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30 gal tank progression (pics)

3546 Views 8 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  skylsdale
I set this up a couple weeks ago with some H. zosterifolia and a local plant species that I collected as well (which is down in the Local Biotope forum if you want to take a stab at ID'ing it). Anyway, here it was a week or so ago:

Here it was this morning after some growth and moving a few plants around:

But, my goal was to try and make it pretty biotope specific, so I decided to yank out the native plant I was experimenting with and keep only the H. zosterifolia in there and let it grow into a big monospecific stand (which is very similar to what I have observed with plants in the wild). My plan is to simulate a bit of a gravel/sandbank in a shallow stream or river along the Rio Guapore in Bolivia, probably in a more open scrub area. So, after I cleared out the native species, here is what the tank currently looks like:

Now I'll just let the stargrass have its way in the tank. It seems to prefer creeping along the substrate right now, with minimal growth upwards--I don't know if it usually does this as I have never kept it before, but I like the appearance because that's how a LOT of plants grow in the high-current streams around here.

Fish include:

15 Moenkhausia sanctaefilomenae (red-eye tetra)
6 Gymnocorumbus ternetzi (black skirt tetra)
3 Otocinclus spp.

When the stargrass fills in quite a bit more, I will also add a handful of Nannostomus unifasciatus (oneline pencilfish). I don't usually stock tanks with so many fish--I have stuck pretty much to species tanks over the last few years--so this is a big departure for me. However, in a lot of the snorkeling and diving I've done in local waterways, I have noticed that around areas of dense plant growth or submerged structures (wood jams, etc.) there is often a VERY high density of fish numbers as well as species, so I'm trying to replicate this in the tank.

I'll update as things grow in. If I can find space I'd like to switch all of this over to a 55 gal tank.
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Very nice Skyl... is the tank intended for two or three-sided viewing? The area behind the tank looks open...

How is the tank lit? I'm VERY familiar with the options used in reef and marine tanks, but just learning how different light sources effect the appearance of the plants and fish in a planted aquarium.

The substrate is very visually interesting, something that seem to often be neglected. I'm a Starboard Reefer though, so I guess one can get used to a boring bottom. ;)
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