Amazon Sword, “Sword Plant”, or “Echinodorus bleheri", is a hardy plant that originated in the Amazon basin. It was first used as an indoor aquarium plant in Brazil in the early 20th century.
The leaves of the plant range from pale to dark green, and have short stems with long pointed tips. The plant can grow up to 18" tall and is happy fully or partially submerged in water.
Caring for Amazon Sword plants
The Amazon Sword plant is easy to care for. Though it does require medium to high levels of lighting.
It can either be planted in the substrate or grown in pots.
Amazon Swords are happy with a pH range of 6-8. They need a substrate that is rich in iron, so using an iron-based fertilizer in the tank is recommended.
Amazon Swords make a lovely backdrop when planted at the rear of the goldfish tank, where they will not obstruct the view of other plants.
The plant will live for several years if well cared for.
Keeping Amazon Sword plants with goldfish
Goldfish really enjoy nibbling on the Amazon Sword plant, making it a good choice of plant to provide a nutritious snack.
However, Sword Plants continuously grow and produce new leaves. So, unless your tank is overcrowded, it will be able to keep up with demand.
That said, if your goldfish are left without food for a few days, they will make significant inroads into eating your plants. Well-fed goldfish will be fine however.
Where to buy it
Sword Plants are commonly found in aquatic retailers and pet shops. They can also be bought over the internet.
Starter Amazon Swords retail for around $5 on average.
If you buy larger plants, or plants that are grown by means of tissue culturing – a method of almost sterile propagation well suited to sensitive set-ups – you should expect the price to rise to around $8.