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Old 02-17-2003, 11:49 PM   #1
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This is my first fish post ever, but I just cant find help anywhere on the web.

I have a 50 gallon South American tank that I was considering planting. I cannot find anyone on the web that has used real plants with anything but dwarf South American Cichlids. Many of the fish I am not worried about, such as the Archocentrus sajica (T-bar or blue eyed cichlid), and the Aequiden metae (golden acara). Some of them I am, such as the Severum, chocolate cichlid, and mostly the Acarichthys Geayi. The geayi moves quite a bit of gravel around, but only from small areas of the tank, usually inside caves to make them deeper. These fish of course are not the huge South Americans like the Oscar, but they certainly are not dwarfs either. I also have rosy barbs and silver dollars that I understand I would have to move to another tank.

My question is this. Am I crazy for even thinking about planting this tank? Of the listed fish would any of them tear up or eat the plants. If I am not crazy, I do assume I would need to get stronger plants with deeper roots or roots that attach to drift wood or rocks, any ideas on what types of plants to use? If anyone knows of any web resources of people who have planted South America tanks that would be wonderful.

This at the bottom of this link there are pictures of my tank filled with fake plants. I would like something like this but with real plants the fish can swim through, not around.
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Old 02-18-2003, 10:54 PM   #2
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hey i could help you out if you asked your question in a little less detail, haha sorry, i have had a south american "Guinea" biotope tank...what do you need to know -"simple form"
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Old 02-19-2003, 01:02 PM   #3
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I have to be honest with you, space, your tank looks great with even your selection of fake plants! And this is coming from a planted tank nut!

I've heard far too much about Severums decimating entire batches of fresh live plants like a big salad. I'd try to start off with some tough low-light plants like a few Anubias. Try tying a few Java Fern to that piece of driftwood and wait a few weeks to see how the fish respond. I don't know if you have Silver Dollars in that particular tank, but they sure do love munching on live plants as well.

You're probably right about plants with robust roots, but you might have just as much luck with some fast growing stem plants that you can attach to pieces of rock. They could move the substrate all they wanted and wouldn't set the plants afloat.
- Sam P -
plantedtanker in limbo - all tanks currently in storage
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Old 02-19-2003, 08:18 PM   #4
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Java ferns generally taste bitter to most fish, and thus unappettizing. I think most anubias are the same way too, though i am not sure.
I've got a 10 gallon tank with 2.6 watts/gal coming from a pair of power compacts, a DIY CO2 system, and I do 20% water changes twice a week. Info on my plants and livestock is in my profile.
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Old 02-20-2003, 03:26 PM   #5
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I may toss my live plants and go fake! NO co2,fertilizers, hmmmm..Then I would have no excuse to be constantly messing with it. Guess I'll keep them. Seriously though you tank looks great! JAva moss might work with those fish. I only keep smaller fish so have no experience with the big ones.
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Old 02-20-2003, 05:45 PM   #6
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Check out March issue of TFH. There's a feature on S. Am. fish culture. A little on plants (barely), but it's still really interesting if S. Am habitat is your thing.

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