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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
To start with I would like to say that I admire your site and I think it is wonderfull to have so much information on one place. Aquatic Plant Central you are the best!

Allthough I am reading new posts every day, I decided I will finally write my own one :wink: I allready have 2 aquariums, one 200l (45 Gallons) and 63l (14 Gallons) for about a year now and I am still learning - with your help also. There is a lot of things that I still have to learn :)

I am planing to set up new nature - fully planted aquarium 140×55×50 height = 385l (90 Gallons) made of 10mm glass. I have EHEIM external Thermofilter II 2128 (with volume 7,3l, pump output 1050l/h,...), CO2 bomb with magnetic and pressure regulator, and hanging lights with 4×54W of T5 full spectrum fluorescent tubes (2×9000K and 2×4000K). That is 216W for 385l, which comes 0,56W/l or 2.45W/Gallon.

For substrate I was planning to use something rich with FE and other macro and micro elements. I would use amano substrate or something simillar, but it is not available by us.

I was thinking having these plants:
for foreground:
- Glossostigma elationoides or
- Hemianthus callitrichoides ("Cuba")

in the middle:
- Microsorum pteropus "Philippine"
- Anubias barteri var. nana
- Monosolenium tenerum "Pellia"
- Lilaeopsis mauritiana
- Eleodharis acicularis
- Riccia fluitans

for background:
- Rotala sp. "Nanjenshan"
- Rotala rotundifolia
- Rotala sp. Green
- Rotala wallichii
- Limnophila aromatica
- Ludwiga spec. "Cuba"
- Eusteralis stellata

Can you please tell me which plants do not go together, and what is the best? I really like gouramis (don't know how to spell) so I was thinking having 10-15 of them (Colisa lalia, Colisa chuna, or maybe even Sphaerichthys osphromenoides), 5 Crossocheilus siamensis, about 20 Otocinclus affinis, a lot of Yamato-numa Ebi (Amano shrimps and maybe some red-cherry shrimps), some apple snails, and 1 or 2 flock of other fishes (which ones do you suggest)?

Can you please give me any advice, like can I have this plants with this fishes and shrimps, do I have enough lightning for glossostigma, which fertilizers do you suggest,...anything please. I am really looking forward for some answers.

A link of how it looks now:

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1,717 Posts

I think a lot of your questions are personal choices/preferences, but let's see what we can do. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the fish and plant choices you've made:


Hemianthus callitrichoides or Glossostigma? I don't know. Both are equally great foreground plants.


The Microsorum pteropus and Anubias barteri var. nana would excellent tied to wood in the midground. Also, consider Bolbitus heudelottii as another alternative. Tufts of Riccia fluitans can add some sparkle to a layout, but don't forget that Java Moss could be great, too.

I would choose either Lilaeopsis or Eleocharis... not both.


You have three bottle brush-like plants: L. aromatica, E. stellata, and L. sp Cuba. Personally, I would use only one or two of the above and not all three, but it depends on the layout (see Oliver's 'Cuba' tank for an example). The four Rotalas are excellent plants. I like them, too --what can I say? :)

You may want a broader leaved plant for contrast. Hygrophila corymbosa "siamensis" would be a good choice.

You can place your shrimp and fish with these plants. No problem. However, remember that Colisa sp. can be very territorial --I would not keep that many in the same tank. In fact, I cannot recommend more than two male Colisa lalia or Colisa chuna to a 4 foot tank. A pod comprising of two males and four females would be a nice balance. Twenty or so Harlequin or Espei Rasboras would be a nice touch.

I would not add the SAEs, as they will mow down your Riccia, R. wallichii, and other fine leaved plants. Stick with a flock of Otos and C. japonica.

Hope this helps,


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506 Posts
One good thing about trying all those plants is that you wil learn what will grow for you and you can thin them back and have a balanced aquarium after that. Starting with fewer plant species is great if you already know what you can grow. One thing, don't waste your money on HC if you buy glosso, if you can grow one you can grow the other but glosso will over grow a patch of HC faster than you can believe.

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thnx for all this helpfull answers, especially to tsunami for such a reply! I think I will stick now with:
Hemianthus Callitrichoides for foreground and in the middle I will use
Microsorum pteropus, Anubias barteri var. nana, Riccia or Java Moss and for background only Rotalas.

About fishes, I later saw I did mistake with quantity. As suggested I will have 6 Colisa lalia (2 males, 4 females), a flock of Otos and C. Japonica and a flock of sth. else (20fishes).

I was actually wondering if Colisa lalia and C. Japonica can be together? And if Colisa won't eat Hemianthus Callitrichoides and other plants?

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193 Posts
you might wanna juice up your lighting a lil with the plants your growing in there i have a 75 with 260 watts 2 65 watt6700 265watt 10,000 i would change you 4000 to 65 watt 6500 or 6700 will give the good color es[ecially with a 90 there deep tanks

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Paul, I see your point, but I really can't get such tubes here in Slovenia. I hardly found this ones! And the wattages of lamps are standard. For tube 115cm you can only get 54W.

That is why, I didn't know if my lightning equipment is good enough for such plants???

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1,717 Posts
Paul. Please. There is a Spellcheck on the left hand side of the screen. Use it.

As for the lighting, sumecki you are perfectly fine with what you have. The T5 54w bulbs here in the United States are still very expensive and used mostly by hardcore reefers. They are very efficient bulbs. If I could switch out my power compacts for 54w T5 bulbs, I would do it.

Either way, you have plenty of light from a cost efficient source. You should be able to grow anything with the lighting equipment you have.


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19 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for all your replies. I hope I will be such an expert one day. I am in this hobby now for year and a half and I still consider myself as a newbie :) Will I no longer be newbie if my new tank succeed :) I managed to finish my desired plant list that looks like:

- Glossostigma elatinoides 8 POTS
- Hemianthus callitrichoides ("Cuba") 8 POTS
Here I will use both plants, so I will see which ones grows better under my conditions

in the middle:
- Anubias barteri var. nana 15 POTS
- Anubias barteri barteri 2 POTS
- Vesicularia dubyana 5 POTS
- Riccia fluitans 4 POTS
- Monosolenium tenerum ("Pellia") 2 POTS
- Eleocharis acicularis 4 POTS
- Microsorum pteropus "Narrow" 5 POTS
- Microsorum pteropus "Windelow" 2 POTS

for background:
- Rotala sp. Green 10 POTS
- Rotala sp. "Nanjenshan" 6 POTS
- Rotala rotundifolia 4 POTS
- Rotala wallichii 2 POTS

I already made schemes but unfortunately I can't scan them so you may see them. I will use water from Reverse osmosis and mix it a little with taped water to reach kH about 4. I still think I don't have the right color temperature (of lights) for desired plants? Should I stop worrying about everything and just start with set-up? Another thing that bothers me, I can't get any ADA Soil or sth. similar so I was planning to use normal white flint sand? Of course under it I will put some fine substrate rich with Fe.

And will the amount of 77 plants be enough? Should I also buy some fast growing stem plants for faster and better cycling method?

After planting I would live lights on for about 6-8 hours, start immediately with CO2 in same intervals as lightning. I will change 30% of water every week, no fertilizers for first week. And continue like that for 3-4 weeks? After second week I would start with liquid dosing - Flourish, TMG or sth. similar. Will this method work or should I stick to sth. else?

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1,717 Posts
Your plants sound fine. Your substrate sounds fins. Everything sounds fine, except that I would run the CO2 on a timer that starts at least an hour or two before the lights go on in the morning.

Just get started already. ;)

Take lots of pictures!


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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
If anybody interested, I put some new pictures of my diffusser, filter media, lights spectrum and substrate materials:

And some schemes-compositions: - number of plants (one square is 5x5 cm) - how the driftwoods (2 large & 2 small ones) will be positioned - plant positions

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19 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Wow I didn't expect no reply :cry: I see that the aquascape is really bad. Probably I will get some when I post my problems?

Beginners Info Sheet

Tank Dimensions (LxWxH): 140cmx55cmx50cm
Tank Volume (litres or gallons): ~340l

Lighting Intensity(No of Watts) : 4x54W (2.45wpg)

Type of Lighting (FL/PL/MH) : T5 full spectrum fluorescent tubes (2×9000K and 2×4000K)

No. of Hours your light is on : 7 hrs daily

CO2 Injection Rate (bps) : 3bps

Type of CO2 (DIY/Liquid/Tank) : 2kg CO2 bomb

Method of Injection (e.g. Diffusor/Reactor): diffusor

Substrate Used : sth rich with Fe ~1-2mm dia, JBL Aquabasis, JBL Florapol ~2-3mm dia (like amanos powersand), Bacter 100

How Thick is your base fert : ~2cm

How thick is your gravel : 2cm at the front and 11cm at the back

Liquid Fertilizers Used : Seachem Flourish, Trace, KNO3, KH2PO4

Frequency of fertilization : added only once 5ml of Flourish and 10 ml of Trace

Tank Temperature : 26°C

Type of Filter (overhead/internal/canister) : EHEIM 2128 canister

Filter media used : blue coarse filter pad, Sera siporax (like EHFIMECH only larger), EHFISUBSTRAT and fine filter pad

How long has your tank been set up : 10 days

Other equipment : /

Chemical Properties (Fill what you can)
Carbonate Hardness (KH): 6 dkH
Total Hardness (gH): 9 dkH
pH : 6.8
NH4 (ppm): 0
NO2 (ppm): 0
NO3 (ppm): 5
PO4 (ppm): 0
Fe (ppm): ?

Chemical ferts dosing : /

17% water change (only from R.O.)

Bioload (Your Fish and Plants)
no fish

Plants :
10x Glossostigma elatinoides
17x Anubias barteri var. nana
1x Anubias barteri
4x Vesiculari dubyana
5x Riccia fluitans
4x Eleocharis accicularis
2x Microsorum pteropus "Windelow"
8x Rotala rotundifolia
6x Rotala nanjenshan
2x Rotala wallichii
6x Rotala macrandra "Green"

Firstly I have to explain why I use water from R.O. Our water in SLO has pH 7.8, kH 15 dkH, and NO3 20-30 ppm.
When I first put water in my tank, I put 120l from R.O. and rest from the pipe. Parametres were:
kH = 7 dkH
pH = 7.5
NO3 = 20 mg/l
So I changed every second day 17l of water only from R.O. to achieve kH 3-6 degrees, Nitrate NO3 5ppm-10ppm and gH 2-8 degrees.

Well finally I have problems with algae and don't know why. I have hair algae, BBA and BGA. Can somebody tell me why? Is it because of CO2 levels were jumping from one level to another?

Some pics before:

and 9 days after:

What should I do? I remove them with my hand. How should I change my water? Should I put some shrimps or snails in the tank? I know that tank is not established yet. Should I continue with such water changes, only I will add KNO3 and KH2PO4?

Sory for such a long post
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