I've recently come into possession of a 75 gallon tank (or will shortly anyway). It was supposed to be a Cichlid tank, but I've convinced my wife to keep it just to the smaller fish (Molly, Platy, Cory, ext.).
I plan on cleaning it next week and then begin the cycling process (after I purchase a few things). I'm trying to decide what to do with it. Sand or gravel? What theme? What colors? The whole 9.
I would love some advice and ideas. After all my years of fish keeping, I've never use live plants (other than a few here and there). I'm a fast learner and a careful keeper, so plants don't scare me.
Here is what I'm thinking so far. A Roman/Greek-type theme. Plenty of columns, ruins, and statues. Perhaps a Poseidon and/or Neptune deal. Foreground plants such as Dawrf Hairgrass and Baby Tears. I would love to have the "carpet" look with the grass and contrast it with the baby tears. I don't want to go nuts and plant too much, but I'm aiming for that "Garden of Eden" feel to go with all my columns, ruins and statues. I'll have fake plants in there as well (the ones I have now are often confused by others as being real).
The other theme I was thinking was an Asian theme (as I currently have). Pagodas, temples, dragon statue, bamboo (likely the fake ones) and a bridge with gravel to look like a stream. I'm a bit tired of that theme, but I can do more on a larger scale. Add to that a few live plants (the grass and baby tears).
I plan on no more than 30 fish (again, the smaller non-aggressive kind). I will be transplanting 14 current fish from my 29g tank to the new tank. I will slowly add more after that. My current fish are 7 Platy, 4 Molly and 3 Cory.
Here is my first question, will the Cory Cats do well in a grass carpet bottom? If not they will remain in my 29g (which I plan on making a home for smaller fish, such as Guppies).
What fish would you recommend I add to the 75g (communal, non-aggressive, 4 inch max fish)? I will absolutely add some Kuhli Loach (4 or 5 of them).
What kind of sand would you recommend? It will be a gravel/sand mix in some fashion.
Ideas on live plants? Advice is wanted.
Which of my themes do you like best. Any ideas on another kind of theme (I'm not married to the ones I've stated)?
I'm looking for open, honest and interesting ideas and thoughts. All will be greatly appreciated. Creativity is more than welcomed.