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.
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
Temperature: 20-28 °C (68-82°F)
Hardness tolerance: very soft-hard
pH tolerance: 6-9
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 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
Plants : Their Identification, Cultivation and Ecology by Karel Rataj
& Thomas J. Horeman
Plants Manual by Ines Scheurmann
To check other plant references:
Pond Book List
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