Echinodorus quadricostatus

 The genus-name Echinodorus comes from Greek 'echino' (bristle, prickle) and 'doros' (gift) and refers to the hedgehog-like seeds, the species-name quadricostatus means 'with four ribs' and refers to the seeds.

Synonyms: Echinodorus magdalensis, Echinodorus intermedius.

Family Alismataceae

Common Name: chain sword

Location: Central and South America
Echinodorus quadricostatus is a little plant that is appropriate for smaller tanks or as a foreground plant in bigger ones. The plant is 10-15 cm (4-6”) tall. It has 1-2 cm (.39-.78”) wide bright green leaves. The leaves are narrow lancet-shaped. This plant has characteristic light-green leaves which form a good contrast to the darker aquarium plants. It is most beautiful when planted in groups. In good conditions it produces runners which spread over the bottom. Growth is more compact when planted in a pot or between stones or other objects. Very light leaves are a sign of a shortage of micro-nutrients. There is some confusion about the name of this plant, and it has been sold as Echinodorus bolivianus var. magdalenensis.

The plant can be very prolific in proper conditions and will grow in all types of water

The species is known in three variants: var. quadricostatus, var. magdalensis and var. xinguensis (narrow leaf form). These are separated only by differences in the form of the leaves.
Light requirements: medium-very high
  Echinodorus quadricostatus
Temperature: 20-28 °C (68-82°F)
Hardness tolerance: very soft-hard
pH tolerance: 6-9
Growth: fast
Propagation: Very prolific. Sends out runners.
I got this plant for my upstairs 70 gallon display tank. This tank is a Fluval Osaka 260 tank.  This is the tank with the rounded glass corners on the tank. This tank comes with 36" T5 high output double fluorescent fixtures with 2 bulbs. The tank is filtered with a Fluval 405.  There are many different plants in this set up. I was able to try some plants I normally stay away from since this tank has better lighting on it than I normally have over my planted tanks.  I did have an algae bloom problem for several months after setting the tank up. This was the type of algae that floats through the water. I just slowly kept adding plants and eventually this bloom disappeared. This plant didn’t do much at the beginning when I got it. It put out 3 little plants and stopped there. It stayed like that for over 3 months. Then one day while doing a water change I noticed something different about the quadricostatus plant. One of the little plants that the original plant had put out was growing like mad. It put out a really decent runner with lots of daughter plants on it. This runner made it out of the ground and kept growing daughter plants all the way up to the surface of the tank.  I would think that there is at least 12 plants on that one runner.  The catfish in the tank (farlowellas – 2 different species), have left this plant alone. The dwarf cichlids (Apistogramma borellii and Mikrogeophagus altispinosa) like to swim through the leaves but otherwise ignore the plants.  I don’t add any fertilizers to my water. They get whatever comes from feeding the fish.

The tank gets monthly water changes since it is lightly stocked.  The Fluval gets cleaned out properly every 6-8 weeks.

In the part of the tank that this plant is in, it’s created a little thicket of Echinodorus quadricostatus plants.  I think if you let it, this interesting little plant could make a carpet in the foreground of your tank.  I will be offering up this plant shortly to interested parties.


© Copyright Lisa Boorman
All Rights Reserved

Suggested Reading:

Aquarium Plants : Their Identification, Cultivation and Ecology by Karel Rataj & Thomas J. Horeman

Aquarium Plants Manual by Ines Scheurmann

To check other plant references:

Plant and Pond Book List

 Back to Main Page