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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had a biotype a year ago. Back then I wasn't really in to taking pictures so this is the only picture i have.



That tanks has been gone for awhile now but I managed to rack up some money to purchase a 60-75 gallon tank. Want to use this tank for a future high light tank, but with only enough money for a 60-75 gallon, I'm just gonna go low light for now. Somethign maybe similar to the image above.

So I'm deciding to do a low light tank with pretty much a variety of Anubias Plants. Now...i'm not going to hassle anyone for landscape designs or anything but I am going to ask if anybody have any recommendations on certain anubias plants.

One day, I saw my friend get a coffefolia and I was captivated by it's beauty. Maybe because the leave's ruffles Looked like ruffles chips. I dunno...But anywayz... I haven't had much experience with other anubias so I would like to hear it from you guys.

So far I'm looking in to:

Anubias Barteri v "Caladiifolia"
Anubias Barteri v "Coffeefolia"
Anubias Heterophylla
Anubias Pynaetii

And maybe some
Anubias Congensis

Sorry for such a long post. But couple questions:

1) Would it be wise to mix some flourite or laterite in to crushed coral? Are there any disadvantages other than losing the effect of the pure white foreground? Should I do different layers of gravel..like a flourite layer, then crushed layer. Would it be much of a difference even if my light was low?

2) Could I have a chance in biotype contests or, are planted tank enthusiasts looking for something else these days?

Thanks in advance
 

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Litesky,

If you're looking to do a west african biotope with Anubias you're going to want it to look more like this:



There's not a lot of white sand in the interior of Africa, most of it's on the coast. I'm pretty sure you won't even find it in the Rift Lakes. If you're planning on Anubias only your best bet for substrate is plain old gravel. You can get what you need at a landscape supply store for cheaper than you can get it at an LFS.

A good mixture of [relatively] large to small rocks and sand will give you the most natural looking substrate. The trick with an aquascape like this is to place the rocks and wood in a way that they look like:

1) The roots have grown into the water around the rocks
2) The wood fell into the water and got jammed. This one's not as easy as it sounds.

I think A. coffeefolia would be an excellent choice for a 65-75g tank. I'm not one for mixing many plant species in a biotope, but if you're insistant on it, a _few_ A. congensis would be ok. Just make sure to keep them in a tight group, they wouldn't be scattered around a habitat like this. In fact, they would most likely be the ones growing in the shallowest area and would look good growing out of an open top.

Best,
Phil
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Oooooo...thanks Phil. You saved my day. I was thinking of whether I should use regular gravel or the crushed coral. I still have a lot of regular gravel so this really works out.

So a mix of woods and rocks would be best for this kind of tank?

At my local lfs, I only see african root wood. In the picture you provided, it doesn't seem to be african root wood. I may be wrong.....but which type of wood is that? Now I have to research a bit more on wood.
 

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Well.

Tank you had a year ago was East African "biotope" not West African. I see either Electric Blue or blue variety of Aulonocara species. This is a Lake Malawi "biotope".

There is no place for crushed coral and lava rocks in West Africa.

Here are some examples of african biotopes.

Cameroon







Those are not your typical african setups but they are closer then further.







 

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Those tanks are incredible...Love the look. What are the roots hanging down in the middle, left and right in the first tank, is it something growing or part of the background. Look like a stream right by my house.(different plants of course) I was wondering how to replicate that look.
 

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Jay,

That second tank's not yours is it? It's gorgeous!



Litesky,

Yes, that's African Root wood. I figured it was ironically appropriate that the wood be from Africa. :)
 

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wow!!! i didn't know africa could be so beautiful...thinking of starting one myself!
 
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