Where to start..plants for 180 gallon high tech - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-25-2014, 12:20 AM Thread Starter
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Where to start..plants for 180 gallon high tech

I don't have any idea where to even start with plants for 180 gallon tank.

I was thinking of a few things, but not sure. Even though it high tech, I don't have to go that route for everything. These are just some things I have been looking at, but really have no idea. I do know that it will be difficult to reach the back of the tank would like to keep those simple and don't need a lot of work. Also was going to get a lot of Anubias, Nana on my driftwood.

Carpet
Blyxa japonica
or
MicroSword


Center
Blyxa auberti
Amazon Sword 'compacta'


Back
Jungle Vallisneria
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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-25-2014, 05:26 AM
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Do you know what style/look you want to achieve?

When I started out, I saved links/pictures of the tanks that I really liked. Anything from small nano tanks to large 200 gallon jungles. Once you have a bit of an idea of the style you want, start to pick out plants that are used in that style. Once you have your list of plants that you like, research them and see what would work best with your setup.

It sounds like you'll have a fairly good sized tank, so your options aren't too limited in the way of plant size.


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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-25-2014, 01:31 PM
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If the compact sword is what I think it is, that's gunna be a foreground not a mid ground for ya....it stays under 5" for me in high tech and with dirt substrate.

Depending on the style you want, big crypts are fun, big stems like ludwigia and aromatic are fun, big swords, big apongeton, lagenandrha....really a high tech 180 is very, very, VERY open ended.

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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-25-2014, 04:33 PM
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I have a high-tech 155 and yes, there are many options. I would look at photos of other tanks, including those in the AGA contests and see what plants you would like. I have the green Uruguayensis variety swordplant and the rubin variety - these have narrower leaves which I like. Some stay away from big swords because of the enormous roots and messiness when you uproot them. Stems are much easier to rearrange. I would also consider some driftwood with anubias/java fern since you have the room. Jungle vals would be nice, and I've been pleased with Ludwigia Ovalis since picking it up a couple months ago. It grows well and gets a nice dark pink/salmon color, and grows much faster than L. Glandulosa or A Reineckii. Ludwigia SP Red is another red plant option, though I haven't tried it yet.
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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-25-2014, 04:45 PM
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The biggest issue for me with a 180 is how long your arms are. I can reach the substrate in the back, so I can plant stems and 'weeds' (Crypt. spiralis is one) in the back, but if not, make the back for semi-permanent plantings like large swords.

A 180 is a true empty palette. I have had mine since the late 90s and have probably recreated it once a year. Always room for something new (plant, hardware or fauna), keeping the hobby fresh. It is a lot like a garden outside, lots of acreage! And a good, stable water mass to hide a lack of skill (talking of myself now!). And a layman or hobbiest is always drawn to it. Good choice.

My suggestion? Go to the for sale area here with a set budget and buy everything that catches your eye for a week and plant it. Some will thrive, some will survive, and some will die. Then rearrange as you find what works for you. The aforementioned spiralis is a weed in my tank, in a friends it dies. Yet he has a parva mat that I would kill for, and I have a sprig that just sits there, motionless, taunting me. Go figure. That is why I like the shotgun approach!
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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-25-2014, 06:08 PM
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I am not tall and with the aid of a step stool can easily reach the bottom back of my 6x2x2' tank. I sure wouldn't put anything back there I needed to fuss with much. Stem plants that can be pulled out, trimmed and replanted are pretty easy to manage. Easy stem plants!

Agree, get a variety and see which plants you like. Develop your hardscape around must have plants though. I had to have hairgrass, Marsilea and pennywort in my first planted tank for instance.

Any healthy plants you end up disliking for some reason can be rehomed. Post in the RAOK forum or locally somebody will want your plants!

Longer I have had a planted tank the more the hardscape is important. If the hardscape is attractive and fills the tank properly then in good times you may not see much of it but in hard times the tank still looks good. So choose your must have plants, decide what sort of scape shows them off best and go for it. As well as the excellent AGA site look at this forum's journals and find forums elsewhere to study.

Some wait and fill the tank with plants from the start but most of us get a few plants here and there. Keep the lighting down, CO2 up and don't use too much fertilizer until the tank is about half full of plant growth. My back from the dead tank started with a feet or so of leafless Anubias stem and some crypt sprouting from roots. Might have had lily bulbs rolling around in there as well and it took a couple months of RAOKs, purchases and plant growth before it reached the 50% point. I should have gotten more easy stems I guess.


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MOP* Nano
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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-25-2014, 07:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kitfoxdrvr View Post
My suggestion? Go to the for sale area here with a set budget and buy everything that catches your eye for a week and plant it. Some will thrive, some will survive, and some will die. Then rearrange as you find what works for you. The aforementioned spiralis is a weed in my tank, in a friends it dies. Yet he has a parva mat that I would kill for, and I have a sprig that just sits there, motionless, taunting me. Go figure. That is why I like the shotgun approach!
^+100

This is the best suggestion you can get.

Plants grow differently depending on the setup so I too suggest that you simply buy as many plant packages as you can buy and use one part of your tank as a temp grow section. Once the plants start growing then you can then choose how to plant them in your tank or even if you want them.

Pictures from the growers and retailers only give you an idea of how the plants will grow but it will be impossible to replicate the seller's tank parameters so the plants might grow differently in your tank.

Growth rate and growth pattern is what you want to figure out. Once you see this first hand then you'll know which plants you want and where you want to plant them.

Also a massive plant mass at the beginning will hinder algae growth and get you the closest water param setup (C02,light duration, fert schedule) that you need to run a fully planted tank. If you plant lightly then you'll be tweaking a lot while the plants are growing. Get a huge plant mass at the beginning and you will tweak less in the long run.


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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-26-2014, 04:43 PM
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I have bylxa japonica in my 220g and it takes constant replanting to stay a foreground plant. It is a stem plant that will reach up and make a mid-ground or even a background for you.

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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-28-2014, 11:48 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kitfoxdrvr View Post
The biggest issue for me with a 180 is how long your arms are. I can reach the substrate in the back, so I can plant stems and 'weeds' (Crypt. spiralis is one) in the back, but if not, make the back for semi-permanent plantings like large swords.

A 180 is a true empty palette. I have had mine since the late 90s and have probably recreated it once a year. Always room for something new (plant, hardware or fauna), keeping the hobby fresh. It is a lot like a garden outside, lots of acreage! And a good, stable water mass to hide a lack of skill (talking of myself now!). And a layman or hobbiest is always drawn to it. Good choice.

My suggestion? Go to the for sale area here with a set budget and buy everything that catches your eye for a week and plant it. Some will thrive, some will survive, and some will die. Then rearrange as you find what works for you. The aforementioned spiralis is a weed in my tank, in a friends it dies. Yet he has a parva mat that I would kill for, and I have a sprig that just sits there, motionless, taunting me. Go figure. That is why I like the shotgun approach!
Thanks for the info, great to see someone else on here from NC.

Bump: Thanks everyone. Still trying to decide on plants, but have a few ideas.
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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-11-2014, 07:56 PM Thread Starter
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I just added 100 plants to my 180 and it looks empty still. ha, guess I will need to buy a few more.
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post #11 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-11-2014, 08:25 PM
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Yeah, a 180 eats a lot of plants! But I would imagine the 100 will fill in nicely. Do you have an inventory? You may have some stuff I want to trade for when it comes time to trim! Post a pic, too!
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post #12 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-11-2014, 11:24 PM
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If you don't fill it with plants, algae will gladly move in and take up the space. :-(
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post #13 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-12-2014, 02:01 AM
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just fill it with buce....just....all buce all day every day :P

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post #14 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-12-2014, 01:02 PM Thread Starter
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To be honest I think it looks bad and so do the plants I got. Spent all this time and money on equpiment, but feel like my aquascape skills are bad, and just not happy with the plants and the way the look. My thoughts are they will be dead in a week. I guess we will see. Sometimes thinking I should have just got plastic plants. ha ha
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post #15 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-12-2014, 01:11 PM
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macranda -> a pain to grow ( and I meant in full red bloom )
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