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best plants

1648 Views 12 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  grim
I have a 45 gallon tall tank that I have cichlid in. I was wondering what types of plants would be best to put in that will help fill the tank vertically. Because the tank is a tall, I have had problems finding anything that makes it to the upper third of the tank. Also, any suggestions on driftwood? Thanks
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What are the rest of the parameters on your tank? Lighting, CO2, fertilizers, etc... It will be dificult to make any suggestions without that info. If you are thinking higher light, CO2 and ferts then stem plants like Ludwigia sp, rotala sp and others will grow as tall as you let them. There are also some really nice tanks in the aquascaping forum that are biotopes for SA cichlids with very few plants and using manzanita driftwood, almond leaves for black water, etc...
Off the top of my head I don't know. I go to school near albany, ny and am working in michigan for the summer. I transplanted my cichlids back home to my parents 55 gallon for the summer. I will basically be starting from scratch when I return to school in august. The water in the area has a very close to nuetral pH.

Also, I read that live plants usually do not fair well with cichlids as they like to chew on them and move them around. Would just using a large amount of driftwood be a better solution? I am just trying to get my fish to be in more than the bottom half of the tank and I know cichlids like to move in and out of rocks/wood/plants/etc.
Vallisneria americana would not have a problem getting to the top of your tank, provided the cichlids don't tear them up too much. I have some of this plant and have seen it get leaves between 18-30".

Swords also can get very large, but they bulk out as well. These, if left potted, would be less vulnerable to fish "activity".

My Cabomba has no trouble reaching six feet. The vals are a great suggestion.

I use Malaysian driftwood from the local store but I got most of my driftwood from Jeff at ADGshop, the ADA black wood. I told Jeff what I was looking for and he made it happen...three times, perfect.

Check out this link for more info on driftwood. I prefer something that sinks rather then something you have to soak for weeks/months. ADA black wood and Malaysian driftwood always sink for me.

Here is a link to ADG's driftwood.
The plants most commonly used with african cichlids are Anubias and Java fern. Both attach to wood or rock, and both have thick leaves that are generally left alone. They also only require low light which I am willing to bet you have. ;) There are some tall Anubias too. Congensis for one.
What about getting proper CO2 levels? Will I need to get something that will bubble CO2 in or will there be enough naturally?
I suggest "Crinum thaianum" strongly, it will grow vertically until it reaches the top, then still carry on growing.

I had them with my Frontosa, they can stand for the very hard Tanganyika water too..

I dont think youll ever need much CO2, if you have low light.

Good luck
Thanks for the help everyone. I just have another question to ask since I am getting closer to getting to work on getting plants for my tank. What gravel/sand should I use on the bottom of the tank? Do I need a specific kind for planting? Right now I just have regular 1/4 inch gravel in the tank.
Planting is much easier and plants tend to grow better in a substrate with particles smaller than 1/4 inch. Typically the rule is 1-3 mm, as I recall. As has been said many times here, plants will grow fine in many different substrates, including ordinary quartz sand, like pool filter sand. But, a substrate that contains some nutrients usually gives noticeably better growth.
I planned on growing plants off of driftwood. Probably one with a java fern and the other with anubias (not sure yet which species). Besides attaching them to the wood at first so they can get rooted without fish tearing them apart do I need to do anything else? I forgot to mention this in my post before.
Ok so I am finally back at school so now I have some information. I have very low light (15 Watts for my 45 gallon tank). I bought a peice of driftwood that is currently soaking to get the tannins out. I have 3 cichlids and a pleco in the tank. I was hoping to grow plants on the driftwood. I am just looking for advice on which plants would work.
i don't think that that light could grow much of anything if anything at all if your looking just on the drift would you could try java moss and maybe an anubias but i don't think so
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