One of the most alluring and desirable sword plants. It is scientifically called Echinodorus Osiris and commonly called Melon sword. Its caring and maintenance are bearable and not very difficult. It makes a very attractive and beautiful centerpiece of any aquarium. The plant was named after a plant nursery of Brazil called Lotus Osiris in 1970.
Origin or Habitat
It belongs to the family Alismataceae and arose from the rivers of Brazil with cool winters and subtropical weather. It prefers to live in acidic water and feeble lighting in its native habitat. It is known to be cultivated in the nurseries of the United States. it is reported to be a hybrid with one parent known as Echinodorus uruguayensis.
Melon sword belongs to a plant group called Rosettes. The group is famous for its short stems and its leaves growth from its plant base. The plant contains large, rippled, dazzling red leaves when young which turn to bright green when gets matured. The leaves look best in a densely planted environment and making the plant more attractive due to their coloring. The plant can grow up to more than 20 inches in height and it can be grown in the center and front of the aquarium to get the main focus of the onlookers. In the water, it forms a beautiful rosette with long, ruffled, transparent leaves.
The cool temperature and tropical tank are best for planting sword melon due to its tolerance of broad temperature range. Most importantly the tank should contain a very rich substrate with all the nutrients especially iron. Iron is important because if it is deficient it would show on the leaves as they will turn yellow and ugly. So, provide the tank water with Flourish Excel, Seachem Flourish, nitrogen, and iron supplementations. Lighting should be set to highly intense with 2- and 4-watts bulb per gallon. The temperature should be set between the range of 75 to 84 ° F, hardness of the water should be between 3 and 8 dKH, and pH between 5 to 7.5.
Care and Maintenance
Sword melon is quite manageable to care for. It can grow in both intense and low lighting without any fuss but intense lights are much preferred. The plant needs a substrate that should be quite rich in nutrients for the root system. You can either grow the plant in the middle of the aquarium or the background either way it will look beautiful. But If you want the most attractive display try planting them singly and disperse them throughout your tank. Supplementations are best for the growth of plants so replenish the aquarium water regularly to keep your sword melon happy and thriving. Due to its discreet coloring, it should be compelling for river biotope tanks and aquascaping.
You can have any herbivore fish with the plant because they tend to leave it alone. After all, it is not very tasty to them.
You can propagate the plant by cutting its adventurous shoots or by dividing its rhizome and plant it anywhere on the substrate. When it establishes its roots, it can be cut and replanted or it can set as a floater.
When the leaves' color starts fading it means that the tank water is low on iron. The leaves will return to normal after the provision of iron supplements. Sword melon doesn’t like copper in the water so avoid any factor that can cause entry of copper in the aquarium system like tap water.