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About Echinodorus quadricostatus

11737 Views 8 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Tex Gal
I wanted to share a bit about this great little plant.

First of all, it's been growing like crazy in my tank (and from what I've been seeing on this forum, it grows that way for everyone who has it) . It's reached a max hight in my 48" tank of about 4-5" to the leaf tips, and only 2-3 inches just looking at the 'bulk' of the body of the plants. Runners shoot out daily with 'pups' that grow quickly, even in shaded areas or in thickets of roots under my stem plants.

The most impressive thing to me was a recent test I put it through. I set up this tank from scratch after moving a couple months ago. I've been battling the usual algae problems and certain areas with poor water movement. Three days ago, things started getting MUCH better and I decided it was time to trim off affected leaves.

I had some E. quad in the front corner where circulation is poor, so there was alot of detritus trapped in the area and most of the leaves had algae on them. I was getting frustrated trying to cut a leaf here or there with algae and leave the good ones, so I decided to put a couple of these plants to a real test (no risk since I've got plenty runners to replace them with if it went sour) . So I picked 2 pretty good size plants and hacked them completely down to the crown. I left no leaves at all on either plant. 3 days later and they both have 2 and 3 new/fresh leaves growing. They didn't even flinch.

Despite the fact that it grows ALMOST fast enough to get out of hand if not watched, Echinodorus quadricostatus has become one of my new favorite plants. I hope everyone has a chance to try it out at least once. I'm taking all my runners to the next NASH meeting to get it spread to as many folks as possible.

Anyhow, just wanted to share that info. Anyone else have some good/bad experience with it?

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I think it's a great little plant. Its so funny, but with low lighting it grows slow and not so tall. It took months and months to grow until I got high light... then watch out! It has a great color and is a nice mid ground plant. It's easy to control as you can just pull up the runners! Spread the love.... :D
The results to that test don't suprise me one bit, mine grow extremely fast as well.
Here's a little sample-shot (right corner of the picture) . This is a side-view of my tank.

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It's good to see this one still around. It's been around a long time, but as newer plants show up, some of the classics become forgotten. For that reason, it never hurts to stash stuff away here and there and coordinate with your buddies so stuff doesn't disappear.
This is a neat plant. The trick of cutting off all the old leaves and allowing the new clean ones to emerge can be used with other chain swords as well. It is analagous to trimming outdoor plants like liriope in the spring.

Also, try playing with light duration and you will see an entirely different plant, one with stems. See slide 4b and the scanned leaves in
Thanks for that GREAT article! That's amazing how different a plant will look just changing the photoperiod. I'm amazed by it, although it really does make sense to increase the surface area of the leaf when less light-hours are available.

I'm also very happy now that I know I can just whack off all the old leaves to 'freshen' it up. :)


EDIT: Holy Cow! I just noticed that you authored that. You ROCK, and thanks again for taking the time to share your information with the rest of the planted tank world.
that is a nice article. and the old ad from 1949 selling carpet plants for the aquarium should humble any of us who think we've been members of the hobby for a long time. Phht, my dad was a toddler when that ad was printed. :) Reminds me of a tropical botanical garden I visited in netherlands that had been in operation since the 1600s. Lots of history in plant keeping.

I'll second E.quadricostatus as a very nice chain sword. I got some from Tex gal a while back and its one of my favorites.
Neil, it never ceases to amaze me how one plant can take on so many forms under different conditions. No one would ever know they were different plants unless they were experts like yourself! Amazing!
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