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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all!

New to the site and wasn't getting much help from the other forum I am on. I am getting several plants tomorrow consisting of Bacopa, Crypt, Java Fern, Elodae, Water Sprite, Dwarf Sagittaria, Anubias Nana, Leopard Val, Windelow Fern, and Apontegon.

I currently have these rocks available:


I was considering two different approaches to a possible setup with these rocks and wanted some opinions since this is a first aquascape for me in the grand scheme of things.

Here is two different layouts I had. The second one has three rocks making a cave and simple layout. Sorry for the batman towel, was drying the rocks off! The folded edge of the towels were folded that way to be close to what tank these are going into which is a 20 gallon long.

Layout 1:


Layout 2:


I have also done layout 2 in reverse with the tunnel on the same side. With the setups, I planned on putting the bacopa on the edges, the ferns along the back wall, leopard val in front of the ferns and then using the crypts and anubis along the rocks with dwarf sag as the carpet. Water Sprite and Apontegon I have no clue yet. Forgot, Elodae will be left floating.

Any help would be appreciated! Thanks in advance.
 

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Welcome to APC!

Personally, I like the second layout better. It looks like the left group of rocks will be very close to the glass, I suggest moving them a little closer to the center to give yourself more planting room.

The vallisneria will probably get a lot taller than your ferns, so put it in back of the ferns. Also keep in mind that small stones can easily get covered up by foreground plants, so some of them may disappear unless you keep the foreground very short.

Please keep us updated.
 

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Those appear to be carbonate stones, so you will need to do weekly 50% water changes to avoid a steady hardening of the water. But, doing big water changes like that is beneficial to the fish and plants anyway.

I like the second layout too. Consider sloping the substrate so the farthest back group is raised up quite a bit.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you for the responses. Seems everyone likes layout 2. Wife and buddy did too.

As far as sloping, I forgot to mention I have black sand in the aquarium. Might have enough to do slope. I actually have had fish in it for a long time with those rocks with no troubles. I had to redo layout due to noobness and what not. Planning on being successful this time around. Getting more feedback here than other places which is nice so thanks again!

I'll be doing work tonight on the tank, plants are in, and I'll get pictures once its setup to keep you guys updated!
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)






I tried my best and I like the layout. In the back, I have leopard val. In the corner by the heater is water sprite. Off to the right is bacopa. On the rocks I put tiny bit of super glue to hold anubias and java fern to the rocks so that the rhizome are above substrate. In the back left corner is an extra plant I got called Potamogeton Gayi. Never heard of it. Java moss is super glued to the back rock. I'm hoping to turn it into a moss rock. This might get moved but it was the best I could think of for now. Dwarf Sag is up front and already long! Elodae is floating in the top right front corner. Then there are two plants, which sadly you can't see to well, in front of the big rock that I have no clue what they are. Actually, here is a close up of them:




Top right corner of this one. There is two plants it appears. I put them in as one just as I did with the image above this one.

Hope its alright. I wish I had more time to layout and figure it out but I also kind of just wanted to get it done and stop second guessing everything. I plan on dosing Thrive and I have excel but tank has been running for three years and I think the fish have provided plenty for the substrate. I'll be lighting this with a Current USA Satellite Freshwater LED+.

Also just wanted to say, I rarely see my nerite snails and they came out to party for this picture. lol
 

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Sorry, been ten days later since your last response.

To update, I've been dosing one pump of thrive 3x a week and have had the light on for 8 hours. When I first planted the tank, some of the plants began melting and dying off. Several of my dwarf swag died off, but one stayed with me and is growing slowly. Elodae has took off. The Apontogen has dissapeared, dont know if it melted or got eaten by the mollies. I have water sprite both growing while floating and planted. My crypt I thought had died off but its now growing fast. Anubias is growing slowly after it lost a couple of leaves from melting. My leopard fern is slowly growing as well. Java fern seems to be only thing that didnt have any problems.

I've also now have two new fish in the tank. Possibly from the plants that were shipped to me or from my own fish. Its exciting and my son loves the little fish! I'll be taking new photos for an update soon. Not much has changed though as everything is growing slow as expected.
 
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