Ruby Melon SwordplantEchinodorus barthiPhoto © Animal-World: Courtesy 'Yvonne'
The pretty Ruby Melon Swordplants add both texture and color interest to the aquarium!
The Ruby Melon Swordplant is a very popular red cultivar of the Amazon Swordplant. They are a great no-fuss red leaved plant well suited as mid ground decoration. This variety has burgundy red leaves, lime green stems, and pronounced veins. Maintenance is minimal, only occasional pruning is necessary.
Since wild sword plants are often out of water for at least part of the year, they have adapted to rely heavily on root feeding. For the aquarist this means a minimum of 2 inches of substrate and some sort of root fertilizer (usually mixed in with the substrate). Co2 fertilization is also strongly recommended. This plant will grow fine in harder water, but leaves will be smaller and narrower. The stronger the lighting, the darker the leaf color will be. Sword plants resent being moved around too much after they are established. Their size can vary greatly, but will usually mature to around 10 inches (25cm) tall.
For more Information on keeping a planted aquarium see:
About Planted Aquariums, Adding Aquatic Plants For a Healthy Aquarium
The Ruby Melon Swordplant is a man made cultivar.
Temperature: 70-82° F (21-28° C)
pH: 6.0 – 7.5
Light level: Moderate to very bright.
This plant will occasionally flower producing seeds but is more reliably reproduced asexually by runners. The runner may be cut from the main plant and each plantlet replanted once leaves are about 2 inches long and roots have begun to form. Alternatively, the runner can be weighted on to the substrate where the plants will establish themselves and the runner will rot on its own.
Many locations will carry at least one red variety of sword plant, although not necessarily this one. This plant, the Ruby Melon Swordplant is available online.