[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

RE: Pygmy Chain Swords Not so Pygmy

Cheryl wrote:

"Hi Y'all. I have some pygmy chain swords that are simply not doing their
job as a foreground plant. The leaves are more than 8 inches long in the
brightest part of the tank. Can I trim them like a haircut? I think that
would look silly. Can I remove the tallest leaves with constant vigilance
and "make" the plants grow shorter? The idea is daunting. Should I replace
them with another plant? This is a South American tank. Suggestions?"

This happens a lot. I don't know if constant trimming will eventually make
them grow shorter, it seems to work with some plants and might be worth a
try. But it is messy and the plants don't look right in the meantime. I gave
up and switched to two other species of sword plant that do stay short -
echinodorus parviflorus and echinodorus bleheri v. robustus. Both are
available at Arizona Aquatic Gardens - www.azgardens.com where the e.
robustus is also called Compacta. Details on the e. parviflorus are also at
the www.tropica.com website.

I have both in a 3 watt/gallon (AH Supply PCF) 90 gallon. The parviflorus
stays about 1.5" high, the robustus stays about 6" high. They get thicker as
new leaves sprout from the center. As the older leaves around the edge get
ratty, I pinch them off. I have both planted in dense groups. Because the
parviflorus grows so low to the substrate, high light with some punch, or a
shallow tank, is best. My tank is 24" deep, 20" to the surface of the
substrate. The parviflorus has nicely hammered leaves that are medium dark
green. The robustus are light green and look just like a regular amazon,
just smaller. I've recently planted some twisted vals among the robustus and
it looks like it will be a nice combination.