Amazon sword propagation
Soooo probably 2 years ago I got me a ginormous mother sized potted amazon sword. The plant takes up a 55g from to back and probably 40% of the width. Its gotten bigger, has good weeks and bad weeks (i just did a really thorough vacuuming of the gravel and now it looks crappy again :-( ) but ive only had one little runner come up with a baby plant on it. Not since that one baby plant have I had another.
So im looking at changing the blue gravel out (i know i know, yuck) to a natural river color gravel, over the course of a month or so. I was givning the tank a once over planning the move the other day, and it looks like the base of the plant has split from one into two!
Is this something swords normally do? Is it safe to separate them?
Yes on it being safe to separate them.
I do not know if a single sword will "divide" like this naturally (on its own initiative), I would suspect not. I do know that large swords can be divided by cutting the rhizome (the crown) with a sharp knife. When you buy a sword "plant" you frequently get more than one together, and this may be what you see. As they grow, it becomes more obvious. I would pull them up and gently pull them apart at the crowns and replant.
If you do change the gravel, I suggest doing the entire substrate at one go. With plants and existing wood in this tank this is easy and less bother both for you and the fish. A spare tank to hold the fish and wood and plants during the switch is best, a 20g would likely be sufficient. The filter can be moved temporarily to this tank to keep it running.
That makes a ton of sense, both crowns look to be about the same size and age. As for the substrate swap, I think I will take your advice. Im dreading pulling up and separating all of the red wendtii on the one half of the tank, but It still cant take more than a couple hours. :-)
Big help! Thanks Byron.
What I do when I change a substrate, as most recently I did in my 5-foot 115g tank to replace the gravel with playsand, is use an empty tank for the fish as I suggested previously, move the filter over (just hang it on, doesn't need to be fixed) and any wood and rock, fill this tank with water from the main tank, net over the fish. Using another empty small tank or pails or tubs, add a bit of water and lay the plants in this container with just enough water to cover them. Then drain the main tank and remove the gravel; to save time during the process, I bought one of those bin garbage tubs on wheels and just moved the gravel in it, then wheeled it out of the way until later.
That... is exactly what I will do. Thanks again :)
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