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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all,

Not new to planted tanks, but I'm getting a bit frustrated that I just can't seem to find the right plants for my tank to get a nice full looking growth in my tank in a way that is nice on the eyes. Looking for some guidance towards plants maybe.

Current plants:
Ludwigia sp. Atlantis
Ludwigia sp. Cuba (love this one)
Ludwigia sp. Red
I have a few stems of 2 types of green plants that I can't recall the name anymore, both thicker stems.
Rotala sp. Green
A. reineckii
Dwaf Sag (may remove this in favor of something a bit less invasive
Crypt Wendtii Green

I did a major hacking yesterday and trimmed everything back down to just above the substrate. I'm running pressurized co2 with EI. I have high lighting.

I'm just looking for guidance on plant types I guess to accomplish a nice full look. I really love the look of the Cuba and bushier stem looking ones like that. I feel like when I plant I just never get them to look organized. Maybe I just lack the artsy gene? haha. Any help would be appreciated.

Here is a shot of it a month ago.


And here it is today all hacked down:
 

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You need to learn how each of the plants you're using grows. Once you learn that, you should place them according to how they grow. Right now, you've put together a mosaic of plants without much thought. It's supposed to be Dutch-style?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah, dutch-ish style I suppose. I really don't even need a style, I personally want it more natural looking and not as manicured as traditional dutch style. I do like the idea of grouping plants together.

I understand learning the plants and I do understand how the plants I have grow, I just really can't wrap my brain around grouping them correctly though. I personally prefer thicker stem plants I feel and I love the look of the Cuba so I was thinking of reducing the amount of species of plants and picking just a few to work with.

Either than or toss the whole idea and go with a different style.
 

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One problem you have is that you have too many selections of plants to work with which compounds the problems exponentially. Here's a simple guide you could follow for better results:

1. Use a base plant for your background. Cover the entire back so it helps frame everything in front of it. Use Rotala sp. "Green".
2. Use a midground plant to support the wood. The dwarf sag could work.
3. Use a foreground plant. You don't have any.

Once you have the base palette, you can add the other plants as accents. Just be very considerate where to place them.
Also, having a piece of wood makes it difficult to have a Dutch-style that is well-balanced because it extends across multiple bunches.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
That's exactly what I've thought for some time now. I think I'll do that once the weather warms up and I can ship some new plants. Maybe I'll get rid of the wood and pick up some stone to make it a bit easier for scaping and planting. I get what you're saying about the wood.

I think I'm going to go with Rotala sp. Green and the Ludwigia Atlantis as the background as you said and then just stick to two types of stems for groupings around it, Ludwigia Cuba and Syngonanthus sp.“Belém.

Hopefully I can make something nice doing that.

One problem you have is that you have too many selections of plants to work with which compounds the problems exponentially. Here's a simple guide you could follow for better results:

1. Use a base plant for your background. Cover the entire back so it helps frame everything in front of it. Use Rotala sp. "Green".
2. Use a midground plant to support the wood. The dwarf sag could work.
3. Use a foreground plant. You don't have any.

Once you have the base palette, you can add the other plants as accents. Just be very considerate where to place them.
Also, having a piece of wood makes it difficult to have a Dutch-style that is well-balanced because it extends across multiple bunches.
 

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I really like all the different colors and textures you have in your tank! I think you just need to make sure the taller plants are in the back and shorter ones are towards the front. If it has a "busy" feel to it, then maybe take out one or two plants.
I like your driftwood and I think your tank will look awesome when it grows and fills in useing the plants you already have!!

That red group of plants up front, is it the A. reineckii? I really like the way it looks and it's got me wanting to order some.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks! I wanted a lot of color and texture, but it's proving too difficult to keep looking neat, definitely going to slim things down a bit.

That is the A. Reineckii in the front. I gambled and bought a Petsmart pack and it's growing well, I actually am still learning how it grows, just trimmed a couple tall ones and they already have new leaves coming from the trimmed area, so now that I know that I think I can grow a nice bushy A. Reineckii area.

I really like all the different colors and textures you have in your tank! I think you just need to make sure the taller plants are in the back and shorter ones are towards the front. If it has a "busy" feel to it, then maybe take out one or two plants.
I like your driftwood and I think your tank will look awesome when it grows and fills in useing the plants you already have!!

That red group of plants up front, is it the A. reineckii? I really like the way it looks and it's got me wanting to order some.
I am also going to switch to S. Repens possibly, or Blyxy Japonica for the carpeting, Dwarf Sag just is too invasive.

Add hairgrass or baby tears and reduce the amount of dwarf sag?
Good luck...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Quick update, I found some nice S. Repens at Petsmart today in the gel packs, so I decided to get it and move m A. reineckii to the complete left and try to let it get lush. I also moved my wood and turned it so it's more branchy, attached some moss I had in another tank. S. repens I hope to use to fully carpet the right side. Going to still move things around and remove stems in the rear as they grow, but I like the changes I'd made so far.

Excuse the 7-Up, I forgot to turn off co2 while I was planting so I got a nice dose when the filter went back on.

 

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Is that a 46 gal? I have been working on my 46 bow for about a year, I do not use co2 but do dose excel and have played with the lighting and so on, I think these tanks are a bit of a pain because they are a bit deeper than most tanks, I started out going npt, now I have ditched that for eco complete, so far it's working well plus I have learned a ton over the last year with this tank and my.......19 others? lol well yeah however many others, mostly 10's and nanos but a 40b and a 20l
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks! I just ordered a second BuildMyLED light also and a suspension kit so I hope to really get some good growth and color out of this tank.

Very nice looking setup. Can't wait to see it filled in.
Yep, 46g bow front. The depth makes it a major PITA! I wish I knew what I know now when I bought it. I'd have preferred a 40 breeder or something like that.

I use Eco Complete in my tank as well, started with it though.

As I mentioned above I did just order a second BML light to compliment my first. I'd say the one keeps me on the border of high light, more like medium high. I figure the second fixture will get me to high light and bring out more color in the plants I want to get orange/red. Just have to wait for them to get the suspension kit back in stock so I can hang both lights. I want to run them at 100% and I can't do that when mounted on the tank, I was getting too much algae on the glass.

Is that a 46 gal? I have been working on my 46 bow for about a year, I do not use co2 but do dose excel and have played with the lighting and so on, I think these tanks are a bit of a pain because they are a bit deeper than most tanks, I started out going npt, now I have ditched that for eco complete, so far it's working well plus I have learned a ton over the last year with this tank and my.......19 others? lol well yeah however many others, mostly 10's and nanos but a 40b and a 20l
 

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fZOX-ObpCbY
this is the latest rescape it is about 10 days old now, I am finally happy with the layout, took some effort to have enough hiding space for the 3 sydontis catfish and have enough room for plants, it is a fine balancing act, I have a beams work 3rd gen led with well a crap ton of light but it is only on ful power for 2 hours and the rest is the low setting for 4 hours, I have a hob wiht a surface skimmer and a sunsun 505b with uv that is the new addition and wow the water is so clear
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Nice, it looks good! I only run the one Fluval 406, but I use purigen in one of the trays and my water is super clear too, aside from the co2 fizz haha.

I do run a koralia nano for some more flow/surface agitation too.
 

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Hard part for many is letting the plant's get some mass before trimming,uprooting,moving.
I rather liked the pre trim photo.
Must also admit,,I suck at aquascaping and is why my tank's have distinct Jungle appearance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks and I agree very hard to let it grow and trim without moving. I plan to do that this time though to let it get lush and see how things progress from there. I still envision myself removing a few species and focusing on only like 4 types max.

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