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It's supposed to get big, but I've never had any luck getting it to grow more than 7-8" tall. Different tanks, different substrates, more light, fert tabs, etc. I've had it about 2 years now and it's still the same height, just more leaves. Of course, if I wanted it to stay smaller it would probably turn into a tank buster.

Have you tried anubias nana petite or Marsilea minuta as groundcovers? I've had good luck with them as foregrounds in lower light conditions.
 

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I have the darn red rubin with a soil underlayer, it just doesn't believe in growing tall for me. I've had mixed growth with swords, some will take over the tank and others like tropica, red melon, and Kleiner bar either stay small or are relatively easy to keep under control in my setups.

That's funny about the Anubias nana petite, I've traded in masses of it since it grows much faster for me than any other anubias. I've also noticed they don't root as well as the large ones, but I either weight them with a plant weight or tie them to a piece of rock or wood.

The Marsilea minuta took a bit of time to get started but it's growing well now. It's shown some difficulty adjusting to the single lobed leaves. I'm still getting some clover leaves even after 3-4 months but they look neat so I don't mind.
 

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How about potting the sword so it can't send out roots everywhere? It might also limit the size the sword can grow. Of course, then you have to hide the pot.
 
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