Aquatic Plant Forum banner
1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey folks,

Need some help - I'm stumped on what to do with my 55 - which right now has become a catch-all... The wifes complaining about how it looks, I'm not happy with it (and it displays prominently in the house) So it's time to do something with it.

Tank is a 55, 152w NO Flourescent(2 - 4' t8s 2 4' t12s), DIY CO2 into a DIY reactor. No real enriched substrate other than the mulm - don't really dig deep on water changes; although there may still be some laterite balls in there. Even the substrate is a catch all - leftovers from other tanks... Ferts are from the PMDD recipe, dosed independently.

Flora right now: (will be in edmonton buying some new stuff on wednesday)
Hygro Polysperma Rosanervig
Limnopha sessiflora
Corkscrew val
Crypt wendtii (brown)
Anubias Nana (yeah - gotta clean em up - bga got em good)
3 swords of unknown type

Fauna:
6 discus (rt/ss roughly 5-6.5")
4 Bolivian rams
12/12 ottos / amano shrimp

Starting point Tank has changed slightly since this was taken - I've filled in that whole corner around the CO2 reactor with ambulia :


Now I know I'll need some driftwood - went collecting... And came home with:

That big figure 8 piece I really want to use - I went wading out into freezing cold water to get it (Something about the shape just did it for me) As a reference the table is 3' diameter.

I like that arch piece too - Got a smaller one to match kicking around here somewhere...

Ideas?

Andy
 
Joined
·
65 Posts
first piece of advice i can give you (same advice i got :) ) is BACKGROUND!!!!!!

second would be to place a piece of driftwood in there, you have a nice selection to choose from. if that large piece will fit, use it. attach that anubias onto it and get it out of the substrate. look for other plants that root themselves to driftwood like java fern and java moss as this will be most of your plants with the size of that piece of driftwood. a nice plant i think would go nice for a foreground plant would be E. Tennellus.

these are just my opinions!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
215 Posts
A classic design problem the standard 55.

This tank is very shallow from front to back so typical forground, midground background plans tend to look squashed. Your discus will eventually pair up and could use some territorial definition. I would suggest two equal mounds with an open gravel valley between. In this valley your filter can create a cascade/waterfall down a snag of wood and provide a feeding area for the fish. Although it doesn't fit the golden rule I would suggest your 2 mounds be equal so that your discus pair won't decide to rule the larger side and make the remaining fish unhappy. Symmetry is nice when well done. You could use houseplants around the exterior of the tank to influence focal point and create some added visual tension. When I had two pair of breeding Rams this approach worked well until one male began to lose his border encounters. His gal then abandoned him to join the victor's harem, and all three drove him into oblivion. Ah the joys of cichlids...

Your plant selection is good and your fish husbandry looks accomplished, you just need to work on your green thumb. Don't forget your proven husbandry practice when people on this forum begin to suggest the estimative index.

You have plenty of light and might consider 2 Triton lamps with two bright white lamps like Pennplax trilux-ultra. This combo gives great color and grows plants well! From the looks of your current vegetation you need more CO2 and have been vacuming too deeply. Try some Seachem substrate tabs under the crypts vals and swords when you replant them to their new locations.

With your fish load macros will probably not be an issue. Tropica Master Grow would be an appropriate supplement to use. It is very well ballanced to your needs. Follow the reccomended dosage and change 30 -70% of your water every week. If your water supply is very soft you might target 2-3 dKH and dGH with baking soda and Equilibrium.

Good luck, it will look a lot better very soon.
___
Jeff
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,715 Posts
Might I also suggest the "old, swampy" forest look? I would further what Jeff just said by adding that you may want to stick with slower growing species that require less pruning as the tank matures. It would be more beneficial for the fish if you don't have to stick your hand in the tank every few days to prune the plants.

Personally, I think the deeper greens of Bolbitus heudelotii, Java moss, wendtii 'Tropica' crypts, and Anubias barteri var. nana would look spectacular in combination with the discus.

Carlos
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Old swampy look? are you refering to something along these lines?:

Thats the previous setup of the tank - albeit one taken while it was relatively newly setup... In the end the driftwood and Java fern/moss more than doubled in quantity. Had lots of algae issues and the wood got tossed eventually. (Note the bare bottom a hybrid tank- discus were still growing).

This is what I've been thinking of as a layout - comments? (yes - I suck with painshop pro)


Foreground plant - undecided - I've got some hemmianthus callitrichoides, if I can ever get it to grow out... Might use some dwarf Sag or hemianthus micranthemoides.

The idea of the ambulia where it is - is to use it to hide equipment, think it might make a nice contrasting texture amongst the corkscrew val.

Andy
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
skinns said:
Love the driftwood, did you goto a local lake to get it? I have been wanting to explore the idea of driftwood hunting myself.
It was collected at the point where the Snye and Athabasca rivers meet - Every spring during spring breakup (ice breaks river starts moving) the ice 'scrapes' off all the driftwood that has accumulated on the bottom and moves it out to shore... Makes for a great driftwood shopping 'store'.

Only problem is you don't really know what kind of wood you have. Up here we mostly have Pine, Larch, Poplars, birch and spruce - so I would guess that those are likely what I'm finding. Never had a problem with any fish deaths from leeching saps etc - So I'm not sure what all the hubub about only using 'hardwoods' is. Albeit certain hunks have in the past refused to sink - but thats easily fixed :)

To disinfect them, I put them in an old black rubbermaid tub, filled with water and a couple quarts of bleah, cover with a black garbage bag - let it sit for a few days (In the sun). Then I just rinse it off, give it a good scrub, soak it in water with lots of dechlorinator for a few more days...

Andy
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,715 Posts
To me, the old swampy look means lots and lots of moss, fern, and Anubias encrusted driftwood. The Anubias roots, fern rhizoids, and moss should hang from the driftwood. Really reminescent of the lush branches of a tree in the rainforest where tree limbs are usually heavily covered in moss, bromeliads, and orchids.

An example:



Carlos
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top