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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-18-2014, 06:57 PM Thread Starter
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Question Help with Newbie planted Tank

Hello there

I have been in the hobby since 2000 doing nothing but freshwater and numerous setups from small tanks to huge tanks. Big Central Americans to Huge African Cichlids. I have found my self waiting to do a Geophagus tank along with a planted tank. Current setup is 135g running a FX5 and tons of driftwood and pool filter sand as substrate. I started buying Amazon Sword and Jungle val but my Loaches witch are Huge have destroy everything from darting back and fourth. Is this setup gonna work or should I just not bother with it. I'm new to plants and have no idea what I'm doing so any help would be great thanks!!
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-18-2014, 07:08 PM
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Since you been in the hobby for several years, I don't have to tell you about anything other than the inhabitants of the tank itself when it comes to planted tank. Depending on the live stock you choose, you will be successful when it comes to planting. If you NEED to have loaches in the tank, it is better you get only the plants that are tied to driftwood or rocks (anubias). Loaches would destroy the plants and you'll have a difficult time with plants in general with fish like that.

In a planted tank, i would prefer small cories, tetras, angels, discus, barbs, guppies, mollies, swords, etc (not necessarily all together. just naming a few fishes I would have in there. please check compatibility before putting them together).
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-18-2014, 07:12 PM Thread Starter
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I was thinking that would be a problem I have had these Clown loaches for many years and they have grown into Monster loaches so with that in mind I may have to part with them. Thanks for the tips and helpful setup sure there's more to come!!

Bump: What about Goldfish? I've got one that is as old as dirt and it's kinda blind would that be a problem in a planted tank??
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-18-2014, 08:22 PM
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Goldfish will chow down on all by the hardiest of plants. I've had luck keeping them with Java Fern and some crypts.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-18-2014, 08:55 PM
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How about some work around ideas? Rather than give up on the idea, how about trying a few things. Things may work or not but I like to try things before I give in.

I've a few bully boys who break things, too. There are likely places where they will break things so how about trying plants in other places? Mid tank along the sides is likely to get run over so how about the corners? Since you are clued into wood, maybe put up some "bumpers" like they do to keep cars from running over things in a parking lot. Wood on each side of a sword can look very nice or plants coming up out of hollow wood is good. The bumper doesn't have to be large. Just stiff enough that the fish doesn't want to bang into it?

It will take some study but that is part of the game if we want to really master it. Eartheaters do move the dirt so that would be an extra challenge but small rounded rocks that slide into the hole will make them move to another spot---sometimes. Small black rocks sold here as "Mexican moonstones" are cheap and come in all sizes from landscape rock places. They are large enough that the fish can't get a grip and they are rounded enough that any digging underneath just makes the rock slide down into the hole. Cichlids are smart enough to move to another place!
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-18-2014, 10:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nskirk559 View Post
I was thinking that would be a problem I have had these Clown loaches for many years and they have grown into Monster loaches so with that in mind I may have to part with them. Thanks for the tips and helpful setup sure there's more to come!!

Bump: What about Goldfish? I've got one that is as old as dirt and it's kinda blind would that be a problem in a planted tank??
Gold fish eats a lot and it chows down most plants you put in there. However, with good condition (good light, good substrate, etc), you can have plants like anubias, swords, anacharis, fern, wisteria in there. Gold fish might eat them but the plants can still manage to grow better with right conditions. Another plant is the crypts. Gold fish don't eat them I believe. Haven't tried it in person but have heard that gold fish dont eat crypts. Someone else might have 1st hand knowledge about it here though and i might be completely wrong.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-19-2014, 03:55 AM
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I saw some red head Geophagus today and I'm really interested. I have no experience with them, but I think Val's, Anubias, and Java Ferns would be fine as long as they are allowed to root to the driftwood and stones first. I'd also not plant the Val's in open sand. Leave some big open areas for them to dig.
I've also got no experience with loaches, but I could only imagine that big clown loaches and a well scaped tank wouldn't last long together.
I'd secure the Anubias and Ferns with fishing line (black cotton thread disintegrates faster than my Anubias can take hold). Then flank the Val's with driftwood and stones.

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-20-2014, 06:22 AM Thread Starter
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Not sure what I'm going to do with Clown Loaches. I would hate to move the whole setup to my 90g but I think the Geo's would look great in big 135g
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