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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well I've decided to turn my 55gal non-planted tank into a planted tank:D. Today I added 60lbs of eco-complete and will be adding 40lbs more tomarrow. I just ordered a 2x55watt kit from AH supply. And am working on ordering a CO2 regulator. All the fish will be swapped out for different stock. The two Typhlonectes natans or "rubber eels" will be staying in the tank. I relize they will make it harder to plant and aquascape. But a challenge makes it much more fun:D. I don't have plants picked out yet so any suggestions. I know I want a stem plant that I can get to grow really dense and plants with lots of roots are perfered as they will stand a better chance.

heres a recent pic of the tank, its still cloudy from the eco-complete
 

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I'm not sure about which stem plants would be best (do the eels burrow?), but swords would be robust and well-rooted enough I would think. I would also attach some epiphytes, like moss or anubias, to your hardscape.

What do you feed "rubber eels"? :pop2:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The eels are suppose to be able to burrow from what I've read. Mine are lazy though, I've had them almost a year and all I ever seen them do is stick their head 3" into the substrate. They always sleep under the wood, they can move those peices around if they want too. They have the potential to rip up plants, but for the most part they are very lazy. They are hand feed nightcrawlers for most of their died. They get chicken, shrimp, beef, similar things, and cheese as treats.
 

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OK, they're cool looking, but eels creep me out! I would definitely go with the hardier plants, maybe wedge some Anubias and ferns between rocks. The sword idea is a good one, but it needs time to take a good foothold with its roots. Good luck, and keep us posted!
 

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The eels sound kinda cool - as long as they're in someone else's tank. ;)

An easy to grow stem plants with good roots that can get really dense sounds like Hygrophila difformis (water wisteria). I've had some monster root masses with it when I topped it multiple times before pulling up the bottoms and replanting the tops. I've also had good growth with some of the other Hygrophilas, but the H. difformis has the densest growth. Ludwigia repens has also grown well for me with good root structure. It also branches readily when topped to form a nice bush.

Swords, cryptocorynes, and aponogetons all get good root growth and might be able to hold up to the eels once they are established. I'd definitely get ferns and anubias to tie on the wood.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for all the plant suggestions, I'm working on a plant list and your suggestions have helped a lot. I have a few tricks I could try to help the plants establish w/o getting uprooted. I added the rest of the eco-complete today. I'm waiting for my light to get here, so I can start building the hood. I'm also still messing around w/ the hardscape too. Here are some pics I took right before I added the rest of the eco-complete.

 

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Attach some anubias with rubber bands to a small 1" diameter lava rock and they can have fun playing volley ball over a center brace if you got one. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Those rubber eels, where do they originate from? They look awesome. Were they expensive?
The originate from the road ditches of Columbia:D. They are not ture eels but actually amphibians, common names mess everything up. They are naturally blind and rely on smell. They have lungs and need to go to the surface to breath air. They can leave the water, are very good at escaping and move well across tile floors;). Max size 18-24" Females give birth to live young with external gills.

Its kinda like a platypus....

I paid $60 for two of them when they where 12" long, they aren't expensive IMO just really hard to find.

Attach some anubias with rubber bands to a small 1" diameter lava rock and they can have fun playing volley ball over a center brace if you got one. :)
I could also fill it with moss balls so it looked like one of those kid pens with all the plastic balls, I'd have moss balls flying everywhere:p.
 

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They are called cecilians and they are the only legless amphibions. There are two other types that come from asia somewhere I am not exactly sure, and eastern europe. The pictures of the asian type had a yellow stripe running the length of it. I have 1 like mikaila31 and had one other before it escaped and my cat found it before I did. I have been told that they are sold as rubber eels because of legality issues. Not sure since it came from LFS chat with random person.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Yup Columbia's laws prohibit the export of amphibians. They use to be exported as "unidentified eels" until the goverment wised up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
The lights are finally done :hyper:. 2X55 watt and 2 12" cold cathode moonlights. I need to go to a store soon and pick up some glass canopys for the tank.


I've got my plant list sorted out too. Heres what I'm planning on.
Anubias barteri v. 'Nana'
Gracilis (Anubias gracilis)
Crypt, Walkerii
Micro Sword
Anubias barteri v. 'Coffeefolia'
Java fern
tiger lotus
H. corymbosa
Rotala macrandra v. 'narrow leaf'
Cabomba
Red rubin sword
Wendtii, bronze
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Que the music!

Had a very fun day yesterday planting the tank. I really love it and the fish love it as well. Two of the rainbows have been displaying non stop for over two hours now. I under estimated the sized of some of the plants, mainly the swords. They are BIG. Also ordered waaayyy too much micro sword. Its been planted for almost 24hrs now and I haven't had to replant that many plants yet :D. I still need to get my co2 canister filled witch will take about 5 days, I also have the old plastic lids on still, with the lights I built sitting on top of them. A lot of the light is being blocked, I'm trying to make some lids or find some glass ones, but haven't had much luck yet.

I'm already getting picky on the scaping and some of the plants. I don't like the Hygrophilia corymbosa for some reason.








I also added a True Siamese Algae Eater. He's about 2.5" long and was almost scared to death when I moved him to this tank. He's the first fish I've added to this tank in about 6 months. The rainbows greeted like he might be something to eat :eek:. They've now decided he's a tankmate and have ignored him. The eels have ignored him since the beginning, but he's still scared of them. Not that I blame him.
 

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Well, that certainly makes a difference! :p The tank looks great. I see alot of emersed growth, so don't give up on any of the plants yet. Let them get going with some submerged foliage.

Nice job!

-Dave
 

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Nicely done! The fish look happy to have the greenery. I hope the eels behave and let the plants get established.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
So far the eels are behaving nicely. They aren't knocking many of the plants loose. I got my CO2 up and running today. I still need to work on the lids. Tomarrow I start fertilizing. So far I think everything is going good. I took a pic with the moonlights on. Also a random picture of one of the eels yawning after waking up.


 
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