I'm putting together another 5 gallon for a pair of Scarlet badis and 3 CPD, so I went to the store and got a piece of wood, 3 Anacharis, 2 java fern, and a clump of moss. I put it all together and it looks awful...the ferns are way too big, and I'm afraid of what the moss might do...Any ideas what I should do?
Do you know what kind of moss that is? It looks a little strange.
Here's what I would do: Slope your gravel dramatically, with a very low level at the front and higher at the back. Move that driftwood closer to the left or right and put it at an angle. Symetry looks unnatural. The fern does look too big, but if its in one of the corners of the tank, it wont look so cute.
Also, you should top off your tank, the water level looks too low. That will also give your fern more space for its leaves.
Is that moss ball on the left attached to anything, or is just a tight wad of moss?
OK, I took out the moss and put it in a bowl of water. I also sloped the gravel, moved the wood, and topped the water off as you suggested. I'm beginning to think I should have left the wood alone and gotten a couple of small rocks to glue the ferns to.
I think it looks better already! Look at the swapnshop and see if there is anyone there with a plant package. You need more plants. You can also look in there for RAOK (random act of kindness) which is where people offer plants for free - you just pay shipping, which is usually $5 or $6.
What is your lighting on the tank. That will determine if you need high, medium, or low light plants.
You can also look for a local plant club. They always have free plants when you go to the meetings.
Java moss is not one of my favorites. It always just looks messy to me. Many people do use it, but mostly in shrimp and baby tanks as a hiding place for fry.
I pulled the crypt (I read it was going to get way too big) and replaced it with a red mystery plant I got at the LFS....bundled like Elodea, but pretty. They also had some tiny pieces of java fern for .79ea so I got 3 and glued them to rocks. I had to add the clay pots for a pair of dwarf orange crayfish coming in wednesday, and this required me to move the wood a bit towards the middle (still sad about not getting scarlet badis...that would says "badis hideout" all over it).
The elodea near the filter arent doing their job well...they are some weird variety and not the densa. Do you think I should go get some densa and pull the frail stuff? Or is there another plant you would put there? Should I remove the java ferns from the top of the wood?
I have one of those 10w coralife CFL bulbs in an incandescent socket.