New Plants? something tall and leafy
I'm considering which plants I should add to the new tank.
My tank is 124cm long and 38cm high but only 20cm wide, and I want to make it into forest of tall plants on one side and then plants gradually getting smaller to the other end of the tank.
So far I'm thinking; Temple Narrow Leaf, some Willow Hygrophila, some "Cabomba" or similar, some Jungle Vals, maybe amazon swords? and maybe some crypts.
I think I will probably have about 20cm of the Narrow Leaf on the left side (I figure their stronger stem will be better to put under the filter outlet than some others)
The next section beside the Narrow Leaf will be the Willow Hygrophila, about 5cm of each section will be merging with the plants beside it to look a little more natural or something.
than I'll Probably go Jungle Vals and Amazon swords to crypts
As I write this I'm thinking it would be cooler to have a larger section of the Willow so you can really see the the plants sway in the water, and get rid of the cabomba. and I'm not sure how I will transition from the Willows to the Vals. but then it may be too much of a sudden transition from Willows to vals?
Temple Narrow Leaf: http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/p...19&pcatid=1619
Willow Hygrophila: http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/p...60&pcatid=2960
Amazon Swords: http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/p...802&pcatid=802
I've had this in my first tank. Bought a single plant at Ikea, stuck it in my low light tank and I had for plants in 2 months. It's a fast grower that can even grow out of an open topped tank. Incredibly easy as long as there's some nutrients at it's roots. If you get it and you use gravel in your tank don't vacuum too much near it's roots.
It can develop roots halfway along the stem. Impossible to prune well, it will look like a pine with the top cut off and form side shoots. You can uproot it, cut the top half off and replant that.
Good beginner plant just not something to do much swaying.
Never did work for me. Not entirely sure why, possibly because the water is rather hard here. If it works for you then you have a lovely undemanding middle ground plant that will indeed sway. Looks best if you keep them in rather dense arrays.
Lovely plant for the background to plant in a forest, 1.5-2 inch apart. It does require some nutrients in the water and can be a bit of a challenge to keep rooted. There's plastic plant pins (a U shaped bit of dark plastic) that you can used to anchor them. In warmish water with some nutrients and decent light it will grow at incredible speeds and consume an impressive amount of nitrate. Good plant to have to outcompete algae.
Amazon swords is the common name for Echinodorus.
There's about 20 wild varities of this plant being traded and at least as many bred varieties. All are rosette plants that like to tuck their roots into something nutritous and use more iron than many other plants. This particular species will get big in the course of a few months. Not the best idea for the smallest tank but a nice addition to the bigger tanks.
If you use an inert substrate such as sand or gravel get some of these:
And tuck in the gravel where you're planting these.
Once the tank is planted get a bottle of flourish and one of flourish excel. Dose the flourish twice a week. Dose the excel daily but a bit less than recommended dose. Ignore the advice of extra dosing after the water change.
Hope this helps. Oh, http://www.tropica.com/en/layouts.aspx has some inspirational beginner layouts that really are not that difficult. I've always believed that if you have an aquarium you might as well make an effort to have it look good. :)
Last edited by talldutchie; 01-13-2014 at 06:58 PM.
Thanks Dutchie, I really appreciate the extensive reply.
I'm hoping the Hygrophila corymbosa doesnt sway too much but stays strong under the filter, hopefully the flow isnt so strong it slows down the growth or anything. Whats your opinion on jungle vals?
Just went to the fish shop today and bought some Laterite which I'll line the glass at the bottom of the tank before adding some small black gravel/sand for the top layer. I'm interested to see how it all goes as I havnt used Laterite or small gravel before. I bought the small gravel because I plan on putting some corys in the tank eventually.
Apparently Laterite is rich in iron. If thats the case what tall plants would look cool and benefit from all this iron? or will the iron be used up fairly quickly anyway so theres no point unless I want to dose iron all the time?
Ive got some flourish and flourish excel, add a little bit each water change.
do you think its necessary to dose a little excel everyday? even if I have barely any algae? (of course I have algae, just curious)
Some cool tanks on that site, way better than mine. I already have a set sort of image of what I want it to look like, bought a few bits of wood today, Ill have to start a journal or something of the build.
What other plants do you keep?
What a bunch of questions. Let's see...
H. Corymbosa can take a lot of filter flow. Quite the indestructible plant.
I love vallis, especially in larger numbers. There's 3 different species though and the big ones can easily get to be 2 ft long leaves. Don't prune these, just let them droop.
Never used laterite myself but yes, it should provide all the iron you need. I do use a local equivelant of flourish, dose it twice a week which works for my tank. It's a trace mineral mix and those will get used up over several days. Flourish excel or any other liquid carbon will quickly fall apart due to light so it's important to regularely dose (but in small amounts, do not ever exceed the recommended dosage and when it doubt go for less)
Since I discovered pool filter sand I don't think I'd do gravel ever again unless I went for a very specific habitat. I like the look of the stuff, the fact that it needs no rinsing and that cories and snails can really burrow in it. Also fish poo doesn't sink into it.
What plants I keep? Pffff...
I've got Echinodorus latifolius, Sagittaria subulata, cyperus helferi, Rotala rotundifolia and java fern Windelov in large numbers. There's also a smaller cryptocorne, some echinodorus tennelus and the entire back wall is covered in java moss.
One of my many weaknesses is that I'm not good at rigorous pruning so my aquarium is always a bit fuller than I originally anticipated. Here's a fairly recent full tank shot.
click on it for bigger. The big branch in the left of the tank is almost covered in Cladophora algae which I'm quite happy with.
thanks for your help dutchie!, very much appreciated. I think I'm all sorted now. Your tank is looking sweet, much better than mine - at the moment ;)
Still would like to hear anyone else's opinions though - what plants do you think would suit the requirements; Tall, Leafy, sexy.