Aquatic Plant Forum banner
1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,330 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have seen swords used many many times here in the US, but not in a tank that I'd call well aquascaped if you know what I mean. Tank is healthy and all, but not really "scaped".

Has anyone seen a tank sucessfully scaped with a sword? ANy opinions/suggestions/comments about using swords in a scape?

I'm considering the Kleiner bar in a 20x18x20"H tank, but not sure if it can be done "as an aquascape".
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
The biggest problem I have had with swords is their notorious habbit of exceeding their "maximum size". even some of the smaller varieties ('Red Special' for example which I have in the 220 gallon display at work) with maximum heights of 30cm typically get much bigger when well-established.

I currently have 2 smaller swords in a 33 gallon stem plant tank a schlueteri 'Leopard' and a veronica. We shall see how well they behave. Other than these 2 swords, i also have a Barthii x that is almost 3 feet tall (and flowering) when its max size is listed as 50cm by tropica. my red flame at its peak was over 65cm tall when tropica lists it as a 30cm max for height. Most if not all of the swords i have grown over the years have proven to be troublesome when trying to fit them into a central part of an aquascape simply because they do not behave the way more predictable plants do.

typically i use most swords as background or corner plants where they can have a not so domnating presence and become as large as they want without disrupting the scape to a severe degree.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
898 Posts
Swords can be used to aquascape - you just have to have
a HUGE tank.



That's a full grown E. uraguayensis on the bottom left.

This picture is of the gigantic (I'd guess 4000 Gallons) planted
tank at the Barnes & Noble at the Baltimore Habor.
For you guys coming to this year's AGA - you'll see it in person!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
288 Posts
When people start using swords in a smaller tank, they are drifting away from the nature and dutch aquascaping.

Unless people can begin to recorgnize its own beauty, it will not be what some call beautiful aquascaping.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,035 Posts
Tony,

Where did you get a 20 x 18 x 20 tank? Is it glass or acrylic? I am looking to escape AGA aquariums - specifically looking for a good quality glass tank in the region of 36 x 18 x 18.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,715 Posts
I think aquascaping with swords in such a small tank is infeasible. A sword should be able to outgrow that 10g in a matter of couple weeks. Anubias, Java ferns would be a better choice for 'large' leaved plants in such a tank.

IMO, swords belong in very large aquaria and, even then, they need to be pruned regularly by removing all the outer leaves.

Just look at this red rubon sword in a Senske tank of 2002:



That tank is a 375g and 30 inches deep!

Carlos
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
852 Posts
I have never been able to use swords effectively in any of my aquascapes, other than the ubiquitous and unending incarnations of the "chain sword".

E. osiris was one of my favorite plants for a long time, until it grew so big and so fast that it actually choked out a gigantic Aponogeton ulvaceus.

I think that's a good question too--anyone ever used Apons effectively? I am thinking about finally doing a very, very large 'scape around an A. madagascariensis var. henkelianus. I don't think I'll ever move beyond the lace plant as the king of all awe-inspiring sights in this hobby.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,715 Posts
Yes, and so are these (A. boivianus, I think):



Perhaps all these specimen plants (swords, aponogetons, etc) are better used as background plant curtains rather than "centerpieces." :)

Carlos
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
288 Posts
oops, sorry doug, I should have mention the comment was to gomer's original post.

What I mean is that it is hard to make a sword look natural in a small tank because they get out of proportion to the aquascape once it settle in and start to take off.

On a side note: I am beginning to think the depth of the substrate has some controlling effect on the height of the sword. I cannot get the redflame in my 75G tank to grow any taller than 14". This redflame occasionally send out flower stalk too; it is healthy and not lacking any nutrients as far as I could tell.

Swords doesn't work in a dutch aquascape because dutch rely mostly on terracing to create the effect. I have never seen a sword in a dutch aquascape before.

To really admire the beauty of smaller tank /w a large sword, we would have to look at the aquascape not as an 'natural' or dutch design but something else all together.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
106 Posts
Hi,

Red flames , to my knowledge, does not grow to too high. They are one of the shorter species of Echinodorus. IF you are looking for some swords that stays real small, try Echinodorus Parviflorus "tropica" or Echinodorus sp "Harbich".

Cheers
Vincent
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
288 Posts
On the contrary to the suppose small size of redflame, Kevin Jones's redflame reached 26" tall. His Redflame was one of the first baby plant from my redflame.

I haven't seen harbich available in Canada. I had a leopard in the tank once, but that plant stay flat to the substrate which made it looked ugly in the tank. Everything else (including sag pusilla) was growing taller than the leopard.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
My Redflame was in a tank that had a heavily organic substrate that was about 5" deep. It was also nearly directly under the 175 watt MH.

Edge, if you want that puppy to flower try raising your phosphate to 2ppm, i did this and my leopard shot out a flower stalk as well as my Barthii X.

Swords are VERY condition-dependent. I have seen Barthii X that were stunted in lower light and shallow substrates that took on an amazing pinkish hue topping out at about 9". When lighting and substrate DEPTH not composition were increased, the same plant reached nearly 3 feet in height with olive green leaves.

If one is to try and utilise a sword in an aquascape, you have to be prepared to yank it, as your conditions may lead to too large of a plant. Even in the case of the "smaller" swords.
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top