Chris from B-more,
There are few things as unfortunate as trying to get a big plant into a little space-- think of it in the same light as trying to fit a fish that's too big into a little tank.
There are 2 ways, that I can think of, to go about things with your sword plant:
First is to find it as nice home in a suitable sized aquarium (at least a 36x18x1
, and go on with your aquascaping pursuits. The plant will eventually "fill" up your entire 20H under good conditions. You've got some nice plants on the way that are *easy* to 'scape with, and you have the potential to create a really engaging aquascape.
You are virtually doomed with that sword in there, as it will eventually smother the other plants. Unfortunately, trimming usually produces a crummy looking sword plant with a few really big leaves-- not worth it, IMHO.
The second thing you could do is keep the sword plant and hope for the best-- meanwhile, setup another aquarium for your artistic pursuits. I guess it really depends on your priorities, and such
Sorry to sound so bleak, but big swords are extremely difficult to work with in large tanks and impossible in smaller ones.