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Re: Pigmey Chain Swords Not so Pigmey

>    * From: Cheryl Rogers <cheryl at rightstuffwebsites_com>
>............The leaves are more than 8 inches long in the brightest part of
>the tank....
>If the leaves are that long, they may not be the true pigmey chain sword,
>E. tenellus.  They are probably E. bolivianus or E. quadricostatus. 
>tenellus comes in two varieties, a light green wider-leaved variety and a
>dark green narrow-leaved variety.  Both varieties usually produce a turf
>with leaves less than 6 inches long.  Brighter light keeps the leaves
>shorter.  when the plants get really crowded, the leaves tend to get
>longer, but when they are not crowded, the leaves are only 2-3 inches long.

It is a very variable plant. One way to distinguish tenellus from the other
species, is the width of its leaves. Tenellus are narrow. The narrowest one
has leaves 1-2mm. The other is more like 4mm.  

I have produced submersed leaves of the broader 4 mm E. tenellus over 30 cm
(~12inches) in length. In the same aquarium, offshoots of the same plant in
the open,
less crowded, better lit areas are only 10-12 cm (~4-5in). The latter is
the typical size reported for this species. When moved to a non-CO2
injected tank, it stays even shorter. The narrowest one also shows
variations in its height.

Tenellus and the other chaining swords were discussed and illustrated in
the first issue of Planted Aquaria Magazine, back issues of which will soon
be sold by the AGA.


Neil Frank / Aquarian Subjects
Interesting old books and magazines (but most plant books are already gone)