Broad Leaf Chain Swords
Helanthium bolivianum 'Quadricostatus,' formerly known as Echinodorus quadricostatus and also known as broad leaf chain swords, is a popular and hardy aquarium plant. Here are the care requirements to help you cultivate this plant successfully in your aquarium:
- Provide moderate to high-intensity lighting for optimal growth. Adequate light is essential for maintaining vibrant green coloration and promoting compact growth.
- Use a nutrient-rich substrate to support the plant's growth. Helanthium bolivianum 'Quadricostatus' can benefit from a substrate with added nutrients, such as a specialized plant substrate or root tabs.
- Regularly dose a comprehensive liquid fertilizer to provide essential nutrients. This plant is a moderate feeder and benefits from regular nutrient supplementation.
**4. CO2 Injection:**
- While not strictly necessary, providing a source of CO2 can enhance growth and overall health. Helanthium bolivianum 'Quadricostatus' can thrive in both low-tech and high-tech setups.
- Maintain a temperature range of 68-82°F (20-28°C). This plant can adapt to a variety of temperatures within this range.
**6. Water Parameters:**
- pH: 6.0-7.5
- Hardness: Soft to moderately hard water is suitable. Helanthium bolivianum 'Quadricostatus' is adaptable to various water parameters but prefers stable conditions.
- Propagate the plant by separating and replanting the daughter plants that develop around the base. This can be done during routine maintenance to maintain a healthy and dense carpet.
- Trim the plant regularly to maintain the desired carpet height and shape. Regular pruning helps prevent shading of lower leaves and promotes bushier growth.
- Helanthium bolivianum 'Quadricostatus' is often used as a foreground or midground plant, creating a lush carpet effect. Plant individual plants close together to encourage the formation of a dense carpet.
**10. Water Flow:**
- Provide gentle water circulation to prevent debris from settling on the leaves. This plant can adapt to various water flow conditions.
**11. Tank Mates:**
- Choose tank mates that won't disturb the delicate carpet. Helanthium bolivianum 'Quadricostatus' is generally not a target for herbivorous fish.
- Regularly observe the plant for any signs of nutrient deficiencies, pests, or diseases.
- Monitor its growth and adjust care routines based on the specific conditions of your aquarium.
By providing the right conditions, including proper lighting, substrate, and nutrient supplementation, you can enjoy the lush and carpet-like appearance of Helanthium bolivianum 'Quadricostatus' in your aquarium.