Help me decide on plants and stocking

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by JoJo the Hammer, Jun 24, 2020.

  1. JoJo the Hammer

    JoJo the Hammer

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    Hey Fish Peeps

    I'm about half-way with my new planted tank setup. I've got the light on order, substrate and hardscape bought and soaking in my outdoor tubs and the old retired CO2 setup assembled and almost ready. Now for planting and stocking....need some advice from experienced peeps on this forum.

    The tank is a stripped-out Boyu Tl550 with a Zetlight planted light, Prodibio soil, Dragonstone/driftwood hardscape. I have the Boyu pump and a sump-style filter compartments that I'll fill with Seachem Matrix, sponge, filter floss and lava rock.

    This is my tank inspiration for the layout but I will be making my own non-professional changes as I'm not the best aquascaper...For plants Im thinking various mosses, Anubias Petite bonsai, giant hair grass, Glosso? Montecarlo?

    Id really appreciate any stocking advice-my thought were a nice pair of angels....not sure what else or anything else? I'm partial to liquorice and dwarf gouramis as well....Not sure of the aggression?

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  3. OP
    JoJo the Hammer

    JoJo the Hammer

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    This is some hardscape Ive gathered so far as well as loads of spider wood roots and bits and pieces

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  4. A new day

    A new day Moderator

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    I’ll let the more experienced folks comment as requested, but great inspiration photos, loving it! Hardscape too!
     
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    JoJo the Hammer

    JoJo the Hammer

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    Id love your opinion :)
     
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  6. fux940510

    fux940510

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    Seeing as the tank is kind of cube-ish, and the driftwood you've got is quite tall, i think an island scape would be awesome. It makes it super easy to clean the interior glass too. I'm not sure if you'll have enough light at the bottom of the tank to do a carpet, so maybe decorative sand to surround the island will be easier.

    For background plants, i'd go for easy stems. Rotala colorata springs to mind as it colours up super easily, or rotala rotundifolia. As you've got CO2 they'll grow like weeds. Alternatively, something like a Sword plant might work well. It'll grow super quickly, and might shade out other plants, but is easier to maintain. Another option would be a crinum or aponogeton. Both need quite a lot of nutrients and space for roots.
    For midground/transitional plants, crypts are a personal favourite and grow in almost all conditions as long as the soil is decent. Something like a Crypt Wendtii Green will stay green, and gets a slightly hammered looking texture that will contrast well with the stems. Staurogyne repens is another option that has a really bright green with injected CO2, and will spread out over time. It does well kept trimmed too.
    I'm personally not a fan of mosses due to the fact that they need a lot of work. When trimming you need to be careful to remove all the cuttings, as they have a habit of getting stuck in small crevices and slowly spreading. They do help to make an aquascape look older and more established though.
    Other suggestions would be a bolbitis heudolotii placed in the center of the driftwood, as low down as possible. It's an epiphyte that grows pretty well, and will give a dense mass of plant in a few months. If you can't find it, then something like Java Fern will work well too.
    Anubias and bucephalandra dotted around the driftwood and wedged in gaps between the rocks will help to soften and finish off the scape.

    For fish stocking, a school of 8-10 harlequin rasboras and a pair of pearl gouramies would look awesome. I'd recommend a school of cories, but there's a chance that they will knock some soil onto the decorative sand when rooting around. They'll help catch any food missed by the gouramies and rasboras. Cherry shrimp will also help this.

    Last bit of advice is to get more plants than you think you'll need. It helps a lot with algae when there are a lot of plants
     
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  7. A new day

    A new day Moderator

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    Ok cool so 128 liters (510mm x 570mm x 670mm) with a Zetlight Aqua if I remember correctly. Very tall tank, you’re not going to use the lid.

    I haven’t kept angels before, but have considered them and have done a bit of research. Will let others comment on tank dimensions for an angel pair. Tank height is good, not sure about water volume, swim space and hidey holes for when they start squibbling. If you do get angels, I think a pair of beautiful silvers could look stunning with a school of harlequin rasbora. Or perhaps black neon tetra as long as they won’t get eaten by the angels :) Pencilfish I like too but they might jump.

    Think the footprint and volume is too small for a school of corys on top of that, although that would’ve been great. Perhaps khulis (low bioload) for down low, and amano shrimp. Plus a nerite snail or two.

    Ito scape and planting. Think your inspiration photos got it right to make use of height without compromising swim space and light penetration. The hardscape you’ve collected should work perfectly but think you’ll have to place them carefully so that they don’t obstruct the light. Could you perhaps set up the light, put the hardscape in and take photos of what it looks like in a couple of positions?

    The bottom 20 or even 30cm of the tank will be very low light, even with optimal positioning of the hardscape. This will be your main headache, I predict. I wouldn’t use any stems probably, seeing that the tank is almost 70 cm deep. And think it is too deep for something like monte carlo or glosso. Not sure about hairgrass. Crypt balancae is very tall but slender, could be used effectively in background. The crypt wendtii green and brown grow about 25cm tall, nice midground perhaps? Crypt petchii lovely small crypt. S repens should do well below. Susswassertang doesn’t need much light at all. Then heavy use of anubias, perhaps a mix of bonsai and nana petite. You could attach the anubias to pebbles and place those on the substrate/ attach to the dragon wood. Some little spiderwood branches for detail.

    For the top half of the tank you’ll have a lot more plant options but obviously epiphyte heavy and nothing that will block light. Mosses, buces, hygrophila pinnatifida seeing that you’ll have CO2 but keep it trimmed. The hygrophila might even grow emersed which would look really cool with some driftwood sticking out of the tank.

    https://pin.it/5i7DIui
     
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    JoJo the Hammer

    JoJo the Hammer

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    Thank you so much for the ideas and advice! Yeah-I'm planning to get it 80% planted as I have some of the plants I need ready and waiting and don't want algae because of the low bioload. I'm super partial to harlequin rasboras so thats a great suggestion. Just ordered some buces online and swopping for mosses with a Shrimp Nation. Thank you again.
     
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    JoJo the Hammer

    JoJo the Hammer

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    Loving these ideas and suggestion for hardscape positioning. I may have to corner-orientate the whole layout to avoid covering the light. The tank depth is 57cm -just measured. i'm also using egg crate to lift the whole thing up a few cm to het the height I need. I'll give the angels a think and just need to see full grown adults as Ive only seen juveniles at my LFS and enquired with a breeder. It may be tight...Hygrophilia is a great plant I'll try source it. Thank you so much again!
     
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  10. A new day

    A new day Moderator

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    Pleasure! Thanks for taking us along on the ride :)
    Looking forward to seeing how it develops :thumbup:
     
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