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Hello all. I used to have many planted tanks, but after a couple of moves and downsizes, I just ended up with a cichlid tank with no plants. I have moved into a house with no plans to move anytime soon. I will likely be adding tanks to the house slowly, as I go. My first tank addition is a 90 gallon aquarium that I plan to do a planted amazon biotope in. Of course sword plants are a given, for an amazon biotope tank, but I'm looking for good suggestions for other plants to add. I'm specifically looking for plants that are from the Amazon region, preferrably native.

The tank is a 90 gallon (48x18x25). I used a fixture I had laying around from years ago (at least to get started). The fixture is a 4x 54w T5ho fixture with one reflector housing all 4 bulbs (not individual reflectors). The bulbs I bought to get things going were 2x Giesemann Tropic 6,500k and 2x Giesemann Aquaflora bulbs. Unfortunately I don't have any way to test the par levels. I am hoping to achieve moderate light levels with no co2 injection. I might add co2 at a later date but trying to plan around no co2 at this time.

I am thinking of either doing pygmy chain swords or staurogyne repens as a foreground plant. I'm looking for something to do as a good background plant (possibly more than one species).

Also critique me of the equipment and setup. It's been many of years out of the planted tank part of the hobby, so I'll have some rust to shake off.

Thank you.
 

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A 90 is a great size with its deep width for aquascaping.

I don't know how the HO bulbs will do for your par with a tank that is 21" tall - but I'm sure it will be sufficient for most of the plants you'll be looking for in an Amazon themed tank. Have you considered going LED down the road? I used to do MH (for my reefs) and VHO in the past but have to say I'm amazed at all LED's have to offer, plus almost no heat to the tank.

What kind of substrate are you planning for your tank? I did dirt capped with pool sand for mine and have several different species of Echino's that are doing well. Just have to preplan for never moving them once you get them established as you'll make a mess. I did some chain swords a long time ago and just remember them spreading all over with their runners. Something to consider with them.

Any ideas for filtration and water movement? Canister, powerheads, HOB filters, Sump? Lots of options out there.

With an Amazon tank are you staying with the theme for fish? Doing driftwood also?
 
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