Lattice type plants that produce runners.They are more sensitive to their environment and will require more specialization for plant propagation.
Source: Animal-WorldRosette Plants - Types Amazon Swordplant
Echinodorus amazonicus [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
Amazon Swords are actually amphibious bog plants, but most can become completely aquatic if submerged for long periods!
Amazon Swordplants can grow to a maximum of 14 to 20 inches (35 to 50 cm). The leaves, being very long and fairly broad, make up the main part of the Amazon Sword plant. Their height and shape makes them ideal for background or mid ground decorations.
The leaves of the Amazon Swords can, and often will, grow above the surface of the water if the conditions allow it to do so. This trait makes them very popular for aquariums with a low surface level. However if you do not want the plant growing above the water, trim its roots and long leaves periodically. Also remove older leaves to keep the plant looking healthy.
Amazon Swordplants are relatively easy to keep, with a few basics to keep in mind. They do well in fine, iron-rich substrates, bright lighting, and fairly soft water. Be careful of high carbonate hardness levels, because this can affect how well the plant grows. Broadleaved Amazon Swordplant
Echinodorus bleheri [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
Broadleaved Amazon Swordplants are very durable plants, have easy care requirements, which makes them the most widely available Amazon Sword!
Broadleaved Amazon Swordplants can grow to a maximum of 20 inches ( 50 cm), which makes them ideal for background or midground decorations. Using it in groups at the back of the aquarium gives the best visual effect.
Their leaves are very broad and light green in color. The leaves can and often will grow above the surface of the water if the conditions allow it to do so. If you do not want the plant growing above the water, trim its roots and long leaves periodically. Also remove older leaves to keep the plant looking healthy.
Broadleaved Amazon Swordplants are relatively easy to keep, with a few basics to keep in mind. They do well in fine, iron-rich substrates, bright lighting, and hard water. They can also tolerate somewhat higher levels of carbonate hardness. Duckweed
Lemna minor [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
Duckweed is an extremely easy floating plant to keep! It is readily adaptable, hardy and fast-growing.
Because duckweed is such a fast-growing plant it often is considered a pest because it can completely take over an aquarium in as little as a week if given good care. It has no specific care requirements, and just needs basic care such as some light and proper nutrients present. Duckweed has oval leaves that are light green in color and about 0.12 inches or 3 millimeters long.
Duckweed is often chosen as a good ornamental plant for the surface of an aquarium, especially if kept with other floating plants. Thinning it regularly is recommended so that it does not completely take over the aquarium. Giant Vallisneria do well in a mixture of fine sand with a medium light level. Dwarf Anubias
Anubias nana [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
Dwarf Anubias make great beginner plants because they can adapt readily to almost any aquarium environment!
The leaves of the Dwarf Anubias are tough and leathery, are dark green with rounded tips, and grow to be about 3.2 inches long. This dwarf species of anubias is a great foreground plant since it only grows to a maximum height of 4.7 inches. They have a slow growth rate but are sturdy and can grow on rocks, wood, or in the substrate.
Anubias plants are usually undemanding in terms of how much light they need. If they are planted in the substrate, they should be provided with plenty of bottom fertilization, as well as a warm bottom. Carbon dioxide fertilization is also recommended. Dwarf Lily Bulbs
Nymphaea stellata [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
Dwarf Lilies are beautiful small plants that can help fill out planted aquariums with their small, spade-shaped leaves!
Dwarf Lilies are relatively small, with a maximum leaf length of 4.7 inches (12 cm). Leaves are generally pinkish to red and grow together in a very compact fashion. They are good plants for decorating midground aquarium areas and filling it out. They need fairly bright light to keep them healthy as well as moderate fertilization. Overall, dwarf lilies are easy to keep, having a moderate growth rate and no special requirements. Dwarf Swordplant
Echinodorus quadricostatus[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
Dwarf Swordplants are great at adapting to different light levels! The brighter the light, the longer the leaves will grow!
Dwarf Swordplants will grow to a maximum height of 3-6 inches (8-15 cm). They grow relatively quickly and it is a good idea to plant each one with a space around it so it will have room to grow and expand.
They are short plants with thin leaves, making them great as foreground decorations in aquariums. They are relatively easy to care for and if given proper care and lighting they will spread quickly. Watch for yellowing leaves however, because this probably means a lack of iron, which is a common problem for these plants. Giant Vallisneria
Vallisneria gigantea[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
Giant Vallisneria are a great plant for tall aquariums since the leaves can grow up to 39 inches long!
The leaves of the Giant Vallisneria are dark green with rounded tips. They generally grow in cycles, thriving for 3 or 4 months and then dying off for another few months.
Giant Vallisneria do well in a mixture of fine sand with a medium light level. The leaves may grow up and across the surface of the aquarium so watch that they don't overshadow the lower levels of your aquarium. Iron is important for these plants, and the best way to ensure that they get the right quantities is to use an iron-rich substrate. Jungle Vallis
Tapegrass - Water Celery
Vallisneria americana [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
The long tall Jungle Vallis definitely lives up to the common names - ''Tapegrass" and "Water Celery" - that are often use to describe this species!
The Vallisneria group has been an aquarium favorite for generations. This variety has smooth, ribbon like leaves that are just too good to be true. A stand of Jungle Vallis makes quite a statement in the home aquarium. These plants are sturdy and will grow well in most conditions. Once established, they can easily send out one or more new leaves per week. They make a dramatic backdrop with leaves easily reaching 2 ft or more (61+ cm).
Jungle Vallis plants require very little work. They appreciate an iron rich substrate or iron rich fertilizer. Co2 fertilization is not required, but is always helpful. The biggest cause of failure is planting them wrong. The crown of the plant must always be above the substrate.
The one complaint some aquarists have is that the leaves will often reach the surface and grow along it, filtering the light for plants below. Some aquarists choose cut the leaves to the desired length, but the damaged leaves often rot away polluting the water and diminishing the aesthetic value. The best thing to do is either learn to accept the overgrowth or choose a smaller variety. Madagascar Lace Plant or Laceleaf
Aponogeton madagascariensis [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
The Madagascar Lace Plant is known for it's beautiful "lace-like" appearance and is one of the most sought-after plants to keep in aquariums!
Madagascar Laces can reach a maximum height of 25 inches (65 cm) and grow at a moderate rate. They are a more difficult plant to keep in aquariums because their requirements must be exact in order for them to thrive. They also only propagate from seed, making it difficult to reproduce them in aquariums. They are popular decorations due to their beauty and are great as midground or foreground plants.
Madagascar Lace Plants can tolerate most light levels, however if the light is bright you will want to make sure that it is shaded by other plants or decorations. Keeping the water clean and clear, with a pH no higher than 7 is a must. Algae or other debris that grows can suffocate the delicate leaves since they have a lack of leaf tissue (hence their lace-like appearance). Micro-Sword Grass
Lilaeopsis brasiliensis [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
Micro-Sword Grass is a great foreground decoration because if supplied with a high enough light intensity, it can actually achieve a dense "lawn-like" appearance!
Micro-Sword Grass resembles typical grass seen on house lawns which is where it gets the common name of "grass." It only grows 4 to 7 inches in height, making it ideal for foreground aquarium plant cover.
It has a moderate growth rate, but can grow more quickly if provided with more intense light. In general, this plant is relatively easy to care for. Keep the water at a fairly neutral pH with plenty of nutrients. It can survive in either hard or soft water. Orchid Lily
Barclaya longifolia [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
The Orchid Lily is an extremely attractive aquarium plant because of it's varying colors of red to olive green all across the leaves!
Orchid lilies are a relatively difficult plant to keep, however if taken well care of they often add splendidly to the aquarium visuals! They grow to a maximum height of 14 to to 20 inches (35 to 50 cm) at a slow to moderate growth rate and work great as background plants or midground plants in smaller aquariums. Madagascar Laces can reach a maximum height of 25 inches (65 cm) and grow at a moderate rate. It is essential that they are kept in iron-rich fertilizer, soft water, and plenty of other nutrients to keep them in thriving condition. Bright light is needed, however the red leaves need more light than the green leaves. Ozelot Swordplant
Echinodorus schlueteri [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
The Ozelot Sword is actually a cross between two Echinodorus plants, therefore letting it develop both a beautiful and unique red color that comes from the golden-red and pale red-brown of the two plants it is crossed with!
The Ozelot Sword only grows to a height of 8 to 12 inches, making it a wonderful and decorative plant for small aquariums. The grow slowly, but if given plenty of nutrients and strong lights they will grow large and broad leaves that have unique red colorings. One thing that is very important is to make sure that a good source of iron is present all the time. Without the proper amount of iron, these plants will produce weak and thin-looking leaves, which will eventually break down altogether and cause the plant to die. Pygmy Chain Swordplant
Dwarf Chain Sword - Narrow-leaf Chain Sword - Micro Sword
Echinodorus tenellus [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
The pretty spring green coloration, easy propagation, and all around hardiness of the Pygmy Chain Swordplant make it an excellent species for most any freshwater tank!
Its unique look and adaptability have made the Pygmy Chain Swordplant immensely popular. Being a short plant, It makes a wonderful addition for the front of the aquarium or as a 'ground cover'. If well cared for it will rapidly reproduce to form a dense 1-2 inch (2.5-5 cm) tall "lawn".
The Pygmy Chain Swordplant can be easily grown in the average low tech aquarium, but is also a species used frequently by experienced aquascapers. It is featured in many of the famous Takashi Amano works. In his books Nature Aquarium World: Book 1 and Nature Aquarium World: Volume 2 you can see many examples of Takashi's incredible use of the Pygmy Chain Swordplant to help create beautiful aquatic environments. He includes not only photographs but also parameters for water quality, lighting, substrate, and more for each of his tanks.
To start your own patch, buy a few specimens and space them about an inch or two apart in a well lit part of the aquarium. After a brief settling in period, runners will begin to form and the plant will fill in the gaps. Strong lighting (2-3 WPG is ideal), a nutrient rich substrate, and Co2 fertilization will speed this process along. Like most swords, Pygmy Chain Swordplants require some iron in the water to keep up good growth. Ruby Melon Swordplant
Echinodorus barthi [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
The pretty Ruby Melon Swordplants add both texture and color interest to the aquarium!
The Ruby Melon Swordplant is a very popular red cultivar of the Amazon Swordplant. They are a great no-fuss red leaved plant well suited as mid ground decoration. This variety has burgundy red leaves, lime green stems, and pronounced veins. Maintenance is minimal, only occasional pruning is necessary.
Since wild sword plants are often out of water for at least part of the year, they have adapted to rely heavily on root feeding. For the aquarist this means a minimum of 2 inches of substrate and some sort of root fertilizer (usually mixed in with the substrate). Co2 fertilization is also strongly recommended. This plant will grow fine in harder water, but leaves will be smaller and narrower. The stronger the lighting, the darker the leaf color will be. Sword plants resent being moved around too much after they are established. Their size can vary greatly, but will usually mature to around 10 inches (25cm) tall. Ruffled Amazon Swordplant
Echinodorus major [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
The Ruffled Amazon Swordplant is very similar to the normal Amazon Sword and the Broadleaved Amazon Sword, however it's leaves tend to grow much larger and also have ruffles around the edges, making it a beautiful plant to look at in aquariums!
Ruffled Amazon Swordplants have a maximum height of 20 inches (50 cm), which makes them a rather large plant, and therefore suited for larger aquariums. Their leaves also tend to grow very large and broad, so it is a good idea to plant them in an isolated area, without many surrounding plants. This will give them plenty of room to grow and help them look more natural in the aquarium.
Ruffled Amazon Swordplants are a relatively easy plant to maintain and have a moderate growth rate. They do best in bright lights and should be provided with a fine substrate, preferably an iron-rich substrate because iron is an essential nutrient in order for them to thrive. They also only need a relatively neutral pH around 7. Propagating these plants is fairly simple if the conditions are right. They will simply grow adventitious plantlets which will eventually separate and grow into their own plants. Straight Vallisneria
Vallisneria spiralis [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
The Straight Vallisneria is a great beginner plant, as it can survive in many aquarium conditions, including coldwater, and grows and propagates quickly!
The Straight Vallisneria can grow to a height of 24 inches (60 cm) at a fast rate and is a great background plant. Due to its ease of it's care, it is a very popular plant. It can be kept in almost all freshwater aquariums, including coldwater aquariums. It grows at a moderate to fast rate depending on how bright the light is. Brighter lights cause it to grow more quickly. It is also easy to propagate, with runners that grow off the main plant and then separate into daughter plants.
Straight Vallisneria are very easy plants to maintain and therefore ideal for starter aquariums. They have a very large temperature range in which they can survive, only require a neutral pH and have no particularly special nutrient needs. Just make sure to provide typical plant fertilization and they should thrive. Undulated Crypt - Alligator Weed
Cryptocoryne undulata [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
A very elegant plant, the Undulated Crypt gives a serene and timeless appearance to the freshwater aquarium!
The Undulated Crypt is yet another striking species in the rossette plant group. It has beautiful thin crinkled leaves which are chocolate brown or dark green on top and rosy copper on the bottom. In some lighting conditions it is possible to bring out strong red or lavender undertones.
It will grow most beautifully alongside other species of cryptocorynes. Although it can be described as hardy, unstable water conditions or a stressful environment may cause it succumb to "crypt melt". Other than a stable environment, the Undulated Crypt requires only some form of fertilization and low to moderate lighting to thrive. Although height is variable, it rarely exceeds 6 inches (15 cm) making it ideal for the middle or front of the aquarium.
It should be noted that there is some debate in the scientific community as to the accurate classification of this plant. Also, the name "Alligator Weed" is applied to dozens of aquatic plant species including this one, so this common name is not necessarily a reliable way to identify this species. Water Hyacinth
Eichhornia crassipes [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
The Water Hyacinth is typically a floating pond plant, but can be successfully kept in the aquarium!
The Water Hyacinth is a beautiful plant. It has glossy green leaves and lavender blue flowers. The submerged roots are long and hairy and chocolatey brown. They serve as an excellent hiding place and spawning location for many fish.
When kept in an aquarium, the Water Hyacinth will gradually cover the aquarium surface with its offspring. It will grow to about four inches high, with the occasional 6 inch flower spike. It is generally easy to keep, but will often hog nutrients and light, so is best kept either isolated from submerged plants below or in its own aquarium.
Water Hyacinths require a lot of light, but can't be too close to the light source. The aquarium will usually need to be uncovered, but alternatively shallow water can be used. Also damp warm air is necessary for optimal growth. Although it is highly decorative, it tends to complicate tank maintenance.
Extra care needs to be taken that the Water Hyacinth is never released into the wild, because it can clog waterways. It is on the invasive species list of many countries. Hardy - Water Lily
Nymphaea sp. [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
Both the Hardy Water Lily and the Tropical Water Lily are generally pond plants, but can be kept in the aquarium with a fair amount of effort!
The Water Lily is a well known, beautiful flowering plant, with both floating and sometimes submerged leaves. An individual Water lily will require a large amount of space, generally between 10 to 30 square feet of surface area, and they need strong light, preferably sunlight. They will also require an extended resting period either at low temperatures (as a normal 'winter' type rest), or time away from water in dry or moist sand. Because of these requirements, they are generally more suited to the pond environment.
However with a dedicated effort to work within their requirements, they can be used in a specialized aquarium where a surface cover is desired.
The "Hardy" Water Lily will produce large round leaves about 6 inches in diameter that will cover the aquarium surface, but if deprived of light will produce short compact leaves from its root. If it is doing well, it will send out flowers that rest on the surface. Flowers are white, gold, pink, or red and some are heavily perfumed.
In an aquarium a Water Lily will require space and intense lighting. It should be kept in a large flower pot filled with peat, sand, and loam. Add a 1 inch layer of gravel on top to discourage the substrate from floating around. The lighting can not be provided only artificially, so the aquarium should be positioned in front of a south facing window. The aquarium must be filled with at least 12 inches of water. Surface area should be at least 250 square inches. The aquarium can not be covered. The water lily needs a winter dormancy period at about 53 ° F (12 ° C). Water must be as soft as possible. Onion Plant - Water Onion
Crinum thaianum [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
Onion Plants are easy to care for and adapt well to most aquarium environments. They can grow to an impressive height of 60 inches (150 cm), with their leaves being about 0.8 inches (2 cm) across. Their leaves are extremely long and ribbonlike, and will start growing along the surface of the water once they reach it. Once they are well established you can cut the leaves back some to keep them from growing too long. Because of their height and long leaves they make great background plants for aquariums.
As long as the light is kept moderate to bright, Onion Plants will expend a moderate growth rate. As stated above, they adapt easily to most environments, so as long as the water is kept fertilized with nutrients, the water is cleaned on a regular basis, and the ph is kept around neutral, this plant should thrive. It is also relatively easy to propagate by simply planting the daughter bulbs that are produced. Wendt's Cryptocoryne
Cryptocoryne wendtii [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
The Wendt's Cryptocoryne is a wonderful aquarium plant to decorate the midground or background with a dense plant look, because it loves to grow in close together in groups!
The Wendt's Cryptocoryne plant is a fairly tall plant and can grow 14 to 16 inches (35 to 40 cm) if well taken care of. It only requires basic fertilization with an iron-rich fertilizer, a neutral pH, and moderate to bright lights depending on how you want it to look.
Their color varies quite a bit, from olive green to green to reddish-brown, with the bottom of the leaves an orange-brown, all depending on how bright the light is. They have a moderate to fast growth rate and it is best to plant them separately to allow them to group together and create dense planted areas.