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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm almost finished with my tank and this being my first build I have no idea what I should put in it as far as plants. I originally posted this on beginner forum but really didn't receive the responses i was looking for so i decided to post it here instead, seeing how this is the plant forum and all, hopefully someone might give me a little insight. I suppose any advise at this point will help. I see so many great looking builds but I'm still not sure what i can and cant put in it without killing anything. I realize I made the mistake of not leaving very much planting space but the tank was only 12" wide, rather complicated and frustrating building such a narrow tank, but live and learn. My next tank will be a true euro vib thats plenty wide. :eek:) Anyway, I have a false bottom build and theres going to be about 3-4" of water in the center as well along the front of the tank. There is a waterfall in the back right corner thats going to have a stream flowing into the main body and on the far left is another smaller island mostly covered with roots. There are 4 drip wall hoses built into the background and an under ground filter. I made a custom fogging system and will have a Mistking in a few weeks. I tried my best to draw it all out for whoever has the time and patients to help me. I'm really interested in filling in over the waterfall area. Ive seen mosses that grow well cascading down the face but I'm not sure the names of them. I'm definitely looking for variety and texture. Original plants or something not so common. I like the idea of a vine BG. I'm also in need of help filling in the rather shallow "pool" area. I'm not sure what other information you might need. The tank is 48x12x20. Again this was my first build and I suppose i had too many ideas i wanted to incorporate into it and didn't leave too much room for plants. Next tank will be twice as big. :0) I'm including some photos to give you a better idea of what i came up with as far as a build, please feel free to critique it if you feel i may have done something wrong. Thank you for your insight and help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
This is the general setup of my build. Size, Drip wall locations, waterfall feature, fog system, water depth, ect...
 

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Well not to crush your dream tank, but you didnt leave much room for frogs (I am assuming this is what you are planning on putting in there). Also, with that much water and at that depth, you may have to worry about frogs fighting and possibly trying to drown each other (they do do this if they are fighting).

As far as plants, IMO, there are quite a few, however with the amount of drip spots you have, you may have some root rot issues until plants get acclimated. I would definitely recommend some crypts (common aquatic plant that can also be grown terrestrially when wet), java moss (common semi-aquatic moss that would love that amount of moisture) and maybe some purple ripple plant (another plant that is commonly sold as an aquatic or terrestrial) and this would add some nice color and texture. As far as other plants to mount, you could probably do some broms as long as they stay away from the water a little bit otherwise they may be more likely to rot out.

On the little bit of land area you have, I would do a few things. I would probably plant at least one large leaved philodendron to just add some size contrast in leaves... probably one with green or light green leaves just to add contrast. I would also go for some sort of fast growing vine (either epiprenum or maybe some creeping fig), and then a peperomia or pilea species that stayed smaller and grew into a small bush to act as a filler sort of plant.

A big key with planting in my opinion is just planting a few nice plants and allowing them to naturally fill in. If you plant too much, the tank almost looks too busy and isnt as visually pleasing. I just planted a bunch of 25g tanks, and none of them got more than 4 plants in them. Even my larger 75g tanks only get maybe 6-10 plants in them.

If you want help with specific plants, I would be more than happy and actually will have a bunch ready to sell in the next week or two and could show you just where I would recommend each in your tank.
 

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One other thing I forgot, obviously you put a lot of time into the tank, so changing the setup at this point would be beyond frusterating IMO, so if you want to quickly add more land area in the areas that you have water, I would just put some larger rocks in there. I know there is a vendor on here who makes fake ones, or you could use real ones. Just get larger ones that would stick up out of the water and then you could have moss grow over them. I think it would look nice, and the frogs would appreciate the added land area.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
If you want help with specific plants, I would be more than happy and actually will have a bunch ready to sell in the next week or two and could show you just where I would recommend each in your tank.[/QUOTE]

Thanks so much for the reply. I would defiantly be interested in getting a few plants from you. There was someone selling assortments in classifieds the other day at a really great price but i didn't know which ones i needed at the time. I would appreciate it so much if you could help me on where to place them as well. Ive been working on it for over a week now so waiting another couple of weeks to plant it wont be a problem if i know it was done right. I am able to control/shut off the drip walls to prevent root rot if you think i should, I'm assuming mainly the ones over any land structure. Like i said I'm kinda learning as i go so from the sounds of it Ive made a few mistakes trying to be creative. My biggest issue now is trying to make everything appear natural as far as the plants and fill in the back wall and water areas with plants. I know there are some mosses and such that can be planted in the water and eventually grow out of it over the land. I like that look, not keeping the two entities separated.
 

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Well not to crush your dream tank, but you didnt leave much room for frogs (I am assuming this is what you are planning on putting in there). Also, with that much water and at that depth, you may have to worry about frogs fighting and possibly trying to drown each other (they do do this if they are fighting).
Actually, this is a nice setup for about 3 to 4 firebelly toads or newts, so he could do frogs, I just would also not recommend dart frogs.

A good friend of mine; in his tank he keeps only aquatic crypts and loves them. A Purple Krinkle might do well as it perfers wet feet but does not want to be submerbed, so keep this in mind.

You didn't mention what type of lighting you have chosen. From a brief glimpse in the photos, it looks like you're using a single 48" Florecent bulb? If you could share a little about your lighting system, it will help to suggest either 'light-loving' or 'low-light' plants.

EDIT - For your first tank, it looks very neat! Definitely has the ability of looking great! I love the background and the root structure. Way neato!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Actually, this is a nice setup for about 3 to 4 firebelly toads or newts, so he could do frogs, I just would also not recommend dart frogs.

A good friend of mine; in his tank he keeps only aquatic crypts and loves them. A Purple Krinkle might do well as it perfers wet feet but does not want to be submerbed, so keep this in mind.

You didn't mention what type of lighting you have chosen. From a brief glimpse in the photos, it looks like you're using a single 48" Florecent bulb? If you could share a little about your lighting system, it will help to suggest either 'light-loving' or 'low-light' plants.

EDIT - For your first tank, it looks very neat! Definitely has the ability of looking great! I love the background and the root structure. Way neato!
I actually have a single 48" Florecent bulb "GE Fresh & Saltwater" but was advised to switch bulbs to a higher light more sutible for growing plants. I did a little looking around and wasnt sure if i needed a single bulb or not so im contemplating purchasing this one off of e-bay. Ant ideas or thoughts on this?

eBay - New & used electronics, cars, apparel, collectibles, sporting goods & more at low prices
 

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I have the 36" fixture (with 6500K lights) from Top Dog Sellers. Couldn't be happier with it. Your plants should do very well with it.
 

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I actually have a single 48" Florecent bulb "GE Fresh & Saltwater" but was advised to switch bulbs to a higher light more sutible for growing plants. I did a little looking around and wasnt sure if i needed a single bulb or not so im contemplating purchasing this one off of e-bay. Ant ideas or thoughts on this?

eBay - New & used electronics, cars, apparel, collectibles, sporting goods & more at low prices
Yep, that single 48" bulb won't cut it for coloring and plant growth. The fixture you're looking at on ebay; I think you'll love it and at a good price too! Odyssea is supposed to make great fixtures with decent reflectors so you should be happy with the purchase. The built in timer is always handy too. With three T5HO's, mounting broms or epiphytic orchids (ones that can be mounted) on your roots structure, would be cool to watch and fill in.
Check this link out for 'Orchids on a stick' Andy's Orchids - Orchid Species - Orchids on a stick

Can't wait to watch this viv growth in the next couple of months. Subscribed. :)
 

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48" T5 HO Aquarium Light Hood Freshwater Plant 216W New | eBay

This would be a nice one.

I have a 36 inch of the same brand over my 40 gallon breeder.
The 3 bulb'er is 89.95, rounded off to $100 approx. The 4 bulb T5 is 108.95, so in a nutshell, the OP is adding an extra 10 dollars for an extra T5 bulb which would be the way I'd go based on the small increments of pricing here. That 4 bulb T5HO fixture; you would never have to second guess if you'd have enough light. The only thing to remember is, don't put a low light plant like java moss up near bright light. It will hate you. :rolleyes: However, broms, orchids and many other plants that need bright, indirect light would be loving life.

So basically after all my rambling, if money is not too much of an issue and you can swing an extra 10-15 dollars, I would also reccomend the 4 bulb fixture.
 
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