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Hi all! New to this forum,

Just curious to see how other people would plant this set up.

I kinda have a rough idea of what I want but maybe hearing other ideas would change my mind.

Tank dimensions are 400x400x400mm

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My plan was to have a large amazon sword in the middle of the log formation. Cryptocoryne balansae towards the back left (filter is located there with the output directed diagonally front, so when the Balansae grows tall enough it will drap diagonally across the surface). Either Cryptocoryne wendtii/beckettii or Java fern along the rocks. And possibly dwarf sag/ chain sword along the back and left side.

Planned stocking:
  • 12 Cardinal tetras
  • 5 Sterbai Corys

Looking forward to what the community here would do!

-Matt
 

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I have a cube with just slightly larger floor dimensions, and I have stuffed it with mainly cryptocoryne planted around two tall triangular pieces of Malaysian driftwood. It's been running a few years with the same hardscape, though I decided to pack in additional plants over the past few months because I find I prefer dense stands over minimal looks.

I have some small crypt (unknown variety, I suspect parva, it's still about 2" high after 2 years) in front of the wood, gobs of undulata red and what is probably winditii green (I forget...it's been a while) around the sides and between, and in back are some really tall narrow leaf java ferns and some feathery stem plants that might be some kind of myrio (unlabeled from LFS, but tolerates lower-medium light). I recently decided to add some crypt balansae in back to thicken up the foliage, but the order won't arrive until tomorrow.

Cubes are neat because they have a lot of relative depth, but the challenge is to make the depth work for you.

A sword would be nice, but I'd avoid a large variety, as a 40cm tank will probably look too overwhelmed by it (large swords can reach 50cm easily in a year or so). An ozelot would probably be the upper size limit for that tank. Look into "purple knight" swords; in my experience they have topped out around no more than 20cm, and the young leaves are a stunning aubergine color, which then turn a purple-brown before becoming a dark green. They are also a bit slower to grow, which helps keep them manageable, and while they need good light to look their best, I've been surprised at how durable they can be once established when compared to other intensely colored varieties.
 

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Hello and welcome! This looks to be a fun tank.

If it were me, I'd just plant swords along the back and middle and crypts along the front bottom. 2 species for the whole tank. Swords would be medium sized variety (they tend to have rounder leaves) so they don't outgrow your tank. For cypts I'd pick something easy that won't get too big since the swords are going to block a lot of light. I'd plant the swords in such a way that there would be some viewing paths through/around the plants to make use of the depth of the tank.

Or just whole lot of crypt balansae in the back and middle and a shorter crypt up front.

Just my 2 cents.
 

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I would go with Java fern on the main piece of wood; Bucephalandras, Anubias nana, Anunbias nana petite, and some Christmas moss on the other wood and rocks, a Red Flame Sword in the back, some crypts, and Staurogyne repens.
 
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