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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-16-2007, 07:10 AM Thread Starter
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need aquascaping advice

I have a 120gal tanganyikan display tank set up with rocks and a few plants, and I'm wanting to add some driftwood for my royal whiptails. So my question is, how's having rocks and driftwood together in one tank? I've read somewhere that it shouldn't be done because it looks too unnatural. Has anyone done this?
I'm also thinking of trimming down the vallis. plants to look like smaller shrubs, because at the moment it just doesn't look quite right.
Any helpful criticism welcome
(Please note, the photo was taken just after the sand put in so excuse the cloudiness)
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-16-2007, 10:20 AM
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Just put your vals and other long stem plants behind and to the left of the big rock. In front of the large rock and all the way to the far right right of the tank make good use of smallish and carpet plants. Draw an imaginary triangle, high on the left to low on the right.

Replacing the pile on the right with 2 nice smaller pieces of driftwood might work, but that big stone you have on the left is great.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-16-2007, 01:29 PM
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Moving the vals back would look nice.

What about some moss and/or anubias and ferns on the rocks. Then some Crypts in front of it?


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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-16-2007, 01:48 PM
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That stone on the left is sweet!! I concur, vals to the back left, then possibly some other "tall" plants on the back right. Perhaps some rotala?

Anubias and ferns on the rocks is a must...break up the "consistent stacked" look. Moss tied to the rocks would break it up as well.

For a foreground plant, you need to make a descision. I personally love dwarf hairgrass, but it takes quite some time to fill in. Micro swords are really nice too though. This could work well if you get some larger swords to fill in the gaps here and there.

I would stay away from any red plants. The redish rock will not blend well with it I don't think.

Also consider what type of fish you are thinking. This can also help decipher what types of plants you want.


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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-16-2007, 03:04 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies guys. I probably should have mentioned, I'll be getting a few sandsifter tangs so I want to keep the whole (or at least a lot of) of the foreground free of plants. Also, I won't be having any specialised equipment such as co2 and fertilisers.
I'm keeping the rocks as they are to provide shelter for both pairs of julidochromis, and alas that big rock that all of you like is plain old latex

But yes, I was thinking of putting those vals behind the latex rock as you've all suggested.

The photo was taken a couple of weeks ago, a day or 2 before I put the fish in..So yes it's already got the fish in So far what I have in there is a tiny frontosa, 4 synodontis ocellifer, 2 pairs of julidochromis and about 10 cyprichromis jumbo kitumba.

Anubias are good because they're nice in tang tanks and they can handle a high pH, but with this day and age, and with living in Australia, anubias is just too expensive
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-16-2007, 03:53 PM
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First off the tank is way to small for all those monster fish you are attempting to keep in it. The C Frontosa is going to reach 12" or more over time although slowly! The Cats will reach 12-14" and the C Jumbos will each get to 5"! BTW what is the gallon size of the tank?

The stones are really nice but that big one is using up valuable Plant/Wood/Rock space. I would take it out completely and reorganize the smaller ones in its place dropping them from about 2-4" above the gravel so they look natuarlly placed. Add some more of the smaller ones for "massed" caves for the Juli's Then throw some sand on top of the rocks to add even more doppled look. The val goes to the rear and left of the rocks adding another 10-20 pieces to give depth of character.

Next go with some medium growing plants like Echinodorus that can handle being pulled at continually by the cichlids. Add in front of the swords some smaller brush like plants such as E. tennellus or above mentioned hairgrass which will grow fairly nice and can be pruned when needed. The cichlids like higher than normal PH(8.0+) so stear away from the Crypt types as they like softer water. (the Vals like it soft also, but they can handle high PH and DH without to much problem).

Add some Java Moss and Fern to your rocks by tying them with fishing line. Use several groups for best effect.

No CO2 needed for this tanks inhabitants and plants and ferts will just cost money that you can better spend on more plants that do not need extra ferts to do OK.

Never center a plant or rock to the tank width, or use "even" numbers of rocks(you have 2 sets of rocks now) as nature does not use symetry.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-16-2007, 04:58 PM
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I'd like to se it completely filled up with vals.

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-17-2007, 01:58 AM Thread Starter
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Galactic Doug: the tank looks much smaller than it really is, probably because it's so tall. It's a 4x2x2, or 120 US g. The cats were rescued from someone's 2 foot tank, I decided they were better off in a much larger tank that's especially set up for them. The frontosa is only in there temporarily for a friend.

You guys really know your aquascaping I'm impressed Hairgrass is nice but it takes a while to fill in, and as mentioned I want to leave quite a bit of space for sandsifters. The swords sounds like a good idea, and the ferns on rocks.
Galactic Doug you have a good point on the even numbers of rocks thing. Might separate that rock pile. As for that big rock, I might leave it in there as the fish really enjoy it.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-17-2007, 02:13 AM
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Galactic Doug: the tank looks much smaller than it really is, probably because it's so tall. It's a 4x2x2, or 120 US g. The cats were rescued from someone's 2 foot tank, I decided they were better off in a much larger tank that's especially set up for them. The frontosa is only in there temporarily for a friend.

You guys really know your aquascaping I'm impressed Hairgrass is nice but it takes a while to fill in, and as mentioned I want to leave quite a bit of space for sandsifters. The swords sounds like a good idea, and the ferns on rocks.
Galactic Doug you have a good point on the even numbers of rocks thing. Might separate that rock pile. As for that big rock, I might leave it in there as the fish really enjoy it.
Sorry I didn't notice the size you have mentioned in the orig post. Me BAD! But your right about the size being ok with that much space. My first impression was of a tank I saw with over two dozen denizens in it including a couple Cyphotilaias..Talk about cramped quarters... that one was a 90 G 4' x2'x 18". There is still 4 cats though at 12" each later on they will outgrow even this tank especially with other room mates... JTIM it.

Glad you liked the idea about the even numbers thingy I got that out of an article from a old FAMA Magazine in 1978 when they had good articles... The swords are robust enough and can handle the higher PH most Africans like but they do not do as well with salt IMHO. Some people keep salt in their African Tanks.

That Big rock just looks "crampy" So I thought of "Odding the Evens" by removing it and placing more little ones for the caves but If you really like it thats cool too.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-17-2007, 02:34 AM
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Very quickly? I'd get more vals and leave the plants in front of the stones where they are and add some behind the stones as well. That should add some depth and make the aquarium look more natural and interesting.

Anubias would be a nice addition along the base of the stones as well.

Mike

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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-18-2007, 02:43 PM Thread Starter
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Hmm so many options... I gotta do some serious thinking!

I'll post up some pics once I've finished, and ask for more criticism

Thanks for all your help guys.
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