Thanks Kuni! BTW, which direction should I tilt the secondary piece of wood. Top to the left or right?
I actually got a few Salvinia leaves, probably attached to the Cabomba. I'm going to try to leave the submersed veg for now, and restrict the Salvinia to the left side where there's no SAV.
Won't a Farlowella be equivalent to a royal pleco?
I'm totally in agreement about the cardinals!
I'd tilt the wood left, but just see what looks good. You might try have the pieces of driftwood cross visually at the golden ratio point on the right side of the tank.
I wouldn't remove the submersed plants, but blackwater + T5NO lights means they probably won't get enough light, just like in nature.
My understanding is that Farlowella are in shallower fast-flowing water, in the middle of twiggy driftwood and overhanging branches. Royals and their close relatives are sort of unique in that they prefer hanging out in big driftwood snags to eat the bacteria growing on and in the wood. Your big pieces of driftwood suggest a deeper, siltier area of the river, so I think a royal would be more appropriate, but again, it's a question of how far to take the biotope, and how close is "good enough".