Help with Misc Plants


At petco I have bought 2 plants

one of which has long slender thick leaves of dark green and stems of brown... this one is getting brown marks on the leaves
the other has bright green wide leaves and green stems but it is getting a bit yellow

both are 12" or so tall

if neone could identify these plants for me it would help... also I would like advice on keeping the healthy such as what types of substrates or whatever to use

PS thanks for making this forum


thank you I havnet found it yet but I think I might be killing them by adding salt to the water to help my livebearers... ill try to get a new tank to put them in and see how they do w/o salt any suggestions on general plant keeping would be nice
Well, make sure the plant is attached to something - you can do anything from an actual plant pot to driftwood to a sand substrate. Another thing to do is make sure you have sufficient lighting - hard to determine without knowing the actual plant's name. You should also be sure to supplement the water with plant 'food', which is basically a mineral solution to help the plant grow and is entirely safe for the fish


thank you for the advice I was being an idiot when I bought these plants but I am going to petsmart tomorow to buy some plant food and a peice of driftwood + some java grass ty for the advice I will keep my light on as much as possible... is it possible to overlight your plants?
Well, it's possible to overlight your fish!

Most plants sold at PetCo/PetSmart are hardy (cheaper too!) so I wouldn't worry about light too much.
be careful when buyin plants at petco/mart because they sell plants that aren't aquatic! > > > do research before going and decide what you want beforehand...I bought a non-aquatic plant from them and it died >


lol but if u bought a non-aquatic plant wouldnt it kinda not be in a tank when you bought it? how did that happen lol

ty for the advice I moved the plant so the leaves are in better lighting and I think they will be fine
Well they can survive for a little while (some tougher ones up to a year) in a tank, but eventually die from lack of sufficient oxygen (similar to watering a potted plant too much, and killing it)
yes it was in a tank when I bought it


since when do plants need sufficient oxygen? when they photosynthesize they take C02 and break water and set off oxygen ... but yeah id guess they would die after a while in a tank
but terrestrial plants are different from aquatic plants. They have different oxygen needs
Aquatic plants are "built" for water but terrestrials are made for the air.


yeah but what I was saying is that terrestrial plants don't really need 02 they need C02 and water... could u make a fish tank full of water and terrestrial plants and put alka-seltzer in it? or would that just turn the water into carbonic acid and kill all of the plants?
Like Marc said -plant geek - they have a ton of info on aquatic plants. Figure out how many watts per gallon you currently have and try to find some plants that would grow well under your current lighting setup. Plantgeek has a neat browse by category in the plant guide that will give you some good ideas for plants to go with your current lighting levels as well as how much CO2 they need.
Most chain stores order their plants not by name but as a bunch and frequently get non-aquatic plants in the bunch. Most chain store employees don't know one plant from another so will sell you whatever is in the tank as aquatic because they don't know any better.
Terrestrial plants will survive in the tank for a varying amunt of time but will eventually die and foul your tank.
is a great place to research your plants and there is even a non-aquatic section in their plant profiles that would be helpful to look at before plant shopping


I think I have an argentine sword which is not posted on plant geek to my knowledge and the other one is still unknown... I found a good lfs with plants and tons of fish... its amazing... goodbye petco and its crappy unlabled random plants
Hey Jon,

The problem with common names is they can vary depending on location. What I may know by one name, butterfly may know as another. It's always best to try and get the plants ScI name. Then there will be no doubt as to what you have and it's care.

When we were doing the non aquatic list in the plantguide, we concentrated on the most commonly sold. I am sure there are others out there, and we are happy to add them as needed or requested.

If there is any chance you can get a picture or the ScI name, I may be able to help you out.


I'm sorry I see what you mean, ive tried but I cannot find out this plant's scientific name
Well look who fell in!! Welcome off-ice!!! ;D
I think the scientific name may be Echinodorus argentinensis
Does this look like your plant?

Also found it in my Kasselmann aquarium plant book included with Echinodorus grandiflorus so it may be a variation of that plant.


I thought that was its name

I'm still not sure because the pic on the right has longer leaves than mine but the one on the left looks like mine... only a lot healthier lol
Thanks for the welcome Butterfly, Isabella. Fancy meeting you here.

Echinodorus argentinensis is no longer a valid scientific name to the best of my knowledge. What used to be called that is now Echinodorus grandiflorus, which is why you saw it in the Kasselman book under that butterfly. It's a synonym.

Regardless what it's true name may be, if it is fact a true aquatic plant, and a sword, most of them will be fine with moderate light (in the area of 2 wpg) and will need either a nutrient rich substrate (Flourite, eco-complete, laterite ect) or some sort of root tab fertilization.

BTW, even aquarium plants need oxygen. When the lights are off and they are not photosynthesizing, they will use oxygen and put off carbon dioxide.



my light is only 15 watts... my tank is 10 Gallons... I have the light on 10 hours a day... I'm assuming this is nowhere near enough right?
Correct. In a 10 gallon tank you would have to about double it. The WPG rule breaks down on smaller tanks. Basically you need more light on smaller tanks to meet the plants minimum light requirement.

The second issue is size of the plants. There are only a hand full of swords that would be able to stay in a 10 gallon tank for any length of time if they are growing correctly. This is not one of them. Most sword plants are "tank busters". Here is an Amazon I had a while back.


If memory serves me, that was a little over 2 ft tall.


yeah my plant is almost dead... I'm just going to throw it out because it is growing brown spots everywhere... I have nobody to give it to

PS: how do watts per gallon work? if it says it needs 50 watts per 25 gallons does that mean a 50 watt light running 24/7 in 25 gallons?
WPG is figured like this:

Total wattage over the tank divided by the gallons of same tank.

To use yours as an example:

15w divided by 10g=1.5wpg

Lights should never be left on for more than 12 hours. Plants won't use it after that, but algae will. Leaving them on longer will not make up for not having enough.
What a beautiful lush Amazon Sword! In what substrate were you growing it? Under what wattage? What wpg? Any fertilizers? CO2? A really dense plant!
It was in a texblast substrate. (Kind of gravel, about the size of flourite) CO2, about 2.9 wpg, plenty of ferts. (Homemade) These swords can quickly take over a tank. They look great when they get this size, it's just a matter of having space.


actually this was the plant that I had but I threw it away today because I couldnt meet its requirements nor could anyone I know... Echinodorus rigidifolius

its a shame I had to throw it away but there was no way I could accomadate its needs

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