The Best Plants For Freshwater Aquarium Ground Covering “Helanthium Bolivianum Or Bolivian Sword”

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The Best Plants For Freshwater Aquarium Ground Covering “Helanthium Bolivianum Or Bolivian Sword” – The Bolivian sword “Helanthium bolivianum “first described by Rusby in 1947 and included to genus Alisma. This aquatic plant native to Bolivia, that’s why the species epithet named “bolivianum.” Holm-Nielsen in 1979, moved this plant into genus Echinodorus which it’s one of the largest genus aquatic plants in Alismataceae family.

Helanthium bolivianum or also called as Bolivian sword is often confused with the similar Helanthium species plant, that’s Helanthium tenellum or commonly called pygmy chain sword. The Nurseries often supply Helanthium bolivianum as Helanthium tenellum, but both species is not the same and easy to distinguished.

The H. bolivianum has 3 rows of chlorophyll-free pullucid “windows” and adjacent to its leaf spine. Whereas, the pygmy chain sword has regular (green) tissue all along the leaf (Rataj, 2004). The plant subject has larger in leaf width and length too.

The Best Plants For Freshwater Aquarium Ground Covering Helanthium Bolivianum Or Bolivian Sword
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The Best Plants For Freshwater Aquarium Ground Covering “Helanthium Bolivianum Or Bolivian Sword”

The Singaporean nursery has a recent variant of Helanthium bolivianum by a natural mutation. This aquarium plant species has twisted leaves resembling a corkscrew Vallisneria. This form leaves as usual called Vesuvius Sword because of the spiraling shape of the leaves plant that reminds to the smoke of Mount Vesuvius when it erupted. Scientifically, this aquatic plant is Helanthium bolivianum “Vesuvius.”

The Best Plants For Freshwater Aquarium Ground Covering Helanthium Bolivianum Or Bolivian Sword
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The Best Plants For Freshwater Aquarium Ground Covering “Helanthium Bolivianum Or Bolivian Sword”

The several chain sword plants have long been classified in the genus Echinodorus, and Rataj (2004) lists 9 species; the elucidation for the recent reclassification, below:
The subject plant species was named E. bolivianus, changed to bolivianum to approve in gender with the genus name that is Helanthium. And the plants which have name E. quadricostatus are now assumed to be the subject plant species

The Best Plants For Freshwater Aquarium Ground Covering Helanthium Bolivianum Or Bolivian Sword
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The Best Plants For Freshwater Aquarium Ground Covering “Helanthium Bolivianum Or Bolivian Sword”

Same with other Helanthium genus plants, this ground cover plant can be grown in emersed and submersed forms. In the emersed form, you can use this plant as a bog plant in terrariums or paludariums provided the roots of this plant fully submerged. When it grows in emersed form, the leaves of this plant are oval and on short stems. And also, the flower will be produced if keeping in emersed form.

Read other Freshwater Aquarium Ground Cover Plants below:

The Best Plants For Freshwater Aquarium Ground Covering “Helanthium Bolivianum Or Bolivian Sword”

When keeping in the aquarium as the fully submerged plant, the new leaves of this plant will be stemless linear and narrow leaves or called awl-shaped phyllodes, and then the emersed leaves will yellowish and die off. The submersed leaves form are variable, but generally, it has a leaf width of up to 1,5 centimeter and length around 15 – 20 centimeter depending upon light intensity.

The Best Plants For Freshwater Aquarium Ground Covering Helanthium Bolivianum Or Bolivian Sword
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The Best Plants For Freshwater Aquarium Ground Covering “Helanthium Bolivianum Or Bolivian Sword”

In emersed and submersed forms, this aquatic ground cover reproduces vegetatively with sending pseudo-stolons on top of the substrate which the plantlets will develop in every couple of inches and every few inches and rooted in the substrate.

The pseudo-stolons was commonly known as “runners,” but technically it’s not the real runners. It’s a modification of the flower stalk of this plant. This aquarium plant will spread quickly when planted in the aquarium. To propagation this plant, you can cut off the runners or replanted the daughter plants. Using an aquarium substrate with rich nutrients like ADA Amazonia will help the runners or daughter plants spread very fast and growth optimal.

To help this plant grow healthy and strong, you must keep this plant in the aquarium with sufficient lighting, use medium-high lighting to keep this plant. Beside it, injection CO2 and adding regularly fertilizer will improve the growth of this plant.

Watch the video to known more information of Helanthium Bolivianuum:

Plant Profile

  • Major group: Angiosperms
  • Order: Alismatales
  • Family: Alismataceae
  • Genus: Helanthium
  • Botanical Name: Helánthium Boliviánum (Rusby) Lehtonen & Myllys
  • Synonyms Name: Echinodorus bolivianus (Rusby) Holm-Niels., Alisma bolivianum Rusby
  • Common Name: Helanthium Bolivianum, Bolivian Sword
  • Origin: Bolivia, Tropical South Of America and Southern South America
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Growth: Fast
  • Lighting Needs: Medium-High
  • Temperature Tolerance: 10- 30° C
  • Optimum Temperature: 20 – 26°C
  • Carbonate Hardness: 0- 14° dKH
  • pH: 5 – 7.5
  • Carbon Dioxide: 10 – 40 mg/l
  • Nitrate: 10 – 50 mg/l
  • Phosphate: 0.1 – 3 mg/l
  • Potassium: 5 – 30 mg/l
  • Iron: 0.01 – 0.5 mg/l
  • Propagation: Runners, Cutting Off Daughter Plants
  • Plant Type: Rosette
  • Can grow emersed?: Yes
  • Suitable for Beginners: Yes
  • Availability: Available commercially
  • Potioning In Aquarium: Foreground, Nano Tanks, Ground Cover, Midground, Group