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?