90 gal sword jungle in the works - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-28-2009, 07:27 PM Thread Starter
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90 gal sword jungle in the works

I'm in the process of setting up a 90 gallon low tech, hopefully fairly low maintenance tank. It is essentially my first real planted tank. Eventually I want it to be home to 6-7 discus. There will be pics once I finally get something done lol. This is the plan so far:

tank: 90 gallon AGA w/ internal overflow

filtration: 30 gallon sump with filter media, charcoal, etc. and HOB magnum for water polishing

lights: fishneedit.com 2X 54watt T5 fixture with 6700K lamps

substrate: topsoil under pool filter sand

hardscape: huge cypress knee if I can ever get all the [email protected]#$ bark off of it

plants: This is where I need some advice. I love swords, and plan to go very sword heavy on this tank. I think they will best utilize the soil substrate. I've got everything from giant amazons to a mat of micros on the way. I do want to have some stems in there though I think, especially at first to soak up extra nutrients from the water column. Any recommendations on what stems would look good with a variety of swords and do well in a low tech tank with a temp in the low 80s? There will also be vals, anubias, and red lotus. Possibly something floaty if I can figure out a non-ugly way of coralling them away from the overflow.

Does anyone have any links or pics of sword-dominated scapes? Any thoughts or suggestions? Possible problems I'm going to run into with a setup like this? Mostly I'm worried about inital and ongoing algae problems due to the swords being root-feeders instead of taking nutrients from the water column. What do you think?

Thanks,
Nicole
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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-28-2009, 07:35 PM
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I like the idea of the swords and Cypress knee. After you get the bark off how do you plan to keep it sunk in the water? Slate or stone?

I don't think Williston is to far from Tom's Cypress?

-Orlando
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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-28-2009, 08:09 PM Thread Starter
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I like the idea of the swords and Cypress knee. After you get the bark off how do you plan to keep it sunk in the water? Slate or stone?

I don't think Williston is to far from Tom's Cypress?

-Orlando
Tom's Cypress is exactly where I got it For $8 I couldn't resist! I've got a bunch of slate tiles to screw to the bottom of it to keep it submerged.

Here's a pic of the giant thing in the tank. As for scale, the tank is 24" tall. My husband says it looks like a castle LOL. It's got lots of cool little nooks and crannies for me to cram anubias into. Oh yeah, disregard my cleaning implements and the dirty glass, I'm still cleaning it out.

Any thoughts on placement? I was thinking of putting in right in front of the overflow like in these pics, with larger swords to the left and sloping down to an open sand area on the right.





Thanks,
Nicole
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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-28-2009, 08:14 PM
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WoW! that's a cool piece Tom's is such a cool place, I could walk around for hours in there

Im working on a similar project with knees. More of a Florida inspired tank with local plants and the like.
Sword plants will get huge! But, they do have there place. The only thing I don't like about big swords is that they can get to big. And in your situation this can be bad being that you will have a soil substrate. If you plan to move them later you will have a big mess.


-Orlando
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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-28-2009, 09:58 PM Thread Starter
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Hmmm....that's true. Think I'd be better off just using the pool filter sand with root tabs under the plants? I don't think I could afford to get enough eco-complete or other non-inert substrate to fill it at this point, and I really want the look of the white sand at least in the open areas anyway. I may just have to be careful with placement and know that a rescape in the future would require a total overhaul because I feel like the soil substrate is really the way to go since I'm not doing stems a bunch of stems.
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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-28-2009, 11:26 PM
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That cypress knee is *soooo cool!* Wish I had access to some.

I have a sword-dominated tank...usually....you can't tell it right now cause the stems are so over grown. But maybe if you zoom in you can get some ideas. I have 16 sword plants in this tank:





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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-28-2009, 11:33 PM Thread Starter
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That cypress knee is *soooo cool!* Wish I had access to some.

I have a sword-dominated tank...usually....you can't tell it right now cause the stems are so over grown. But maybe if you zoom in you can get some ideas. I have 16 sword plants in this tank:

That is quite a jungle! What size is the tank? I can't wait until mine is all set up and growing. BTW, Tom's ships.
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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-29-2009, 05:32 PM Thread Starter
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Checked the tracking and I think my swords will arrive today!

Maybe I can have some pics to share tonight, if I can manage to finish the debarking LOL

Any thoughts on what stems I should get if any? Perhaps I should just get some cheapo anacharis and chuck it in for the first few weeks then remove it later.

Nicole
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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-30-2009, 03:49 PM Thread Starter
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I took the day off work today and got a lot done! Here's the tank right now:



From back to front we've got:
amazon and red rubin swords
red and green melon swords
compacta swords
micro swords that were a mat I chopped into chunks
and anubias on the wood

I was planning on going to town today to pick up some stemmies but the weather is terrible and I don't want to battle the bad drivers that seem to think the world is ending every time water falls from the sky

Any thoughts? Suggestions? Anything? I moved a couple of things around after I got it all in and the soil underlayer actually didn't make as big of a mess as I thought it would so I'm open to moving things around to an extent.

Nicole
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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-30-2009, 09:11 PM
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That is quite a jungle! What size is the tank? I can't wait until mine is all set up and growing. BTW, Tom's ships.
Oh. I keep trying to get away from "jungle" and head toward Dutch. But the jungle always wins, because of my bad collectoritis.

That's a 125. It's hard to get photos because there is not much space from the front of the tank to the window it faces. Maybe if I stood outside the window!
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post #11 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-01-2009, 12:58 AM Thread Starter
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Oh. I keep trying to get away from "jungle" and head toward Dutch. But the jungle always wins, because of my bad collectoritis.

That's a 125. It's hard to get photos because there is not much space from the front of the tank to the window it faces. Maybe if I stood outside the window!

Aww don't be sad, it looks great! I really prefer a more natural jungley look. The Dutch style tanks always look so sterile and weird to me.

Nicole
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post #12 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-01-2009, 02:03 PM Thread Starter
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Cleaned out the sump last night and found two loaches that have apparently been living down there for months LOL. I picked up a dozen neons and a half dozen ottos yesterday to get things going on the stocking front. Also got a few bunches of anacharis as a temporary plant addition. Lights should arrive today! I have some plants leftover, gotta decide what to do with them.

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post #13 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-01-2009, 07:49 PM
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oh wow, thats gonna look great once it fills in. i love the sand area to the right! and that piece of wood looks amazing, i have a friend that lives in waldo, next time i visit him I'm gonna stop by toms.

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post #14 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-02-2009, 05:46 PM
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There are many possibilities with sword plants. There are quite a few interesting and showy cultivars. I think you could have one of those as a centerpiece plant.

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post #15 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-02-2009, 05:57 PM
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Love the Cypress knee. It has so much potential! I love the color of swords. Just wish they didn't grow so large.

Realy funny about finding the loaches. They call them the clowns of m tank. Hope they survive their time in excile. LOL

Keep up the good work. Looking forward to this growing out (which it will do with the swords!).
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