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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Despite the large number of Echinodorus species, these are seldom used in most planted aquarium I saw in different contest (I don't speak about E. tennelus). Some remarcable exceptions exist ( like J. Senske's Heiko's Lesson in AGA 2004) but are rather based on pure Echinodorus selection and very few other plants. It's the difficulty of making a balanced aquascape between the shape and size of these plants with others, or are other reason for that? I have a nice Echinodorus Apart in my tank (now is significantly larger and more beautiful than you can see from the image in my signature), and I don't know how (and if) to integrate it in a future new layout of my tank.
 

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My impression from reading various posts around here is simply that most Echinodorus sp. eventually get too big for any aquarium and as a result people tend to steer clear of them. I wonder if experienced aquascapers simply avoid them altogether for that reason.

IMO that is a shame. I love the swords. In my aquarium I am trying my hand at the Echinodorus compacta (although I understand that this is a scientifically invalid trade name).

Your tank is beautiful. :)
 

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Amano just wrote an article for TFH about the importance of Echinodorus in the Nature Aquarium... unfortunately I don't think it's online anywhere.
 

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They're not all that big.

E. angustifolius, sp. 'Sao Paulo', vesuvius, uruguayensis var minor (12 inches max) and a couple others are a manageable size.
 

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Dumb question: Are all echinodorus from South America?

Cavan your post is intriguing.. I would like a sword of manageable size for a 29 gallon SA tank.

I just want something that won't be sending out runners all over the place, at least not at a high rate of speed like E. tenellus does..

What do you recommend? The uruguayensis which I am guessing is from Uruguay sounds interesting..
 

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Is the dwarf form just a cultivar? As I understand it cultivars don't exhibit their characteristic trait forever and eventually return to the original form.
 

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Let me put in a plug for Echinodorus parviflorus, the 'normal' form, rather than the stunted Tropica form. The normal form has the same shape as the bigger tank buster Amazon swords, but is considerably smaller. For some reason, it has been entirely replaced by the Tropica variety in trade. The picture below shows E. parviflorus in a 10 gallon tank.
 

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Is the dwarf form just a cultivar? As I understand it cultivars don't exhibit their characteristic trait forever and eventually return to the original form.
No, it isn't a cultivar. It's a naturally occurring variety like Anubias barteri var. nana.
 

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If you're looking for 'well behaved' swords i'd like top recommend Echinodorus 'Red Flame' or 'Red Diamond' from Tropica (www.tropica.com).
Have these both in a two foot tank and they are both staying quite manageable. Great red colour too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Small size Echinodorus (it was allready mentioned the E. parviflorus Tropica, and except E. tennelus) is the new Echinodorus Aquartica (also from Tropica). I 've recently got one and you can imagine the shape of an Echinodorus with the leaf size of Anubias nana. Medium size beautiful colours are E. 'Apart' (I mentioned above) and E. schlueteri Leopard (with a height of 15cm), but the main problem for an aquascaper is how to integrate them in a "Nature" aquarium...
 

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I currently have a E. Martii in my 29 gallon, it's in the back left hand corner of the tank and it looks really nice. I know that it could outgrow the tank eventually but for the time being, I've been able to manage it. If I have to, I will pull it out and clip the roots if it gets too tall, I've heard that helps slow down the growth of plants. Only time will tell!

 

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E. gabrieli also stays pretty small. I've got a whole bunch of different swords in my 72 right now, we'll have to see how many I have room for in a couple months though.
 

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Will do Intros. Right now I have:

Echinodorus gabrieli
Echinodorus horemanii 'red' (possibly rubin 'narrow leaves')
Echinodorus osiris (possibly new varient called E. ocelot 'dark red')
Echinodorus parviflorus
Echinodorus 'rubin'
Echinodorus tenellus
 

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harbich is another one that supposedly stays small. That wasn't the case for me, but then I suspect a richer substrate might have helpled.
 
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