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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all!
So I've got a 37 gal tank (30x12x22)(first planted tank ever) that I'm switching out the substrate from inert gravel to Eco complete. I'm taking this opportunity to actually try and scape something! I threw out my old driftwood and still searching for a new nice branchy piece. I think a triangle style would work best for this tank. I've got 3 angles and 5 harlequin rasboras. My current plants are 2 smallish Amazon swords, water wisteria, hygro corymbosa, new Java fern that I got that will be attached to the dw, Staurogyne repens, and dwarf sag.

My idea so far is to have the dw set to the left a bit off centered with the repens kind of hedging it if I can get them thick and bushy. And then have dwarf sag filling the right side of the tank, java fern attached to the dw like in most triangle style tanks. Where I don't really know what to do is with the background. I could just throw the 3 stems on wisteria and 3 stems of hygros behind the wood. I almost don't think the swords will fit well, especially when they get full grown. Also maybe I have too many wide leafed plants, might try something like Cyprus helferi or something tall and skinny to balance the dwarf sag.

Any ideas or opinions would be greatly appreciated! I'll try and draw a quick sketch if need be to visualize it! Thanks!
 

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Yes please the sketch would be nice hahaha. But, I agree have the Java Fern as a big mound sort of thing on the driftwood and have stems (would you be adverse to buying some Rotala species?) behind them. Although, I'm not good with visualising spaces from dimensions so I'll need to see the tank. Usually Trinagle scapes take more to shallow long tanks but I gotta see your tank first before we can be sure.


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if you add some hygrophila difformis to the background.youll have a jungle affect in no time trust me.i have a 45g tall tank and this plant reached the surface in no time and filled out great.for tall tanks you want plants that grow tall and this one will.i have s.repens in the front of the tank they were green and beautiful.but,dont give them to much light i learned this the hard way.i did a big trimming on my hygro that blocked out some of the light on them thinking they needed more.and after that the full light bleached them out.they are starting to grow back slowly now since the hygro is growing back over them after the trimming.lesson learned...if the plants are looking good leave them alone.good luck
 

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Tall and narrow (front to back) tanks are not easy to scape but you do have a lot of suitable plants to choose from. My usual favorites for background are Valisneria (Italian / corkscrew) (Angels like them), Limnophila species (Ambulia - aquatica / indica) and water sprite. Star grass is another good choice, but can get messy and leggy under low light. A single red tiger lotus is hard to beat for a centerpiece. A healthy dense clamp of Java Fern (try narrow or needle leaf viriety) can be stunning all by itself.

I personally have mixed results with S. repent but Blyxa Japonica, once established, is my go to plant for fore / mid ground in any tank size.

In tanks like yours, I like to use small sized lava rock (~$7 for a ~25 lb bag at Home Depot) as base against the back glass. It helps to keep back to front slope, keep your driftwood angled to your liking, better substrate circulation, and makes good home for extra bacteria.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you all for replies and sorry for not replying sooner! I'd like to if possible work with the plants I have, I might be able to get one more plant, I actually saw a nice looking bunch of a rotala species (might have been bacopa, I didn't get a good look). I am actually hoping for my hygro differormis to get that jungle look and to maybe out it in the back left corner or close behind the dw. I'll look into getting some lava rock as you, OVT mentioned, that'd be a great way to maintain a slope. I lovee the look of blyxa japonica but I had already gotten my dwarf sag by the time I found it. I actually forgot to do the skectch haha XD. Here's some photos though, the plants are all relatively new and still young. I'm still trying to get my hygro corymbosa to fill out. I also added a couple photos of other tanks that got me thinking. I think a better substrate will help all the plants.
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The colour of the eco-complete would be better in my opinion. As for scaping, you need some hardscape (you mentioned driftwood) to dominate one of the sides I would choose left, then attach the Java Fern to it so you can get that mound. Also, place the stems behind and then have the smaller plants coming out in a radial way. So from the back it's tallest to shortest. The driftwood needs to be large enough to fill 2/3's of the height of your tank and if it sprawls out onto the rest of the tank that would be nice. To help achieve height you can bank up substrate where you want the driftwood to be, and I would place more substrate at the back anyway to create depth. You can also place rocks at the base of the driftwood if you wish. Placing the sword at the back would look fine by the way. You can also add some smaller Anubias species to accent the driftwood piece.
Not sure why the photos wouldn't load on my phone, it happens quite a bit, not just in this thread. I think it's something to do with Tapatalk.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you so much, this really helped! I spent today completing it all. It's very cloudy so I'll wait to upload some photos. I really like the way it looks, may end up tweaking it some eventually. Thank you all for the help. I'll upload photos tomorrow when it's not cloudy.
 

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i use eco complete and its worked out great.the dark substrate really looks nice and makes the green of the plants pop in my opinion.the biggest problem i have with my planted tanks is being patient.the plants take a while to get going and once they do you`ll love it.i agree with opare you need some hardscape.driftwood would look great i have some lace rock in my tank it stacks nice and you can attach mosses to it.keep us updated.heres a picture of my 45g tall.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Wow what a great lush tank pauly! All the black definitely makes the colors pop! Having patience has been a challenge lol, that's one of the reasons I got co2. Things have still been moving slowly since I started this tank but I've changed a lot of stuff around. Well here's the tank! I apologize for the photo quality or if any of you have issues viewing them. Hopefully the plants will fill out nicely. Also, since I took these at night, my angels are all hiding haha. Thank you all for the help!


 

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great start.your photos look good.the co2 will help alot.i also dose pps pro dry ferts i think it helps alot with the plants.opare is right some more saggitaria would be nice or some blyxa japonica looks nice too.some crypts would go great.the brown plant in the middle of my tank at the bottom is a crypt.its double that size now.those are crypts on the left and right front corners too.your driftwood looks great.maybe on the right side back some jungle val would work nice.it gets tall and looks good swaying in the flow from your powerhead.the harlequin rasboras look nice.might want to add some more they look great in a group of 12 or more.i have micro rasboras in my tank chilli and strawberry they stay very small.i went with all tiny fish.i also have endlers, emerald eye rasboras, gold mountain minnows (beautiful fish), emerald dwarf rasboras, otocinclus, pygmy catfish, ember tetras, micro crabs and assasin snails.i have at least a 100 fish in the tank plus shrimp! they all love the heavily planted tank.once your plants take off your tank is going to look great.keep us updated
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Pauly what a stocking list! That's awesome having all those pretty fish and all those pretty plants, I love it! I'll definitly order some more sag I would really love to have a lawn of it, would it benefit from root tabs? Also I've been looking for more harlequins! I can't seem to find more, I will keep an eye out though at the stores, maybe 5 or 6 more. All three of my angels are approaching 4 inches so they're gettin pretty big. I do dose ferts though, I do Seachem's NPK and flourish twice a week, sometimes I also add in excel or extra potassium depending on deficiency signs. Thanks for the replies btw, I'll keep you all updated!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thank you opare! I'll play it by ear, add more ferts if I need and what not. I did put root tabs under my swords and corymbosa a. So far no deficiency or melting has appeared on any plants so that's good! My new driftwood does have the white fuzz, we'll see how long it takes for it to go away on its own!
 

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i use the diy osmocote root tabs bought them off [Ebay Link Removed] think they help they last 6 months or so.i also dose seachems excel every day and seachems pottasium and iron twice a week and i run co2.i dont know if you have ever ordered fish on line but i have gotten all my fish online.you can find some great deals on aquabids web site and some other web sites too.hope the tanks doing good.:smile2:
 

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Hardscape the H3LL out of it! W00t!

All that extra height and depth can allow you different "shelves" of the water column. This is why it is my favorite dimensions for a tank!
 
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