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Discussion Starter #1
I am currently working on a aquarium system for L46 Hypancisterus zebra which incorporates a 140x50x35cm (LxWxH) 245L and also a 100x40x40cm 180L aquarium as a resevoiur/sump but also a second display aquarium for L200 Baryancistrus demantoides both with the intention of breeding. The upper aquarium will be running into the lower aquarium at a rate of 2000lph via a trickle filter, the upper aquarium will also have an additional flow rate of 2500lph via a 1500 external filter and an additional 1000 (or maybe 2000)lph circulation pump bringing the total flow rate to 4500lph (a fair bit in a 245L aquarium!) The flow is going to be evenly distributed around the aquarium so there will not be areas where the flow is intensely concentrated but will of course be the odd calm spot where it is broken up by the rockwork.
Due to this project I will only have room for a small planted aquarium next to it but as my main passion in fish keeping along with loricariidae is plants I would like to make the most of this somewhat different environment I am creating to try some plants which would actually benefit from the high flow.
For obvious reasons I cant and don’t wish to use a fertilised substrate (it would be disturbed too much by flow and plecs and some may become harmful to expensive stock) also in such a high flow and oxygen environment CO2 is going to be near enough non-existent beyond ambient levels. Light levels are not a problem, I can supply up to 4 T5 lights over either tanks. The substrate would be a totally inert and additive free coarse sand/fine gravel and rockwork either slate or large cobbles with caves.
Basically my question being which plants would flourish in a fast water, high oxygen, high light environment and tolerate a low level of nutrients and CO2.
 

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Will those plecos not eat plants? I know that the common plecos will munch on them and uproot them, but I have no experience with other varieties.
 

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Sword plants I know are adapted to high flow areas. They have massive root systems to not only anchor themselves but to get nutrients from the substrate. If you put root tabs in around the swords they would probably do great.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
This particular species will not be a problem with plants preferring a diet of softer more nutritious vegetables and meaty foods to plants, wood and algae. These are a much smaller, less destructive and more elusive and nocturnal species to your more common hypostomus and Pterygoplichthys plecs.



I’m considering using an extensive carpet of eleocharis and pogostemon in the foreground, various cryptocorynes for mid ground and primarily microsorum species attached to the rock and wood hardscape in the background. I’m probably going to use sand as substrate and root tabs and balls, I may also consider the new JBL Mado substrate as this is meant to be good for plants and relatively inert and unlikely to cloud the water (according to the rep!) In such high flow It might get moved around a bit! Another benefit of having plants is that it would help break up the flow and hold the substrate in place and I know that pogostemon comes from a high flow environment and believe with a good month with reduced flow all the other species would get a chance to lay good strong root systems in time for me to slowly increase the flow and light and see how the plants respond.

Oh just to add, the total proposed flow through the aquarium has also now been increaced to 3000-4000lph in the 180L aquarium and 5000-6000lph through the 210L aquarium so this could turn out to be an interesting project to play around with plants in.
 
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