how to keep amazon sword from growing huge? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-07-2012, 02:46 AM Thread Starter
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Question how to keep amazon sword from growing huge?

I saw on another thread that having higher light allows them to "spread" in a flat way rather than grow upward. Is this true in your experience?
And is there a way have the leaves grow small and densely (like the narrow leaf java fern), instead of just large and tall?
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-07-2012, 02:49 AM
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Higher light helps with almost all things, but with all of your big swords it's only a matter of time. Although I'm sure you can slow their growth by limiting nutrients...
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-07-2012, 03:11 AM Thread Starter
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Ah, there's no way to keep them small? :s Dang. I have a load now.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-07-2012, 03:14 AM
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I love my swords, but my rosette is the only one really manageable in my small tanks.

I'm hoping my 90long's 22" of height allows me to harbor one good large sword.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-07-2012, 03:19 AM
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i wonder if you could do a bonsai amazon sword. place it in a planter and trim the roots every once in awhile
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-07-2012, 03:22 AM
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I asked a similar question a while back and the unfortunate reality is, there's no good way to stunt a plant's growth and keep it small. Kids are like plants. To quote The Simpsons "The older they get the cuter they ain't"

TPT thread: Any way to limit plant size?? (pics)
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-07-2012, 03:35 AM Thread Starter
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LOL I create bonsai too, so I guess I keep thinking in that direction. :P

Wait a second... I just had a revelation... answer to my own question, if anyone's interested:
The reason why I asked this is because my amazon sword from my 10gal grew squat and round with 30 leaves total, height of plant under 8" tall. It seemed like it reached a "max size", because it didnt grow any taller-- only sprouted more leaves to add to the "round and dense" shape. I recently moved it to my 50gal... I just looked online, and saw that amazon swords normally grow up to 18", which look way different from the one I have, which is why I asked this question. Because I really like the squat look that I have.
My 10gal had pretty much only a half inch thick of bland sand substrate, which made the root system extremely minimal and roots spread flat. Maybe this bonsai idea does have something going on here.

If anyone wants to see what I mean by squat, here's my amazon sword that grew up in the 10gal, apparently how it looks when grown in very shallow substrate... though it has already grown somewhat taller since the move: https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/yo...=3718&n=caykuu

Last edited by caykuu; 08-07-2012 at 03:49 AM. Reason: added text
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-07-2012, 05:29 AM
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omg reminds me of pandora in avatar!!!!! you need to add some butterfly catfish!!! lol jk, but definitely test it out to see if its true.

i remember reading you could train a lily to stay small by triming its roots or leaves to keep it dense.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-07-2012, 12:44 PM
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What you are observing is the Survive vs. Thrive effect.

Your 'bonsai' sword is surviving in the lessor conditions in the 10gl tank. Increseing root and leaf space, adding better substrate, larger water column of the larger tank will allow the sword to THRIVE and get closer to the natural size of that plant.

Last edited by DogFish; 08-07-2012 at 03:52 PM. Reason: sp.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-07-2012, 01:26 PM
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Choose a smaller species.
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-07-2012, 01:43 PM
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Get the Amazon Microsword variety! Lilaeopsis Brasiliensis

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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-07-2012, 03:50 PM
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You could have a smaller species already. E. parviflorus? I had one and it stayed with me instead of getting rehomed like the other tank busting sword plants. There are a lot of swords out there and it is possible to find smaller ones.


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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-07-2012, 05:49 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys, but you know... if I could have a smaller species, I wouldn't be asking this question, now would I? :\ If anyone has some narrow leaf java fern to trash, throw them my way!
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-07-2012, 06:38 PM
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I say get some, let them grow, then sell them here or on craigslist when they get huge. That's what I did when my 55 became an Amazon grow tank. Try to buy some small ones and watch them grow. If they throw a spike with baby plants, keep the babies and sell the big plants. I wouldn't stay away from Amazons just because they get big. That's also a great reason to get a bigger tank

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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-07-2012, 07:15 PM
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The spikes are starting to annoy me on my sword. I have already harvested at least 10 plants and have started cutting the spikes as they shoot out... usually two at a time. I wish I could keep them from reproducing. Guess its a side effect of the better lighting and ferts...


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