ABC PLANTS - Helanthium tenellum

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Known to most older aquarists as 'Echinodorus tennellus', the "Pygmy Chain Sword" is a fantastic carpeting plant that has a distinctly organic and "casual" grassy appearance. It can be used to great effect in the foreground or midground of your aquarium.

Considered the "Smallest sword plant", it is also one of the oldest and most popular plants in the hobby for its versatility, beauty and uniqueness that is at home in any aquascape from the smallest nano aquariums to massive display tanks. It is probably the most commonly used foreground and carpeting plant because of its long history in planted aquariums. It remains popular today due its captivating appearance and relatively undemanding requirements. It was officially moved into the genus Helanthium in 2007 along with some other smaller, thinner leaf "swords". It is a highly versatile plant that can be grown without CO2 in medium-low light but takes on a dramatic appearance and unique growth habit with high light and CO2.


Difficulty: Easy

Type: Rosette plant with stolons (runners)

Size: 1-7 cm in height

Position and Usage: Carpet, Lawn and Foreground

Growth rate: Fast

Lighting: 3/5 - 5/5

Temperature: 18 - 35°C

Water Conditions: pH between 5 to 7.5, Soft to medium soft water (0-14 dKH)

CO2: Not required but recommended

Propagation: Runners (Stolons)

Special Requirements: Nutrient rich substrate, Iron supplementation, Neutral to acidic pH (common in planted aquariums)

Emersed: Yes - will produce flowers.

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