03-15-2008, 11:11 PM
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Thanks for all the great tips! For the time being I put a plastic ambulia in the back of the tank that floats up and over the top of the left side. I really like the look of the placement, so I'm thinking I'll try to replicate it with less demanding plants.
I *love* the way the corkscrew vals look! I think I'm going to try to make a 'wall' of them along the back of the tank. I could pretty easily dig a trough in the gravel back there to put in a more plant friendly substrate also.
I think the water sprite will give me the green top coverage I'm looking for as well.
I'm going to start off with the water sprite as I need more floating cover. I increased my paradise gourami count to 6 this evening in an attempt to soothe the two feisty males by giving them a harem. So, I need MUCH more top of tank hiding places. The new harem has happily taken over much of the plastic ambulia in the back corner, which still leaves the males sorting out who owns the front of the tank, aka prime begging for food space.
I re-scaped the center of the tank while I was putting in the fake-o ambulia. The rosy barbs have more flitting about space and easier access to their favorite cave.
In a two or three months I'm going to add a shoal of six panda cory cats, so I'll be adding more caves, and likely a sandy beach area to stage their food on.
Thanks again! I'm so glad this is working out so well. Can't wait to start replacing my plastic with live plants!