Helanthium tenellum

Aquarium suitability: yes
Usage: Nano tanks, Foreground, group, Foreground, ground cover
Difficulty: medium
Growth: fast
See also: Helanthium tenellum "parvulum"

Availability [?]: 
  • frequently available commercially

Habit, plant type:

  • rosette
Botanical name [?]: Helánthium tenéllum (Mart. ex Schult.f.) J.G.Sm.

Major group (unranked): Seed plants: Flowering plants (Angiosperms)
Order: Alismatales
Family: Alismataceae
Genus: Helanthium


Helanthium tenellum, the pygmy chain sword, is still also known under its synonym Echinodorus tenellus. It is the smallest known species among the runner-forming sword plants, and rather variable. The variety usually found in trade originates from the American tropics (Brazil?). Its submersed leaves are very narrow, pointed, and of a medium to olive green or even reddish. They grow to a length of 6 to 10 cm, sometimes even longer, and a width of about 1.5 mm. Their widest part lies above the middle, around 2 cm below the tip.
The submersed leaves of another form originating from North America (see Helanthium tenellum "parvulum"), though rarely cultivated today, has always light green leaves that are not as narrow, with around 2 mm width. They have their widest part below the middle.

- To be continued -

Light medium to high 
Temperature tolerance 10 to 35 °C
Optimum temperature 18 to 28 °C
Carbonate hardness 0 to 14 °dKH
pH value 5 to 7.5 
Carbon dioxide (CO2) 20 to 40 mg/l
Nitrate (NO3-) 10 to 50 mg/l
Phosphate (PO43-) 0.1 to 3 mg/l
Potassium (K+) 5 to 30 mg/l
Iron (Fe) 0.01 to 0.5 mg/l

Growth: fast

Propagation: Runners

Can grow emersed?: yes

Suited for outdoor cultivation / ponds: unknown

Winter hardiness: not hardy in Germany

There is no detailled information for cultivating this plant yet.
Aquascaping: forms a grass-like lawn

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Wasserpflanzen sind ein fester Bestandteil der meisten Aquarien. Beim Aquascaping, dem Naturaquarium, Biotop-Aquarium oder dem Gesellschaftsaquarium sind Wasserpflanzen nicht nur für die Wasserqualität entscheidend, sondern sorgen auch stets für eine optische Aufwertung des Aquariums.