Echinodorus tenellus is the smallest of all
sword plants. The leaves are shorter than 7 cm and about 2 mm wide, linear or
sometimes lanceolate with 1-3 veins. In Nature, E. tenellus occupies
the banks of large rivers where the emergent plants produce numerous flowers
during the dry season. At favourable conditions in the aquarium, E.
tenellus soon forms a dense carpet and it is thus very suitable as a
foreground plant. In large aquaria (deeper than 40 cm) care should be taken
to provide enough light because E. tenellus is rather light demanding.
The plant prefers a fine-grained nutrient rich substrate - preferable sand
mixed with 25% clay and laterite - and neutral to acid, soft water. E.
tenellus is quite variable from individuals with lightly green and fairly
short blades and to individuals with longer and darker green or even brownish
blades. Also, in the shops one meets the 'false tenellus' which is simply Lilaeopsis