05-30-2010, 12:11 PM
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Decor (wood, rock, plants, substrate) should be suited to the fish in the tank as some have specific preferences. Those that need caves would do well with rock arranged as such, those that come from forest streams and flooded forest (most of the tetras, rasbora, catfish) do well with bits of wood and plants. And so forth.
I can't find photos of your aquariums, so what sort of gravel do you now have? It may work well as is, to save replacing it, or it may be best to replace it for a more "natural" appearance as you mention. With live plants, I would go with a small-grain gravel in a dark brown, black or dark gray or natural mix.
As for other plants with swords, the pygmy chain sword makes a very good foreground plant, it is lighter green that the larger swords so a nice contrast; another contrast is the very dark green of the Dwarf Sword Echinodorus parviflorus 'Tropica' which is an ideal foreground plant. You can click on the shaded names for info from our profiles section, and check the photos of my 115g Amazon riverscape tank to see a group of these plants along the front. I have the pygmy sword Echinodorus tenellus in the 90g flooded Amazon forest tank.
Last edited by Byron; 05-30-2010 at 12:14 PM..