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Advice for Converting Established Tank to Planted

This is a discussion on Advice for Converting Established Tank to Planted within the Beginner Planted Aquarium forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> I was thinking of placing one of the tabs about 3" directly in front of the Amazon which would place it next to the ...

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Advice for Converting Established Tank to Planted
Old 11-25-2011, 11:52 AM   #41
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I was thinking of placing one of the tabs about 3" directly in front of the Amazon which would place it next to the Java Fern and a couple inches from the Acorus "short grass" so it would hit all three of them. I was very carefull not to bury the rhizome on the Java Fern.

I showed the pictures to the "fish expert" at Petsmart this morning where I got the dog bed and they thought the unidentified sword was an Anubias. I don't know if I agree with that, the leaves look more like the sword. Either way when I relocate them I'll double check for a rhizome as that should give it away.
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Old 11-25-2011, 12:00 PM   #42
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Sounds good to me. ; )
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Old 11-30-2011, 11:39 AM   #43
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Alrighty, so I'm going to the LFS (well not so local, but the only one within 50 miles that sells "proper" aquatic plants). I am going to trade in the two Clown Loaches (hoping they find a good home), order two more Emerald Brochis and pick up some other fishes which I'll post about in my stocking thread :) While I'm there I know I won't be able to leave without getting a couple more plants

So here's what I'm thinking, I'd really love to hear what you all think (especially Byron, Calm, and Mina).

Move the heater to the right a few inches and the filter to the left a few inches bunching them together and get a couple more swords for the back left area to cover the wall/filter/heater. Was thinking two of the thinner leaf ones against the glass and transplanting my large leaf to where I have the java fern so three total swords in the back corner area. I was goiing to leave the baby tears where they are in the far corner but move the "tall grass" to the left wall. I am visualizing very heavily planted on the left rear corner area with swords mixed in with the baby tears and grass. I am going to leave the anacharis on the back right corner assuming it will fill that whole area and reach the surface pretty quick (it's already growing like crazy). Then I was going to attach the java fern to the large driftwood (there is a nice platform on the back hidden by the front lip that I think would be perfect. I was planning on leaving the back between the new swords and the anacharis blank so when I go black background it will give it some depth (or should I just wall the back with swords)

I was also planning on getting a few more of the "short grass" to help fill in the foreground in front of the large driftwood a bit. Now where I'm stuck is what to put on the right front corner area where the tall grass currently is in the photo's. I want something medium height, I guess I'll just have to see what they have at the NSLFS (not so local fish store)

Thoughts? :)
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Old 11-30-2011, 12:10 PM   #44
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I like the idea but I would not do that many swords exspecially if they are Amazon Swords as they get very big. I would do just one sword and then it will grow up and hide the filter/heater, as well as leave some room for a black background to show through to add the depth you were talking about. ; ) I had three Amazon Swords on one side of my 55 and they took up at least 1/4 of the tank.
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Old 11-30-2011, 01:01 PM   #45
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Thanks Calm, ya I was looking at your tank for inspiration lol ;) Was that picture in your avatar before they grew in. These swords are confusing the heck out of me. Mine I guess is a Large leaf, but if you look on liveaquaria it looks exactly like the melon sword (Aquatic Plants for Freshwater Aquariums: Melon Sword) I was wanting what they call the amazon sword (Aquatic Plants for Freshwater Aquariums: Amazon Sword Aquarium Plant) since it looks thin and tall. The ones in your avatar look like the leaves start from the bottom meanwhile the ones online above look as though it is more of a canopy of leaves on taller stems, hence I wanted two of those side by side and the melon in front of them filling in the lower/mid portion of the stems. lol I am really confused.
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Old 11-30-2011, 01:08 PM   #46
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Yes it is they were so big and pretty and then I had a BBA outbreak and now they are little bitty. : (
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Old 11-30-2011, 01:12 PM   #47
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It maybe that the ones you have were grown half out of the water which I belive would cause the leaves to grow that way then the new leaves that grow will be like mine. ; ) Or it could be that it was miss labeled when you got it. Can you take a close up shot of the picture and post it? I bet Byron would be able to tell you for sure he knows way more than I do. LOL ; )
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Old 11-30-2011, 01:33 PM   #48
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Here's a closup of the sword. I'm really thinking it's the Melon Sword, I believe that is actually what it was called in the LFS

I have had photoshop up all morning (at work lol) moving plants around trying to come up with a better layout. Don't get me wrong I have been amazed with the planted so far, but I want lush and thick (but not too thick haha)

I'm still leaning to putting two "normal" swords that get very tall where the current large leaf is but spread them out enough covering from the baby tears to the center of the back wall. Putting the tall grass (it's got three shoots) on the left wall starting from the baby tears going down the side to the front so hopefully when it grows in will create a wall of grass over there. That side of the tank is next to the couch and a busy living room (2 year old play area) so that might give the fishies some privacy from the commotion, TV, etc. and would give me my think sword jungle in the back left half. Now I'm debating whether to move the large (melon sword) behind the large driftwood, finishing my back "wall" or put it in the front right corner and leave behind the large driftwood blank. hmmm decisions decisions. I really only want to transplant and rescape one more time before letting it all grow in. The first bunch was my 'starter'.
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Old 11-30-2011, 01:34 PM   #49
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On the back "wall of swords" idea, I would not. Creating a solid wall of identical plants immediately draws attention to the "wall." One trick in aquascaping is to always have at least one spot where you can actually see the rear wall [a plain black background makes this spot look deep, off in the distance]. Also, a row of the same plant looks artificial when it is something as distinctive as swords. Vallisneria is fine together because it naturally grows in groupings. But with the larger swords, spacing 3 or more of them intermittently works better, or in very large tanks a group of 3 can work.

On the sword leaves. Echinodorus are amphibious bog plants, not "true" aquatics. They spend half the year emersed and half submersed due to the flood periods in South America. The emersed leaves are different from the submersed because they perform a different function and emersed leaves need to be stronger to stand up without the support of water. When we buy these plants, they are usually in the emersed state, as nurseries find it less expensive to propagate them emersed. Once planted submersed, within a few weeks the existing leaves, if emersed form, will yellow and new growth (from the centre of the crown) will be the submersed leaf form. We have several common species of Echinodorus in our plant profiles, and one of them has a photo of the plant with both leaf forms; can't remember which species it is, but there are not many and you can check them. That will give you an illustration of how different the leaves can be on the same plant.

The link you posted to the "Amazon Sword" is Echinodorus amazonicus (as they name it). It is nearly identical to Echinodorus bleherae. Rataj described these two species as distinct, and generally it has been maintained that E. amazonicus is a bit smaller than E. bleherae. However, subsequent botanists have suggested that these two species do not even exist as distinct species, that both are actually another species, E. greisbachi. Lehtonen did cladistic and DNA studies only a couple years ago to prove this [I reference this in our profiles]. I have left the species in the profiles with the names we all know them by to avoid confusion, but we can expect this to change in due course. Rataj has 62 distinct species, Lehtonen says there are only 28. Anyway, you can see these plants in my tank photos too; E. bleherae (so-called) is in my 115g, and E. amazonicus in my 70g. I also have some adventitious plants (daughter plants) from E. bleherae growing in the 90g and they are now twice the size of what appears in those photos.

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Old 11-30-2011, 01:50 PM   #50
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Thanks Byron, althrough now I'm even more flip flopped lol. How big will that large/melon sword get. Would it be fine on the front right corner by its self?

Now y latest idea is to get one single sword to place where the melon is now hoping that will fill up that area, put the tall grass behind the driftwood leaving that and the anacharis to kind of create a thin fill there, that would leave the center of the back empty for the black background. Also put some more of the tall grass on the left wall and move the short grass and add more ground cover in front of the large drift wood. That would leave the channel between the two driftwoods blank leading to the "dead space" in the background with decent cover on the back left with the sword, baby tears, and tall grass "surrounding" the small wood piece.and the anacharis, melon, and tall grass holding down the right side of the tank.

Thoughts, or am I just randomly spouting gibberish.

p.s. Byron, my mom hails from Vancouver, I'm a dual citizen myself, spent many of summers up there. Next time im in the area I'd love to buy you a beer or 12. :)
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