In the coming months I'm going to be starting a 75-100 gallon tank and want to spend time planting it before any fish are introduced to come up with something very nice. I'm in no rush to have things grow at ludicrous speed and will be keeping the tank low tech. I've been roaming through lighting for long enough to have my head spin, and at the end of the day I plan on buying a decent fixture, but not some insane super fixture as I once again don't plan on adding CO2.
I plan to build a custom rock formation along the back wall in the center of the tank, and since I'm new to plants need lots of help from there.
Basically I'll be looking for some very tall plants for along the sides of the rocks in the back, some moderate height plants in the middle, and some short/grassy stuff in the front. In addition I figure I'll put some mossy/lichen/whatever stuff on the rocks themselves if possible.
So keeping in mind no added CO2, fertilizer at first (until fish are helping at least), and a modest (but not cheap standard comes with kit) lighting, what are some of your favorite plants that you think would work? With so many choices out there I'm looking for some suggestions to start researching.
I'd recommend vallisneria (vals) for easy background plants. If you need really tall ones go for jungle vals.
Amazon sword (Echinodorus amazonicus) is a good background choice.
This is in my 110G, ~20" from the substrate to the surface - the filter outflow pushes the amazon sword towards the front of the tank, but they graze the surface (you can see one of the leaves on the left doing it).
The tall reddish-brown plant on the right is a Dwarf Lily (Nymphaea Stellata)
Note these are both in my high-light, CO2, EI dosing tank -- but I think you'll see the same kind of results even without it.
The foreground plant is Sagittaria subulata - grows fine even in the mostly-shade areas of my tank.
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