Amazon Sword plants are popular freshwater aquarium plants that are easy to care for and grow. The two primary types of Amazon Sword sold in fish stores:

  • Echinodorus bleheri with broad leaves.
  • Echinodorus amazonicus/Echinodorus grisebachii with narrow leaves.
Growth Rate:Moderate
Maximum Size:16 Inches
Minimum Tank Size:10 Gallons
Water Parameters:72-82° F, KH 3-8, pH 6.5-7.5
Lighting Requirements:Mild to Moderate
Propagation:Vegetative; Peduncles
Amazon Sword Plant Overview
Amazon Sword Plant Care
Amazon Sword Plant Care

Amazon Sword plants have captivating verdant leaves that beautify any fish tank. It’s a background plant, so you place it in the back of the aquarium. Planting more than one Amazon Sword plants in the same tank creates lush greenery like that of a forest. Background plants can hide filters and aquarium heaters, thus improving the aesthetics of the aquarium.

How To Plant Amazon Sword

Amazon Sword plants need a substrate to grow. The substrate should have a thickness of 2.5 inches for optimal anchoring. It’s essential to anchor the plant into the substrate, only leaving the crown of the roots exposed.

Amazon Sword plants can survive in various substrates. It can survive in aquarium gravel, large-grained sand, or loose substrate. There needs to be enough substrate to support the plant as it grows. Never cover the crown of the plant with the substrate, or it will die.

How To Care For Amazon Sword

Amazon Sword plants are great plants for beginners. They are easy to care for and thrive in tropical water conditions: Aquarium pH: 6.5 – 7.5 Water Temperature: Tropical fish range, 72 – 82 Degrees Fahrenheit. Lighting: Mild to Moderate for between 10 – 12 hours per day.

There’s no need to add special fertilizer to the aquarium to help this plant grow. An iron-rich fertilizer or iron-rich substrate is sufficient. The only thing to look out for is algae growth. It’s important not to leave the light on or expose the plant to light for long periods. Extended light exposure promotes algae growth. Fish also need to sleep, so turn out the lights at night.

Amazon Sword plants do not grow fast. They are slow growers. They usually grow up to 16 inches in length, but with the right conditions, they can grow taller. If you have a high tank, Amazon Sword plants are great choices. But, you can keep them in shorter aquariums, if you trim it once in a while.

Things To Consider

Amazon Sword Plants And Fish

Amazon Swords plants can do well in community aquariums. But, some species of fish tend to destroy the leaves of the plant—for instance, Jack Dempsey and Plecostomus. It’s a good aquarium plant to use if you want to offer some hiding places for nano fish. The following tank mates may pick at plants but not as much:

  • Guppies
  • Gouramis
  • Mollies
  • Zebra Danios
  • Platies
  • Discus
  • Angelfish

How To Buy Healthy Amazon Sword Plants

When buying an Amazon Sword, look for plants with a light or dark green tint. Young leaves are thin and light green while mature leaves are thick and dark green. The leaves shouldn’t have cuts, scratches, or signs of wear and tear. There shouldn’t be any spots of brown or black. And, there shouldn’t be excessive algae growth.

Leaf Health And Color

Dead leaves are typical in any aquarium. If your Amazon Sword leaves start to die, cut the dead or dying leaves at the stem. New leaves will sprout so long as the plant has adequate nutrition and water conditions.

Cracked or broken leaves do not repair, so it’s up to you to decide if you want to leave them or remove damaged leaves. Yellow leaves can be a sign of poor water quality or poor nutrition. Brown leaves should be cut from the stem. Leaves covered in algae should also be cut and removed.

Algae Growth

Algae growth is a common problem with Amazon Sword because they need light exposure to grow. If algae start to get out of control, add some algae eating pets like:

Don’t try to wipe algae off the leaves as they are fragile and will break or crack. You can also reduce the amount of light that you expose the aquarium to test water conditions and do partial water changes to keep the water free of leftover food and debris.


Frequently Asked Questions

Do Amazon Swords Need Soil?

Amazon Sword plants need soil rich in iron to flourish. If you must add soil to your aquarium, it’s best to do so before you place your decorations and equipment.

Do Amazon Swords Need A Lot Of Light?

Amazon Swords need 10 to 12 hours of full-spectrum lighting per day. The lights should provide 2-4 watts of lighting per gallon, depending on the size of the aquarium.

How Do Amazon Sword Plants Propagate?

Amazon Sword plants produce plantlets for every 3-4 inches that it grows. These plantlets then develop roots and tiny leaves. Once the roots and leaves of the plantlets develop, you can cut them off and plant them in a different location. You can also transfer the plants to another tank if the water conditions and substrate are similar.

What’s The Average Lifespan Of Amazon Sword Plants?

The average lifespan of an Amazon Sword plant in an aquarium is 1.5 – 3 years. Amazon Sword plants can live longer with proper nutrition and water changes.

Is My Amazon Sword Plant Dying?

Without proper nutrition and CO2, an Amazon Sword plant will use up its internal nutrient stores. Within 3-8 weeks, depending on the size of the plant, it will run out of nutrients and wither and die.