Hello all, this is my first post here in TPT (and possibly the LONGEST). I have been doing a lot of poking around on the internet for answers regarding fish and aquatic plants and most roads point to TPT so I thought it wise to join and learn from the experts. I purchased the Planted Tank Guide and there is a wealth of info there--inspiring! I am a long time aquarium keeper, pretty sure I have not been without some sort of tank since I was 10 so that is 24 years.--(surprised myself just now). I have been keeping angels for the last 14 years in a 55gal tank that I have moved more times than I can count through college apartments and even moved it into a friends house to tanksit while I studied abroad (with strict instructions of course). To make a long story short I had had great luck with my angels for the first 7 years. No major problems, all purchased from the local pet store and they grew into maturity and were like family. In 2007 (our local pet store had gone out of business 1 year prior) I couldn't help but purchase this cute little gold nickle sized angel at Petsmart (now called "the devil"), which was the only place to buy fish in the 120 mile radius. I am sure you can all guess the rest, all my mature 6"+ angels were dead within 2 weeks time. I was heartbroken to say the least and guilt ridden for not knowing better. This being said I am very gun shy when it comes to buying fish and I am now ready to make the plunge to buy some quality fish online and again have a family of angels to gaze at for years to come.
I saw a tank once in a bar overseas that I will never forget. It did not appear to me as a high tec type, or one that was under much supervision. It was simple, clean and elegant at the same time. Stocked only with 4 or 5 mature angelfish, looked like your average silver bar type and a ton of vallisneria americana gigantea that the fish swam about in like a forest. The val was bottom to top and some extra growth flowing at the surface. I would love to recreate this with the addition of driftwood, I can't imagine a tank without it
Here are my two questions needing the expert advice.
1. If my goal is to have a low tec planted tank with this one species of plant, are there parameters that I should drill down on since I am not trying to satisfy numerous species' needs? Most people say that val is easy to keep and fast growing so I am hoping that my low/tec plan is feasible.
2. Since I now have an intense disease phobia, is there a way to quarantine and treat a shipment of val with little to no chance of spreading any type of disease from the plant supplier to my little angels? It seems like I should be able to treat with a pesticide type solution for aquatics in a quarantine tank and then do a few water changes over a month or so to clean the plants of any residue. I can't seem to find any information about this, only talk of bleach dips.
Any advise would be greatly appreciated and thanks for being patient with my long winded story, seemed necessary to get to know me and my Forest of Angels vision.