Plants and New Angels in a tank - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 14 Old 03-14-2013, 08:50 PM Thread Starter
Cool Plants and New Angels in a tank

I've been keeping fish for 2 years now and 3 months ago i decided to do a big change and give away all my aggressive cichlids that I probably should have gotten rid of a a long time ago. I currently have 2 Scalare Angelfish (honestly the greatest fish I've ever had) and 1 Discus (sadly this guy was a gift from my girlfriend and although i know they like to be in groups i can't afford 50$ fish). These fish live in my 29 gallon tank, however I want them to grow in a much larger tank so after months of begging, my parents have decided my 4.0 gpa was enough to get me a 75 gallon or a 55 gallon tank for my birthday. I still have a month to go but I've already planned out my tank and its really a big change from the plastic plants that i hate so much. I'm looking to get some black sand , driftwood ,large rocks , and the big twist REAL PLANTS. I know its a challenge but i think i'm ready to take it on and i want to know so opinions.

1. What are some beginner plants that will grow pretty fast and really brighten up a tank?

2. Is there any special lighting i need for plants and will black sand work with plants?

3. Should I add any more fish to the 55 or 75 gallon tank?
(Im looking at gourami or more angels)

4. Does my new tank setup sound, good anything i should change?
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post #2 of 14 Old 03-14-2013, 09:00 PM
angels also like being in a group. how big are your current two? are they a mated pair?

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post #3 of 14 Old 03-14-2013, 09:11 PM Thread Starter
Ones slightly larger but there only 2 months old maybe three. So no they're not a mated pair
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post #4 of 14 Old 03-14-2013, 10:10 PM
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I always throw this out there about my experience with angels: I got five angels, all the same size, at the same time for my heavily planted 90g tank. Two of them paired up and started mating and became extremely aggressive (they are cichlids after all). They laid their eggs on the amazon sword leaves in one of the corners, but they pretty much made the entire tank their territory. They constantly harassed the other fish and would even chase them for minutes at a time (opposed to a quick 2-second dart to simply scare them away). The pair eventually killed off the other three angels. Angelfish are not community fish, especially if paired up. This is simply my experience with them, nothing more.

As far as the lights go, we can work down two different routes. We can help you determine what plants you'd like to keep, and then show you the equipment that would be necessary to keep them, or you can tell us how high-tech you'd like to go and then we can pick out plants for you. The two ends of the spectrum are high-tech and low-tech. High-tech basically involves intense light supplemented with CO2 and fertilizers. With this type of setup, you can keep a wide range of plants including those with red-leaves. Low-tech involves less-intense lighting and using the fish and bacterial activity to provide the CO2 and ferts. This type of setup reduces the variety of plants that can be kept, but it's less maintenance and can still look just as nice as a high-tech tank. The plants generally grow slower and some varieties will grow taller and leggy opposed to staying compact and bushy.

Planted substrate is generally used in planted tanks, but many have had just as good results using inexpensive inert substrate. I have a mix of ecocomplete and blasting sand in my tank (both black). The type of substrate may effect bottom dwelling fish, and can even effect a plant's ability to spread (like in the case of hairgrass that spreads more easily in sand instead of gravel).

I hope some of this info helps, and I look forward to watching the progress.
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post #5 of 14 Old 03-14-2013, 10:24 PM Thread Starter
Thank you funkman that was alot of help. I think i'm going to end up getting one more angel and seeing if they will pair up with one of mine then remove both of the remaining angel and discus(My girlfriend will understand). The low-tech plants seem to be more my speed. I really wanna use the plants to cover the back wall of the tank as well as the sides, so do you know of any plants that seem to fit that mold? Would the stander light that you get when buying a new tank work for plants? Also since ill be removing my discus and angel are bottom feeder fish alright in a tank with a mated pair of angels?
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post #6 of 14 Old 03-14-2013, 11:02 PM
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Wherever you buy your fish, ask them if they take returns and in what length of time, or if they give store credit for fish you want to get rid of. If so, you can stock up on some angels and just see how it goes. If they don't get too aggressive and everyone in the tank is fine then there's no need to get rid of any of them (although I'm not sure about the lone discus; I'm sure someone else can chime in on that). One or two plecos with some driftwood would be good [verify the full-grown size of the pleco and their diet (carnivorous, omnivorous, primarily algae, wood-eater)]. A school of cories are another bottom-dweller choice, but again, I'm not sure how they would fare in an aggressive tank so I'll leave that to someone else. In a 75g tank, you've actually got a good amount of options for an aggressive tank. You can add parrot fish or other south american cichlids; it just might be more difficult keeping plants the way you want them.

For plants, check out some vendors and see if they have low-light packages. Anubias, java fern, java moss, and jungle val are certainly popular choices and do just fine with little light. If there are others that you're interested in, we can guide you through which ones would be better suited for your tank. If you plan on using the standard fixture that comes with the tank, your options will be very limited, but a nicely planted tank still may not be impossible.
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post #7 of 14 Old 03-14-2013, 11:33 PM Thread Starter
I really don't want my tank to be super aggressive. Would clown loaches and a pleco work also if two male angels are in a tank would they be super agressive
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post #8 of 14 Old 03-15-2013, 11:36 PM Thread Starter
Went to my LFS today and I think I made a new friend because one of the workers was amazing help. He said the store will personaly drive out to get fish all you need to do is place an order. The worker also taught me some neat facts about the plants and the lighting.

What brand of lighting is cheap and yet will allow me to grow plants?
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post #9 of 14 Old 03-16-2013, 07:48 AM
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I use two Current USA Nova Extreme T5HO 2-bulb fixtures over my 90g tank (same footprint as a 75g but taller). I consider them to be budget fixtures, but I have zero complaints with them. I've been using them for several years now and I'm actually still using the original bulbs that came with them and still have great plant growth and no algae.
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post #10 of 14 Old 03-16-2013, 10:16 AM Thread Starter
The guy at the fish store was showing me finnex ray II lights that looked amazing until you saw the price of 180$ for a 48in. light. He had two other lights idk the band but the had dimmers on the lights so those were nice as well.

Do you know how much lighting will end up costing me on a 55g - 75 gallon planted?
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