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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
The current setup just ain't doing it for me anymore. It's been 3 years without any significant change to the layout. It's turned into an overgrown jungle.

Current conditions:

Amazon Swords
Red melon Sword
E. parviflorous
Vals
Crypt wendtii
Anubis nana

Lighting 10 - 23W CFL

Substrate - Builders sand capped with pea gravel.

I've been testing out different substrates etc in my small tanks. I'm liking MGO capped with Eco-complete that I did in the 15 gallon. I'm thinking a nice carpeting plant. I'm looking at pigmy chain swords. I've got some spreading like crazy in a 10 gallon right now.

The livestock was decimated by columnaris worms the past few months. I think I've finally got them under control. All that is left is some Danios, Gold barbs, 3 platies & a gazillion BN plecos.

Any suggestions for new plants or new stocking?
 

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Paradise fish would be different, but then again I usually recommend those :red_mouth - they are my favorite fish! Anyhow, a tank that size could easily hold 2 males and 6 females, probably more if it's longer than 4 feet (male PF's need 2ft each to build territories). In groups, the PF's would be far less likely to harass their tankmates than lone fish or pairs would, especially if the water disturbance is too great for the fish to build a bubble nest (expect trouble if they manage to breed).
 

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I'd go with a carpet of Crypt. Parva's, and place the existing Crypt. Wendtii's as a mid rear plant. To fill the rear look at some of the Rotella species. Since you have Anubias Nana you can mount them to existing wood to off set the long and narrow leaves with something rich and green with a rounder leaf.

As for stocking, look into a school of Rasbora Hets and Praecox Rainbows to keep color and activity. For some odd fish you can throw in a couple Pearl Gourami's and or Blue or German Rams.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Grah-


I've had paradise fish before 7-8 years ago in a smaller tank. A very pretty fish but a little too aggressive for my taste. He ended up being a species only of him after about 2 weeks. I had him for a few years.

Archerofthemoon -

I am actually growing some parva & Rotala indica in my 15 gallon right now. The parva seems to be a slower grower even for a crypt. I imagine it could fill in nicely but just how long would it take?

The rotala grows exceptionally fast. I woudn't mind some different species of this one. Surprising as it sounds I run into issues with BBA in current tank. The SAE's I had kept it under control until they all went belly-up from the worms. What would add the greatest contrast in a low tech setup?

For reds I'm also growing some Alternanthera reineckii in the small tanks. So far they are growing albeit very slowly under a lowtech setup. The cuttings I got were also emersed growth and they have set out heavy roots at every node. I'm wondering how much of the slow growth is due to the conversion to aquatic and how much is normal.
 

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Parva is 'suppose' to have decent growth with higher lighting and CO2. If you're looking for a change I'd recommend going CO2 injected so you can do a 180 change in your setup and have something actually new. New look as well as new possibilities.

Just FYI, red plants generally lose their color when you keep them in low light with no source of CO2 (consistent liquid dose or injected.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Alas CO2 injection and another 7 international trips this year are mutually exclusive. My wife will rebel if she has to do more than dump in food and ferts. I just spend too much time on the road to maintain it. I

Yeah I know about the red plants turning brown to dark green. The contast isn't as stunning in the CO2 setups but it's still nice.

I've gotten the dwarf hairgrass to carpet really well in a 10 gallon but don't think it will work in the large tank. I just can't punch down enough light for it without turning it into an algae bomb. Dwarf sags will be 12" tall so they are out.

I'm looking at a chain sword carpet. Its taller but once it gets going its a really fast grower. I've had 3 plants turn into 40 in less than 6 weeks. How tall will they get in a low to medium light tank like I have?

Any other carpeting plant I should try? I've got a little shrimp tank that needs to be rebuilt.

For up top on the wood I've also got some java fern putting out plantlets like mad in one of the small tanks. I was thinking to tie them on the wood with the anubis as little exclamation points.

BTW My travel agent informs me I've got to blow a Saturday in Paris and a Sunday in Athens next month. Anything fun I must do?
 

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I confess a fondness for many aspects of jungle looks - especially that wall of vals - and I personally would redo only your foreground for a start. From the one picture the background looks really nice. Pull up a bunch of those nice crypt wendtii, let the water settle and then look at what you have. The pygmy chain sword idea sounds pretty good. Maybe a tiger lotus or (personal fav) Taiwan lily. Get some bright green color in the foreground and that older dreary look will disappear.

As for fish, a big school of neons or cardinals look great in densely planted environments. With this nice size you could step up to a smaller school of some medium sized fish, like giant danios, rainbows, or gouramis.

What a fun situation to be in. I have wanted to hit the restart button several times - did so once - but found that keeping some hard won established plantings could really jump start an overhaul. Think hard before you gut it completely.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'm thinking of spreading out the wall of val's. With my current setup I've had issues with the swords breaking it up. The gravel cap has also limited the runners from spreading.

I plan on using the Crypts still just not so many of them. I'll probably end up with a nice ROAK when I finally get around to doing it.

You can't see them but there are some slate caves/holes that the BN have been breeding in. I'll probably modify them and rearrange them somewhat. Might end up bringing them closer to the front and covering them with java fern and anubis as well.

The Iran rainbow in my avatar is one that I had in this tank for 3 years. The worms got him as well. They are extremely active and kept any smaller schooling fish in the background. I might just stick to 30-40 Neons or cardinals. I may also introduce some otto's and maybe some molly's/platies for color.
 
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