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post #1 of (permalink) Old 04-14-2013, 06:55 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Smiths, AL
Posts: 7
Suggestions on aquascaping, first planted tank

Hi all,

Long time lurker on the forum gathering as much info as I could before I started this project. Been adding piece by piece for a couple of months and thought I would share my progress. Also, would most definitely enjoy some constructive criticism or suggestions on aquascaping.


Tank - Marineland 29 gallon (30" long, 12" deep, 18" high). Got it at Petsmart in their starter kit for super cheap (I think they had the price for me I guess)

Lighting - Coralife dual T5NO 2x18 watts

It came with one 6700k and one 10000k bulb, thought about switching to both 6700k, any thoughts on this? Also, looking at Hoppy's PAR charts looks like I'm in the range for low light on this tank (light sits directly on top of tank which is about 16" above substrate in most places). Please correct me if I'm wrong on this.

Substrate - Black EcoComplete. Thinking about layering some dark brown (river) sand over it in the middle portion of the tank around the driftwood for the inhabitants that like to sift through finer grained substrates (corys and dwarf cichlids). Thoughts on topping Eco with sand? Kinda worried that eventually it will all just work its way down and mix with the Eco.

Filtration - 2x Marineland HOB filters (one Penguin 150 and one Penguin 200). Media is ceramic rings and filter floss.

CO2 - none. Thoughts on introducing Excel into the dosing regimen?

Fertilizers - Dry macros and liquid traces. KNO3 1/8 tsp 2x week, KH2PO4 1/32 tsp 2x week, Flourish 1/2 capful 2x week. Does this look OK?

Hardscape - 3 large pieces of driftwood all kinda put together to look like a root ball. Got some of the white/opaque fuzzy stuff goin on with it, hoping it clears up soon.

Ludwigia (not sure what species, guessing that it's repens)
Dwarf sag
Rotala (I think rotundifolia)

Soon to come - sword, java fern, wisteria, maybe some moss on the driftwood

Frogbit and pennywort have grown immensely in just the 2 weeks they've been in. Moneywort stems rotted towards the bottom so I had to cut off the healthy tops and replant them, so most stems are only 3-4" tall. Dwarf sag is not doing much at all, maybe I should give them some root tabs? Couple of the ludwigia stems have really grown well, others no so much. Cabomba and rotala are the newest additions to the tank, only been in a day or two at this point, but I'm hoping they will eventually help cover up the heater and filter intakes.

20x neon tetra
4x julii cory
5x otocinclus

Soon to come - pair of dwarf cichlids (either GBRs or Apistos. Really want some apistos, just hard to find. Opinions on species? cacatuoides or borelli?

Also thinking some marbled hatchets (maybe 5 or 6) to give some life to the upper level. Would stocking be too high with these guys in there?

Ok, lots of questions strewn about in this post. Would like any feedback some of you can provide. On to the pictures (forgive the quality, as all I have for now is a phone camera)...


Right side

Left side

Any thoughts on placement for the plants I've got coming in the next couple days (sword, wisteria, java fern)? I'm thinking sword between the moneywort and rotala, wisteria goes to the right of the rotala to help cover up the filter intake, and obviously the java fern will be attached to the driftwood.

Thanks for checking it out, and for any advice/comments/opinions.
mccoy is offline  
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