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55g rock and driftwood layout critique wanted

5626 Views 32 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  jhays79
I'm still tweaking everything but so far this is the best I can come up with. I have more rocks to add but I'm looking for some opinions on what I have so far. Thanks!

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Nicely balanced ... room for plants in substrate or on branches ... nooks and crannies for the critters. I like it!
looks great! i think you should add some java fern to the wood though. have you decided what fish you will be using?
Thanks all! I've spent a lot o time messing with it, started to drive me nuts hehe! Fish are going to be firemouth cichlids that I've had for a year or so and some silver dollars. I've also got a sailfin pleco.
Add add anubias the wood too!
I love Java Fern, but I have a love hate relationship with anubias. I'm never able to keep it from becoming an algae magnet. I've got two Red Melon Swords waiting to go in, a bunch of java fern, stargrass, rotalla, and some dwarf sag. Also got some crypts and ludwigia and hygro as well.
Do you plan to have any carpet plants on the foreground?
Dwarf Sag. This tank is mainly gonna be low to med tech
It looks very uncomfortable, unbalanced. The direction of the left side wood pieces are guiding the eye out of the tank. The right side wood further reinforces this suggestion by getting out of the way of the pointing.

Is that two pieces of wood on the left? The thick and the branchy? If so, place the branchy below the thick wood for structural support. Right side will need adjustment afterward.
Imo.that blue background.makes it not naturalistic
Thanks all! I've spent a lot o time messing with it, started to drive me nuts hehe! Fish are going to be firemouth cichlids that I've had for a year or so and some silver dollars. I've also got a sailfin pleco.
no no no no no no no no no no no no no no NO

The fire mouth is 100% fine, the salfin will bulldoze everything as it gets larger (including your carefully planned scape) and will probably outgrow a 55 when it comes down to it. Silver dollars are the bane of all plant keeping, not even anubias will work with them (okay, thats not a 100% rule but mine ate anubias back when I had them).

If you want to do this with plants I'd avoid all but the fire mouth, but if you are just doing a hardscape only tank then go for it (but i'd still skip the pleco and opt for a smaller growing pleco)
I'm sticking with the layout. Silver Dollars may go. I've had them nibble on my Java Fern but nothing major. Tank was a beater 55g given to me for free and it's in my fishroom, not a display tank so the blue background doesn't bother me. My display tank is a 46g bowfront in my living room.

I love the Sailfin, he's staying!
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I'm pretty sure I'm gonna take the silver dollars back to my LFS. I was never that big a fan of them to begin with. They're cool, but I like plants more, hehe. I also repainted the background black after scraping off the blue paint. Going to be firemouths, the pleco (i'll see how destructive it is) and maybe some cory cats for the bottom.
It's your tank. As long as your happy with it. You can't please all the people all the time. Opinions are good as a guide but can be as numerous as people. The rule of thirds is helpful. For the record it looks great.
Hey it's your tank, for your home, for your enjoyment. While other peoples opinions are helpful some things are a matter of taste. The thirds rule is a good guide. Looks great to me.

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I have a single male firemouth in a 75 with some tiger and cherry barbs and 3 emerald cories. He's fine with the plants. Only thing if I had it to do over, would be buy some different cories. He was in the tank first, and was quite aggressive with the cories when I first put them in. So much so that I gave him a three week time out by himself in a 20 gallon. Since re-adding him he's doing a lot better. Still gets after one occasionally, but it's more of a get out of my space thing now. Before he would chase them relentlessly - with bad intentions.

Anyway, I said all that to say I think albinos would do better because they are much more of a contrast in looks to the firemouth. Pretty sure that what triggers his aggression.

Good luck with the tank. I really like the hardscape.
I wouldn't add cories with the sailfin because I had a sailfin with my cories and I beat the crud out of them since I love cories I took him back to the pet store I didnt like him anyways. Sailfish plecos are very territorial, but every fish is different though.
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