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I really love the look of a natural aquascape with wood, rocks, plants, and fish (I would like to get dwarf gourami, chili rasboras, neon tetra, and corey catfish. I just started a 25 gallon tank and have been trying to come up with ideas on how to transform it into a aquascape without uprooting my new Amazon sword and Uraguais sword. Any ideas? I currently have water wysteria in the back, the 2 swords, and a windelov java fern. Should I get more plants? If so what?
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Cool. Welcome to the world of planted tanks. Before I offer any advice on what to do in your current tank, I’d recommend looking at a bunch of aquascapes and narrowing down the style that you like the best and then try to recreate something similar. It will help you get a better idea of plant placement and layouts etc. I would focus on more low tech/low light setups as they will give you more room for error. But do your research and make sure you have a firm grasp of the basics like the nitrogen cycle and photosynthesis and go from there. Strive to understand the essentials of aquatic plant growth: lighting, co2, nutrients and water quality, substrate and filtration which will go a long way on your journey here.

With you tank, the sword Plants will get huge and with a smaller tank quickly become the main focus. What kind of substrate are you using btw? Anyway, before you start adding a bunch of fish, I would focus on setting up your hardscape and then planting accordingly. I would not be afraid to pull everything out and start over since it looks like this is just the beginning and there aren’t any fish in there.

Check out some GreenAqua videos on YouTube as they are well produced and have a ton of information you can glean from. Tom Barr’s website is great as well as UKAPS. The 2hr Aquarist has great info as well.

So yeah, before focusing on what changes to make in your current setup, I’d focus on learning all that you can about what it takes to grow aquatic plants from a hobbyist’s perspective and enjoy the journey! Good Luck and welcome again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Cool. Welcome to the world of planted tanks. Before I offer any advice on what to do in your current tank, I’d recommend looking at a bunch of aquascapes and narrowing down the style that you like the best and then try to recreate something similar. It will help you get a better idea of plant placement and layouts etc. I would focus on more low tech/low light setups as they will give you more room for error. But do your research and make sure you have a firm grasp of the basics like the nitrogen cycle and photosynthesis and go from there. Strive to understand the essentials of aquatic plant growth: lighting, co2, nutrients and water quality, substrate and filtration which will go a long way on your journey here.

With you tank, the sword Plants will get huge and with a smaller tank quickly become the main focus. What kind of substrate are you using btw? Anyway, before you start adding a bunch of fish, I would focus on setting up your hardscape and then planting accordingly. I would not be afraid to pull everything out and start over since it looks like this is just the beginning and there aren’t any fish in there.

Check out some GreenAqua videos on YouTube as they are well produced and have a ton of information you can glean from. Tom Barr’s website is great as well as UKAPS. The 2hr Aquarist has great info as well.

So yeah, before focusing on what changes to make in your current setup, I’d focus on learning all that you can about what it takes to grow aquatic plants from a hobbyist’s perspective and enjoy the journey! Good Luck and welcome again.
I am using sachem flourite for the substrate
 

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Keep in mind, that water wisteria will grow a lot, and fast. It can be kept down to size by regular trimming, and you can replant trimmed portions to help fill the entire background with foliage. That, combined with those swords, will put you well on the way to a simple and easy to maintain Jungle style aquascape.

You can add some smaller cryptocoryne. Crypt Undulata "red" is readily available and would give you some color. I would use these in the midground, clustered into clumps, especially near your pot decorations.

Those swords will get pretty big. Don't be afraid to trim off excessively wide leaves to keep them under control, but since they are newly planted, I actually do recommend moving them back several inches and placing the pots in front of & beneath them. Then put that java fern in front & to the left of the pot so the fern is near the front to provide textural interest. This will also provide balance and leave the middle more open for viewing your fish.

Eventually, you're going to need to add fertilizer. My brand recommendations are based on what can be picked up at a local chain pet store, but there are certainly other brands that are popular & effective.

For swords and crypts, root tabs are your best choice because both are heavy root feeders. Both API and Seachem make inexpensive root tabs that are sold almost everywhere. Another popular choice is to make or order gel tabs filled with Osmacote, which is a more complete fertilizer, but probably isn't necessary in a low-tech setup. The water wisteria and java fern will benefit from adding liquids to the water column. The easiest to obtain, simplest combination would be API Leaf Zone & Seachem's Flourish, which will cover you for micros & macros (phosphate & nitrate come from the fish), are sold at all large retailers and are sufficient for a low-tech aquarium.

Welcome to planted aquariums.
 

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75g, 33L, 2g and play tanks
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I pretty much second everything MissCriss said.

But for the spirit of the more heads the better.... I'll add my thoughts. Most of what you have is generally used as background plants. the Java Fern would be more mid. I would suggest using those pots as mid and fore ground and probably on the peripherals for hiding places for small fish and the corys you mentioned. Then you'll want some plants for the fore and another mid probably. the Crypt are great plants. If they completely or mostly or just partly melt away, don't sweat it, that's very normal for that species of plant. They will do this and grow new leaves suited to your water. Crypt Parva would be a nice little plants that should grow fine in your tank. I would make a couple little patches near the sides or up near a mid ground plant and then eventually it should slowly create a carpet. The trouble with this is that these are the thoughts I have been thinking of doing with one of my tanks. there are a lot of other ways to do the same things.

So take what we all say and then look into it farther. I spent a night on each section when I started looking into plants for my tank. One night for back, one for mid, and one for carpeting.

I have a 33L that I am quite proud of, this photo is not current and this tank is a little farther with more plants and such. But you will get the idea. This was done with wood that I actually cut from my property last year while clearing brush. These had all dried and I soaked them for 2 weeks, 1 week at a time and wiped and sprayed them at the end of each week and put in new water. Anyway, I wouldn't recommend doing what I did unless you have adequate space and wood that has been dried long enough. You should definitely look up other scapes just for ideas, that's all I am posting my tank for. This I made up to look similar to streams and rivers near where I live. They have these river rocks all over and slower areas like I image this little snippet of river would exist; in a slow turn or side eddy where branches collect and small trees or roots from larger ones will be. Obivously the fish would never be from here but the hard scape ideas were from my local streams.

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This has anubias plants and some water sprite in the back. it now also has 2 types of crypts a couple java fern , dwarf hair grass and some dwarf sag, both these last ones are for carpeting as well as the crypt parva I mentioned is in there so there are three plants that have carpeting potential in this. going low tech on this so we'll see which one goes better is the plan there.

PS, forgot there is Pothos and now some bamboo growing out the top in the back of the tank. to create even more shading for the Gourami. Also I just use inert substrates and use to osmacote root tabs in all my tanks.
 

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Watch lots of aquascaping videos as mentioned above and look at photos online but before jumping in make sure you have a good foundation of how bacteria, plants, water, fertilizers, CO2, substrate interact in a small glass box. Also join a local aquascaping club.

Best of luck

Sent from my Pixel 4 XL using Tapatalk
 
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