I started to redo this tank last night. I have many more options now because I don't have to work around fish that eat plants. Sadly, I lost all my fish due to an outbreak of diesease started by some contaminated fish I bought a week ago. I didn't notice it in the LFS, but as soon as I got home I realized a lemon tetra I had just bought had some white fungus around its mouth. I treated with some meds., but they didn't help. Within a day or two the diesease spread to almost every fish in the tank. Moral of the story, get a quarantine tank.
Anyways, the upside to all this is I got to have a fresh start to this tank. I did 100% water changes until the gravel was completely clean and to make sure traces of the diesease were wiped out. Then I added a layer of sand to the bottom and then mixed some Flora-Max gravel in with the Flourite, so now I have a gravel mix with Flourite, Flora-Max, Profile, regular river gravel, sand, and a little peat. Somehow this mixes together nicely and has a very natural looking color and works pretty well. After this I filled the tank full and did more water changes until the water was free of dust from the gravel and sand.
Then I started to work out the hardscape with the same old rocks, and all the driftwood that didn't have any plants on it. This is when last nights (dissapointing) NBA Finals game ended and I went to sleep. Today I will take pictures of the hardscape and when thats looking good enough for me, I will start adding plants. So far I have just three kinds of java ferns and an amazon sword plant that I'm planning on using. I need to get other plants and I'll have to see what grows in the medium light (2.5 wpg).
38 Gallon Hardscape
I added plants today, but I am waiting until the water clears (maybe later tonight) to take more pictures. The one thing I was unable to add, was my best piece of driftwood with tons of java ferns on it. I don't really have room for it in this aquascape so far, and this is my only tank big enough for it, so I think I'm going to have to sell it on aquabid. Here is the pictures of the piece:
I do need suggestions for foreground (and other) plants. For foreground I was thinking of using either dwarf hairgrass, dwarf sag, or echinodorus tenellus. Whichever one is less work and grows fastest in my tanks conditions. I will post pictures of the progress of the work tonight.
And here are the pictures with the plants in the tank (sorry about the cloudy water):
This layout will most likely be changing as soon as I get a better idea on the setup. I am going on a kayakng trip in Maryland (freshwater) and hope to find some good rocks and driftwood, maybe even plants and fish. So I will probably change the layout soon, and I'm always really happy to hear any suggestions on how to improve the aquascape.