thats for our reply, that is a sword plant... should i remove it ? i dont want it to over grow the tank. Ok just to clarify, lets say if i cut a stem plant in the middle then replant it, it will not only not kill the plant but it will regrow the top part that i cut? thanks guys this was fun setting up this tank...
You can keep the sword until it becomes a problem, or you can try to trade it if you bought it at a local store (chain stores may or may not if you have a receipt). As said if you know people near you with larger tanks that would buy it from you, even for a dollar or two, that's an option too.
For stem plants that is correct, cutting them will not kill them. That's in fact how you propogate them as they'll never grow seeds when under water.
Almost all aquarium plants come from regions that flood yearly, so half the year they are emersed (out of water) while the other half they are submerged (under water). In these two conditions the plants take on very different forms, and you will see this with the sword plant. What you have now is the emersed form, nursaries grow the plants that way because they grow much faster in the air than under water, as the air has far more CO2 than the water and it can grow from natural sunlight (or very bright grow lights). You will see the sword grow new leaves from the center of the crown, and they will be much longer and slender than the leaves you see now. As those new leaves come out, the old leaves will start to turn brown from the tips and eventually the whole leaf will go brown. When that happens it is safe to cut the brown leaves off.
One thing you haven't mentioned is if you bought some fertalizer to go with your plants? You will want to pick up some Seachem Flourish Comprehensive fertalizer (check the label as there are lots of products under the Florish line), the smallest bottle if they have it (250 mL). In a 5g like that it will last you literally years (that's why I say smallest bottle). You will also want to get a baby's medicine dropper as the dose will be quite small (0.4 mL per week). You add the fertalizer the day after your weekly water change each week. That will ensure your plants grow nice and healthy as flourish contains most the nutrients plants need in the correct proportions.