I have to admit it:
The Amazon Sword Plant is one of my all-time favorites to keep with goldfish.
It makes an impressive, useful and robust addition to any aquarium.
Keep reading to learn why!
Benefits of the Amazon Sword Plant in Your Fish Tank
There are many reasons (aside from how just plain beautiful these plants are) to why Amazon Swords make a great addition to your tank.
Not all plants are great at this, but Amazon Swords definitely are.
These plants are greedy for nutrients and gladly help with lowering nitrates when you use enough of them.
The more heavily planted goldfish aquarium tends to have fewer problems with high nitrates.
Higher nitrates = need for more water changes.
Less water changes = less work!
Amazon Swords create extensive root systems throughout your substrate. This has some really nice advantages:
- Aerates the substrate, preventing the formation of nasty anaerobic pockets.
- Helps hold down your substrate more with digging fish.
This means it’s safer to use a deeper substrate than it normally would be.
Deeper substrates also protect the roots from damage by digging fish.
You can avoid this by using glass pots to plant them in.
Looking for an impressive planted tank that won’t get shredded by your finned lawnmowers?
Amazon Sword plants might be just the variety for you.
This is a plant that goldfish typically don’t go for.
It can withstand the attacks of even the more aethletic breeds such as Commons and Comets.
Actually, it is one of the MOST goldfish-proof live plants money can buy.
So people rarely have problems with it becoming goldfish salad :)
The larger the plant the more resilient it is to their attacks.
I have never had anyone report to me that their goldfish ate these, unlike with many others.
Read More: Best Goldfish Plants to Keep in Your Tank
Where to Buy Amazon Swords?
You can get a great price for a bunch of 3 decent-sized Amazon Swords here (mine were around 10 inches tall).
But if you’re looking for 6 really tall ones for a ready-to-go background in your aquarium, this is probably the listing for you.
You can also get smaller ones here as well.
Be sure to check with the seller to see how they quarantine their plants.
If the weather is really cold or really hot, you may need to consider upgrading your shipping to a faster service if they offer standard 3-5 day shipping by default.
That way you won’t open up your package to a bunch of melted plants.
You can use inert, large-grain sand like CaribSea aquarium sand or regular gravel, provided your tank has enough nutrients for them to grow.
Some find fertilizer root tabs really help them grow if you have an inert substrate.
Seachem Flourite sand is one way to get them off to a really great start.
You can put Flourite on top of gravel if you are concerned about the finer sands packing too densely for the plants to root well, which is a legitimate concern of some.
Maybe you want a bare-bottom aquarium?
You can plant them in these glass cups and fix them to the side of your aquarium.
Amazon Swords aren’t really suitable for small or nano aquariums.
These plants can get MASSIVE.
As in, up to 20″ tall!
It’s ideal for tanks 29 gallons and upward, as it will totally take over a 10 gallon tank and require lots of pruning.
Swords look awesome as a background plant.
If you put enough of them together, you can get that dense, green “wall” effect.”
Having some smaller ones staggered in height in the mid-ground helps to create a more natural look with an illusion of depth.
These guys really need their nutrients or they can end up with leaf and growth issues, such as yellowing leaves, holes in the leaves or brown spots.
Fish poop alone is not enough.
If you really want them to take off, do these 2 things:
Dose with Seachem Flourish Excel (liquid carbon)…
… And add Seachem Flourish root tabs to your substrate.
Otherwise, you could end up with common leaf problems people find with plants that don’t get these important factors (source).
If you want your plants to just take off, it’s really important to give them good lighting.
Full-spectrum LED lighting is beneficial not only to fish, but to help plants with photosynthesis.
For the Amazon sword plant, a good idea is to provide moderate to high light for 10-12 hours a day at 5000-7500K.
This will help your plants grow nice and happy!
How to weigh them down to keep your fish from uprooting them?
Some people struggle with this.
What you can do is use a nice deep substrate with an undergravel filter (set it up with sand this way).
If you still feel like you need help, you can put some rocks in a triangular shape around the base of the plant.
And again, the glass cup tip can really be helpful for some.
When planting, be sure that the crown of the plant is left above the substrate so it won’t rot.
Because it doesn’t grow super quickly, it’s prone to algae growth on the leaves.
This is NOT a good thing.
Plants need the surfaces of their leaves to be exposed to the light so they can photosynthesize.
But if you try to rub it off with your hands, you could damage the delicate leaves.
I recommend getting a snail algae clean-up crew for your tank so they can take care of things on a gentle, small scale.
If you plan on keeping them in a tank that doesn’t have goldfish you could also keep algae-eaters like shrimp to take care of that issue.
Wrapping it All Up
Amazon Swords are a reliable option for those looking to have a beautiful planted aquarium (with notoriously plant-munching species).
I hope this article helped give you some insight into the level of care required for them so your plants can THRIVE.
What about you?
Have you ever tried keeping the lovely Amazon Sword plant with goldfish?
Got any tips you’d like to share?
Please feel free to drop your comment below – I love hearing from my readers!