The Planted Tank Forum banner

1 - 4 of 4 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
204 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi tankers,

This is a tank I've had for a few months. I loved it. This picture is very poor, but you get the idea. It was stocked with 12 longfin white clouds.



Uploaded with ImageShack.us

Now, in the wake of a possible leak in another tank, I've done a lot of livestock swapping. Last night I removed the white clouds, added warm water and a heater, and placed my 2 african butterfly cichlids, a bolivian ram, a school of black phantom tetras, and cories into the tank for today.

To my pleasant surprise, I really liked how the tank looked with the cichlids!


I wanted to get some ideas on possibly switching this 20g into a west african style tank. I want to keep the rock work the same.

I think some malaysian driftwood and oak leaves will transform it. I do not have access to a lot of driftwood, but I have some.

Plants? I only have anubias, crypt wendtii, dwarf sag, and a couple jungle vals at my disposal.

Or no plants and just hardscape items?


Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,721 Posts
Well the Anubias is a natural with an African themed tank, but having Rams, Tetras and Cories in there with the Butterfly Cichlids makes it a mix, anyway.

A more tropical rain forest stream would sure have leaves and more plants, and any rocks would be buried in leaves, I would think.

I have done a tank sort of halfway between what you have now (in the picture) and what it might be with more plants, and that is a nice look. Mine also started out as a stream, then the plants (a lot of Anubias, some Vals, a few other) grew. Then I moved the tank and started over with the plants, keeping (well, resetting) the rocks. Like yours, a mix of rounded river rock. I have planted different species in there, now, and put different fish in there.

If you are trying to keep to some sort of biotope then rocks and lots of plants do not usually go together.
In nature, if there are a lot of rocks then the water is probably flowing too fast to accumulate fallen leaves, and is too rough for most plants. The low plants you have in the cold water stream are just right: They are low, tucked into the rocks, protected from the water movement. Faster moving water scours away soils and sands, leaving rocks and gravel.
If the water is flowing more slowly then leaves fall, soil or sand stays on the bottom and hide the rocks. Plants grow best in slower moving water. Overhanging trees drop branches into the water, and the branches are not swept away. Roots from the trees may grow when the bank was there, then the bank gets eroded slowly, exposing the roots.

This is not to say that a tank with rocks and lots of plants looks bad, just that they are not found together in nature as much as driftwood/leaf/plant sort of settings.

I like your rock layout.
I would add the dwarf Sag as a ground cover in the sand area, and the Vals or Anubuas behind the largest rock. Crypt wendtii in the back right. Remove the moss. Keep it simple, with just a few species.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
204 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you so much for the info Diana! Very good stuff.

That being said, this tank definitely isn't a biotope :p




After swapping fish, the Bolivian Ram was happiest and most active in this tank.


Unfortunately, he cannot be separated from my two juvenile african butterfly cichlids, for his own health. He is most active and colorful when he has the two butterflies there with him. It's pretty cute actually.




Once the africans grow up, they'll need to be moved out. They're only about 1.5" right now. This tank is a little too overstocked for my preferences.



I added 8 black phantom tetras as dither fish.
And one black and white guppy. Whatever those kind are called. Tuxedos?


To provide more cover for the fish, I added 3 sticks of spare driftwood and a handful of oak leaves from the yard.

I don't want this tank to look clean and sandy, but rather dirty? I guess?

Someday I'll make a biotope!!!

In terms of green plants, all I will potentially put in are 2 not-so-healthy jungle vals or 2 crypt parvas. I'm not sure if they are necessary though.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
204 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Actually, just planted 3 jungle vals.

Photo immediately after planting. I like it!

Should crypt parva go in too? I only have 2.

 
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
Top