough?  I can
see some roots against the glass.  I have about two inches of Fluorite
with what used to be an inch and a half of sand, but is now down to
about half an inch.
  One last question - is there any easy way to get rid of these roots
short of manually cutting them?


Jason Miller 
Sherwood Park, AB