Need some eyes and suggestions!!
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Old 02-16-2015, 01:23 AM   #1
doughnut
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Need some eyes and suggestions!!


Hey all, So I've got a 55g and I'm *trying* to do a South American themed tank. Trying because I keep finding things that I want or already have that aren't SA. Stocking list as far as the fauna is all SA(except for two gourami for my wife).

Flora so far: Alternantherareineckii 'rosaefolia', Limnobium laevigatum 'Amazon Frogbit', Ludwigia palustris 'water primrose', Ludwigia repens, Echinodorus osiris 'melon sword' and Lilaeopsis brasiliensis 'micro sword'.

I've got two pieces of mopani driftwood, which I've had for years before setting up an aquarium and decided to use it. I now know it isn't really SA like my current theme..


I need your help with my layout, design and flora list. What I kind of picturing is a sort of flooded forest/jungle.
I'm thinking about ditching the smaller driftwood on the left and putting in a larger manzanita branch in its place but I'm concered that it'll but too much to focus on......help.


So I know I've already got a list of stem plants going on. I'm thinking about adding Bacopa austrais, Cabomba caroliniana, Heteranthera zosterifolia 'stargrass', Hydrocotyle leucocephala 'pennywort'. That MAY be way too many stems..help me out. Give me some suggestion on adding something different. Something that I can attach to the drift wood. Something that will bush out instead of stem straight up. I've got a current satellite pro LED for lighting. I add seachem flourish comprehensive twice a week. I don't really want to get into CO2.


I'm having a really hard time seeing the picture in my mind's eye and even harder trying to translate it in the real word. Gemme some suggestions!!
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Old 02-16-2015, 01:38 AM   #2
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Your driftwood is crying out for some Anubias Nana - in crevasses, notches, or attached in any number of ways - wherever you can.
You might consider some taller plants that will grow out & up to the tank surface - Amazon Swords, Jumbo Sags or Vals, Jumbo Grass.
I love bushy Hygros - there are several differently colored/shaded varieties. A Red Tiger Tiger Lotus (Nymphaea) would add nice contrast.
You might not be pleased with the mess Cabomba can make if it shreds a lot, perhaps even clogging your filter intake.
Do your thing, move plants & wood around till it pleases your eye. Keep posting as you go & some of us will help you out.
Good luck - I'm sure you can make it look real good.
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Old 02-16-2015, 05:50 AM   #3
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Swap places with the wood.
The tallest part of the large wood should be about 1/3 of the way in from the one side. And that piece of wood will look better on the other side. It has a sort of angle to it that will direct the eye to the rest of the tank. The way it is now, the eye is directed out of the tank. Then rotate it a bit. Perhaps a bit less than 90 degrees anti-clockwise.
The smaller piece is in the right orientation, but wrong side of the tank. Just pick it up and move it to about 1/3 of the way from the other side.

You may have to move them both back and forth a bit to fine tune it.
Or rotate them a bit.

Get them moved and take some more pictures. Step back just a bit so we can see all the edges of the tank to see the whole picture.

"Flooded Forest"
Means it used to not be flooded. So plants may grow all over the place, including on the wood as suggested by discuspaul.

As a general guide to planting: Plant a larger cluster of one plant, not a couple stems each of 4 different species. Plant in masses. I think part of the problem now is that the plants are so new the tank looks empty. It won't for long!
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Old 02-16-2015, 02:49 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by discuspaul View Post
Your driftwood is crying out for some Anubias Nana - in crevasses, notches, or attached in any number of ways - wherever you can.
You might consider some taller plants that will grow out & up to the tank surface - Amazon Swords, Jumbo Sags or Vals, Jumbo Grass.
I love bushy Hygros - there are several differently colored/shaded varieties. A Red Tiger Tiger Lotus (Nymphaea) would add nice contrast.
You might not be pleased with the mess Cabomba can make if it shreds a lot, perhaps even clogging your filter intake.
Do your thing, move plants & wood around till it pleases your eye. Keep posting as you go & some of us will help you out.
Good luck - I'm sure you can make it look real good.
I like the plant suggestions but half are African and half are Asian, I'm really really trying to keep it all South American as much as I can.. I've got a sword thats already getting big and beautiful, do you think there is enough room for two? Or is the a smaller variety that can be used? What about another suggestion of something that can be attached to the wood? The tiger lotus is wonderful, I just wish it was native to this area. Same with the contortion vals.

If I knew how to quote multiple people in one post, I would..

Diana, I'll play with the location of the wood and snap some pictures like you asked. I remember when I set it all up, I did have that larger one of the leg side but decided to change it. I'm not finding a lot of suggestions on different plants that grow in that area and a bit harder of a time physically locating them. I understand what you're saying about how to plant, I guess I just didn't want it to look like a wall of roseafolia and then another of ludwigia. It IS obviously still a very new setup. Running for right at two months now, just recently started seei good growth from everything. It will fill in more, I just feel like I'm missing a lot of stuff.
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Old 02-16-2015, 04:44 PM   #5
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Re: Multiple quotes:
If you want to quote 2 posts, click on the quotation mark to the right of the 'quote' box on the first one, then click on 'quote' for the second one. they'll both appear in the reply box, and you can add your comments between each one.
If you have 3 or more posts you wish to quote, click on the quotation mark for each of the first ones, and then click on 'quote' for the last one.
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Old 02-16-2015, 07:33 PM   #6
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The only thing I can think to attach to the wood are small sword plants or hairgrass [seen done at LFS or cheat a little by using Fissidens that are easily available. There are SA Fissidens so this is a very little cheat. Staurogyne repens is SA as well, could try that as well.

I'd be looking for a variety of sword plants, there are small and large and thin leaved and wide leaved ones out there. Brazilian pennywort and Myriophyllum species would be terrific for texture variety. Vals? Dwarf sags? Hairgrasses?

Have you seen the videos by Ivan Mikolji? Here is a one of the best ones. If you can identify plants in the videos, those would work.
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Old 02-16-2015, 09:38 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana View Post
Swap places with the wood.
The tallest part of the large wood should be about 1/3 of the way in from the one side. And that piece of wood will look better on the other side. It has a sort of angle to it that will direct the eye to the rest of the tank. The way it is now, the eye is directed out of the tank. Then rotate it a bit. Perhaps a bit less than 90 degrees anti-clockwise.
The smaller piece is in the right orientation, but wrong side of the tank. Just pick it up and move it to about 1/3 of the way from the other side.
Yeah, this is a good suggestion. I was going to suggest moving the right wood closer to the center since it also balances left-right.
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Old 02-16-2015, 10:58 PM   #8
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So lemme make sure I understand. Take the larger driftwood and put it on the left side of the tank. Don't point the "arm" towards the center? Keep it facing the same way as it is, just slide it over? I do understand the 2/3rds rule, I guess I just need practice with it.
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Old 02-17-2015, 12:29 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doughnut View Post
So lemme make sure I understand. Take the larger driftwood and put it on the left side of the tank. Don't point the "arm" towards the center? Keep it facing the same way as it is, just slide it over? I do understand the 2/3rds rule, I guess I just need practice with it.
Basically, yes. Ignore the "rule of thirds" and just go by your eye. The shape of the woods lends itself better to looking as one piece, not two separate pieces.
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Old 02-17-2015, 01:00 AM   #10
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How avout adding a red melon sword and vallisneria spiralis.
I also found this, which gives you a floor plan as well as plant descriptions.
Http://freshwateraquariumplants.com/...pe/amazon.html
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Old 02-17-2015, 01:13 AM   #11
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I have labeled the parts of the wood. Here is how I see it.
The big wood, left end should go toward the left side of the tank, but aim a bit more toward the front than it does now.
The top part should still be slightly slanted toward the middle of the tank, and this is the part that should be pretty close to the 1/3 line.
The right part will still be quite low, but when the wood is twisted it will end up closer to the middle of the tank.

Secondary wood just gets slid over the way it is to the right side of the tank. Perhaps touching the other, or perhaps make it look like they are one, but plant something in the gap.

Lets see some pics with minor variations on this concept.
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Old 02-17-2015, 07:13 PM   #12
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Have you seen any SA biotypes they look awesome and authentic. Sorry at work so I can't link
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Old 02-18-2015, 12:27 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by discuspaul View Post
Re: Multiple quotes:
If you want to quote 2 posts, click on the quotation mark to the right of the 'quote' box on the first one, then click on 'quote' for the second one. they'll both appear in the reply box, and you can add your comments between each one.
If you have 3 or more posts you wish to quote, click on the quotation mark for each of the first ones, and then click on 'quote' for the last one.
You're the man Paul. Thanks!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Kathyy View Post
The only thing I can think to attach to the wood are small sword plants or hairgrass [seen done at LFS or cheat a little by using Fissidens that are easily available. There are SA Fissidens so this is a very little cheat. Staurogyne repens is SA as well, could try that as well.

I'd be looking for a variety of sword plants, there are small and large and thin leaved and wide leaved ones out there. Brazilian pennywort and Myriophyllum species would be terrific for texture variety. Vals? Dwarf sags? Hairgrasses?

Have you seen the videos by Ivan Mikolji? Here is a one of the best ones. If you can identify plants in the videos, those would work.
I have seen that video! I stopped what I was doing and watched it on my phone the frist time. I loved it! I need to look up some more like that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by crazy4fids View Post
How avout adding a red melon sword and vallisneria spiralis.
I also found this, which gives you a floor plan as well as plant descriptions.
Http://freshwateraquariumplants.com/...pe/amazon.html
Thats fantastic! I haven't found anything like that. When it comes to planting, its really hard for me. I tend to square things off and have even spaces unless I focus extremely hard on it. It sound stupid but..its true for me. Seeing a color layout of how things can be done helps be quite a bit. Thanks!
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Old 02-18-2015, 12:40 AM   #14
doughnut
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana View Post
I have labeled the parts of the wood. Here is how I see it.
The big wood, left end should go toward the left side of the tank, but aim a bit more toward the front than it does now.
The top part should still be slightly slanted toward the middle of the tank, and this is the part that should be pretty close to the 1/3 line.
The right part will still be quite low, but when the wood is twisted it will end up closer to the middle of the tank.

Secondary wood just gets slid over the way it is to the right side of the tank. Perhaps touching the other, or perhaps make it look like they are one, but plant something in the gap.

Lets see some pics with minor variations on this concept.
I've adjusted the wood as you've suggested. I'm not sold on the smaller piece that is now on the right side. It may just be that the plants need to fill in more and that I've got an open space in front of the roseafolia (which I will adjust).
The pictures are from a sitting position on my couch directly acting the tank moving to standing up in from of the couch to standing in front and then bending/looking level into the tank.

Lemme know what you think.

Mike
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Last edited by doughnut; 02-18-2015 at 03:04 AM.. Reason: clarity
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Old 02-19-2015, 12:21 AM   #15
crazy4fids
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I think it looks better. Me, I would move the piece on the right, closer to the other on so it looks like one big piece of wood. Then I would use the larger open area to fill in with bigger bushier plants, plant smaller ones in front of them and leave the front part as an open "oasis" for the fish to use. I know the trend right now is to fill everything and carpet the front. But I like to see some of my gravel.
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