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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Since moving from NC to FL this summer, my 55 gallon tank is being neglected and languishing, so I am looking to begin revamping it come the new year. It is currently set up as a dirt tank (Miracle Grow Organic under Black Diamond), but most of the plants I moved down from NC didn't make the transition very well. I would like to keep the dirt setup, but I also want to convert it to a nice Blackwater biotope. My thoughts are to add a significant amount of driftwood and Indian Almond leaves on top of the sand layer.
My question is how well can this work? What plants (if any) will thrive in a Blackwater setup? I want plants that would naturally fit into that environment, as well as plants that are relatively low-maintenance and do not require excessive trimming and pruning.
Also, what would be some really nice fish that would work in here? Currently, the tank has one angel, one clown loach, two flying foxes, maybe 8 or so black neons, a couple paleatus cories, and one bushynose pleco. Any of these fish that would fit the biotope would be great, but I can move or rehome any of them.
 

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There are blackwater rivers all over Florida that will be very similar to what you'll find in Central and South America. I'd spend the winter scoping out some different spots and don a mask and snorkel when it warms up a little and give it a peek. The Peace River is a great example. You can also fossil hunt as well as collect some great driftwood. When I was a kid, I had a bunch of cypress driftwood that I wish I would have held on to. You'll probably be able to get some plants as well.*

*I am unfamiliar with collection laws in Florida as it relates to anything above. Research at your own risk.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
That is interesting. Perhaps down the line I'll do some emersed plants, but I'm thinking more strictly aquatic right now.

There are blackwater rivers all over Florida that will be very similar to what you'll find in Central and South America. I'd spend the winter scoping out some different spots and don a mask and snorkel when it warms up a little and give it a peek. The Peace River is a great example. You can also fossil hunt as well as collect some great driftwood. When I was a kid, I had a bunch of cypress driftwood that I wish I would have held on to. You'll probably be able to get some plants as well.*

*I am unfamiliar with collection laws in Florida as it relates to anything above. Research at your own risk.
That could be fun, but knowing myself I doubt I would actually get around to going out and finding stuff.

I am thinking a low layer of perhaps Narrow Leaf Chain Sword with some larger swords in the background, and perhaps some Anubias somewhere as well.

As far as my fish thinking goes, I am strongly leaning towards a harem of Apistogramma cacatuoides, a school of Black Neons, perhaps a school of some sort of Corydoras, and some really nice Plecos. How does this seem? What would be a really nice Pleco that would not tear up the plants to badly?
 
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