So here's where I'm at. I am beginning to get a handle on planted tanks and looking to improve on a couple of things this time around. First, I'm trying a substrate which can take a beating, be cleaned to the bottom if need be (to deal with the poo surplus) and last forever. I know that the plants won't grow in as fast as with dirt, but a few members have assured me that the plain PFS will work well and won't stop the plants from growing well, maybe just slow them down, mostly in the first month or two. I may not even need to use root tabs.
The other thing I am planning is to try to plant with a kind of scaped look.
"Kind of" meaning a mix between a jungly scape and a naturalistic look. I don't like an overly designed, calculated, perfect look. People don't seem to think that goldfish suit scapes very well, but I bet they can be put together fairly well. Eating plants hasn't been an issue so far since they only seem to eat certain stem plants and I prefer rosettes and epiphites anyway.
I plan to leave the front and side edges bare sand and densely plant tons of large Anubias and java ferns throughout the middle speckled with a healthy amount of nice lookin crypts such as "Lucens", building this middle part up a bit higher. Finally, I may border it with some kind of vals. Probably Italian. I wish I could use some "Vesuvius", which I think are super cool looking but don't think they would compliment the other plants. It will be based on anubias, which are my favorite plants.
Last edited by Gold Finger; 03-03-2013 at 06:31 AM.