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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-18-2014, 06:10 PM Thread Starter
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Question Setup suggestions

Looking for some help and inspiration, we have had the tank running for about 7 years but never had it looking very good so we would like to do something about it. I would like to rehome the plec as every time you try do something with plant he destroys them but that's a battle we my wife as she wants to keep him. I know we will have to change the substrate ect but don't Know what type of plants to use especially with the height of the tank. The height has always been a problem for us in the past with decoration ect. Would like to incorporate wood stones slate and obviously plants just not got a glue where or how to start. I don't really want to go into the pressurised co2 at the moment though as I think that may be at bit over ambitious for us at the moment or will that be a problem? Any ideas, suggestion as we don't know where to start. Tank is a Rena aqualife 150 450ltr Width 150cm Height 60cm Depth 50cm
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Last edited by dpruk; 09-18-2014 at 06:22 PM. Reason: add info
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-18-2014, 06:34 PM
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Tons of options here, but my suggestion would be to keep the pleco, keep the substrate and take advantage of the existing wood piece by using it as the platform for a variety of hardy, rhizome plants like anubias, java fern and such that can be attached directly to the wood.

There's a huge variety of these plants, enough to create a very lush jungle, with the majority of species being pretty pleco resistant and capable of significant upward growth. It's a simple matter to use aquarium safe silicone glue to work up stacked slate pieces to create a more aesthetically pleasing pleco shelter and the same types of plants can be super-glued to the slate to soften it with more greenery.

The majority of the substrate could then be kept clear to give the pleco plenty of swim room--and the roots hanging down would make even more of a natural cave for the pleco under the wood piece.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-18-2014, 07:13 PM
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If you want to get more upright/verticle elements in your tank, bolting some of the driftwood onto slate would be probably the easiest way. That would also get some of the moss/ferns/anubias that Knotyoureality mentioned up higher in the tank.

Your tank is big enough that you could use some of the larger variety of anubias, or bolbitis, and not have them look too crowded. Maybe consider something like frogbit, or another larger floater, the roots hanging down can help keep the upper part of the tank from looking barren/empty, and they are pretty easy to control/harvest.


If you wanted to go with rooted plants, you could try placing them in a pot, which might fit in well since you already have a terracotta pot/cave. Might work well if you can find something outsided of the standard slant-walled with a rim shape, like either a curved, rimless, or even square-sided one. Or maybe a broken-off section of clay pipe or one of those hollow clay bricks/blocks if you happen to find one.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-18-2014, 08:43 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for suggestions, would floating plants not block too much light and would plants do better in Substrates such as Flourite and Eco-Complete to provide them with Good Nutrition. At the moment our substrate is about 2 inches deep. We only put the terracotta pot in about a week ago for the plec but he isn't interested in it lol
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-19-2014, 06:49 PM
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The rhizome plants they have suggested are normally mounted above the substrate and while they will eventually send roots down to it they certainly don't count on it for growing. Anubias is one of my favorites and looks great if you start with it about 6" or more off the substrate. The curtain of roots it drops looks very cool. Also it likes a bit of shade so if you don't go overboard on the floaters it's not a problem.

Bump: Two more things;
You are talking about a low tech or low maintenance tank and there is a special forum here for folks into that.

Nothing wrong with a mixture of both high quality plastic plants together with some real ones.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-19-2014, 07:50 PM
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yeah, floating plants will block some light, depending on where they are relative to the light, and how many of them there are.

Some people corral them with airline and suction cups, or you could just try putting anything that floats in the tank (bits of wood, styrofoam, etc.), and seeing if there is a corner that floaty things tend to get pushed into. If the current does gather floating stuff into an area, you could see if having floaters there would work with your planned aquascape, or if you can monkey with the filter out put a bit to try and end up pushing floaters where you want them.

Anyways, if you do decide to go with floaters, you will need to periodically thin them out. I've got frogbit, and I really like it, and it's really easy to thin out when I decide to. I've heard good things about red-root floaters, but I haven't tried them myself.

I wouldn't worry too much about substrate feeding, especially if you have a fish that digs around or uproots things. You could mix in some gravel-like substrate with a high CEC (flourite, eco-complete, SafeTSorb, etc.), but don't think it will really matter with most of the plants suggested so far.
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