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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here is some of the first pics. Let me have your ideas for the drift wood as it's two seperate pieces. Do I need to only leave one or keep both? What type of plants should I look into?

Tank is a 36 gallon bow front. Has MGOPS and capped with Black Diamond at a height of 3"





 

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Miracle Grow Organic Potting Mix or SOIL as it's listed in the opening post as MGOPS?
If it's soil and has cow crap in it that can be a problem, Potting Mix has chicken waste in it and that works but the cow dung can be hard to deal with so I'd avoid it. If you still have the bag it will be listed if it's in the mixture.
 

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I prefer less would more fish and plants. If you were to keep the drift wood you might end up wanting to put cover on it. To me it's easier to find plants to fill space then it is to find a manageable cover. Just my thoughts.
 

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Mosses and my favorite Fissedens would look good on the driftwood, there's nothing wrong will a little cover on your wood. It looks ok to me but do you know what your stock is going to be, shrimp, Otos, Tetras, or something larger?

According to the par chart you have medium light, so no high light plants I guess. what type of plants do you like?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Mosses and my favorite Fissedens would look good on the driftwood, there's nothing wrong will a little cover on your wood. It looks ok to me but do you know what your stock is going to be, shrimp, Otos, Tetras, or something larger?

According to the par chart you have medium light, so no high light plants I guess. what type of plants do you like?
Well I am moving over a combination of about 10 tetras and a African Featherfin catfish. I know we are going to add more tetras and then I am trying to figure out if I should add a top swimming fish to the mix.

I am open to pretty much any plants as I do not now what exactly what I am looking for. I would rather choose the right plant based on my setup rather choosing what I would like that might not work.
 

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I don't think that makes a difference but you should double check the par chart for yourself.

I wanted to know what you liked so it would be easier to suggest a plant list but with good soil and medium light you shoud be able to keep most if your going to use CO2 and dose ferts? How far are your lights from the substrate? I guessed 16 inches.
 

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Wood takes as long as it takes. Had a piece that never sunk. 10 years underwater and it wasn't water logged. Ridiculous! Then the manzanita I have now was sunk in 2-4 days. I really liked attaching a piece of acrylic to the bottom of the sycamore 'frankenstump' as it doesn't move around when I work in the tank and never even thought about floating. If you boil it or run the dishwasher then run it with the wood in there it should sink faster. It sinks faster if weighted rather than left floating too. You could tie a couple of good sized rocks together for each bit of wood and sling over it to weigh the wood down over the weekend.

I really like your wood and the arrangement. It gives a nice framework for your planting and it looks nice bare too. I use high light and CO2 so not up on what can be used here. A clump of Crypt. wendtii and moss creeping up the wood? Narrow leaved Java fern is a beautiful graceful plant, regular JF is an easy plant at any light level but not sure about narrow leaf. Anubias nana would be great at the base and creeping up the wood. Don't try swords, they are tank swallowers. If you try stems consider the diameter of the leaf whorl and stick to smaller sorts. Currently I am loving the Bacopa I have and Rotala rotundifolia is a smaller stem that is supposed to be easy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
African Featherfin catfish is a big fish for this tank, mature 6.5 inches is what I read, is it gentle on plants?
Yes he will get big, this is an unfortunate situation of being sold by a petsmart person and that it would be a good choice for my 10 gallon before I even had knowledge of fish and also until I found this website. He is very easy on the plants. I have a 100 gallon that I was going to transfer him into but our new loft will not let this happen. I then purchased the biggest tank that I could for him specifically. Right now he is about 3" or so. For the most part he stays in his hiding place until feeding time.
 

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Do you have any likes or dislikes at all when it comes to flora?
Crypts grow insanely thick over a soil base as do most plants.
Sag, crypts, E. tenellus, Didiplis diandra, Polygonum sp (endless list) all look entirely different.

Toughest part of dirt tanking is plant selection if you unclear on the choice.
Root feeders are the important key with floaters included in the starting list for the tank to settle in quickly (imo).

Which plant is best comes down to the tankers eye then short listed into whats available.

no help at all I'm sure, sorry

Gordon has a pretty large list of stuff most of the time but it's your eye that counts.
 

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Well IMO I would do some swords in behind the wood on each side. Along with a carpet of some sort. As for the wood itself I would just leave it raw and see if you like it that way once you get some initial planting done. Maybe some lileopsis for the front of the wood.

And I would soak the wood in a five gallon bucket if your leaving for a day or two. Just to make sure all extra tannins are leached out. When you get back rinse well and it's tank ready
 

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It would make a sweet Cryptocoryne tank, look at theses for background and the photo does little justice these are beautiful Balansae Cryptocoryne crispatula and Wendtii Green up front and any others you can find. Your lighting will be fine, no dosing or CO2 required but always makes it better, plus they are sturdy plants. What ever you use have fun!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Dang Driftwood has been submersed with weights since Wed, but it has only moved a couple of inches down in the tank. Do you guys think this is all it is going to go down or should I continue to wait it out. I really didnt want to add slate or anything to keep it weighted down.
 
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