Plantless Tank? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 3 Old 08-10-2011, 11:08 PM Thread Starter
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Question Plantless Tank?

I have a 29 gal tank and i want to do something simple with no plants and only rocks and driftwood. well maybe floating plants but thats it. What fish would do well in a set up like this.
smoodgie6 is offline  
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post #2 of 3 Old 08-11-2011, 12:02 AM
Floating plants are good for almost all fish. Rocks and driftwood supply hiding places. If you decide to go with floating plants, you can put pretty much any fish in there.
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post #3 of 3 Old 08-11-2011, 09:59 AM
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Many of the forest fish we maintain actually occur in streams with no aquatic plants. But there is heavy overhanging vegetation which is the critical thing. As ladayen wisely said, floating plants are the aquarium solution to this natural habitat.

Forest streams are under very dim light and thus true aquatic plants are seldom seen except in certain cases. Streams in SE Asia for instance often have thick carpets of crypts along the banks and these are submersed during the high water (flood) season and emersed during the dry season. In Amazonia, most rivers and streams are without plants; the Rio Negro and Rio Guapore are two exceptions, as both are thick with aquatic vegetation in areas. But as an example, an authentic habitat for angelfish could be a tank with lots of branches reaching vertical in the water, and 2/3 of the surface covered in floating plants such as Water Sprite, Brazilian Pennywort, Frogbit. An open-top tank [with fish that absolutely will not jump--many will if the top is open] with terrestrial plants on a shelf behind the tank with roots, branches, etc. dropping over and into the tank would be very authentic. I only mention this as an example of a natural habitat. An aquascape with lots of branches and floating plants will suit many forest fish; it also solves two other issues nicely--less light (with no lower plants, less light is necessary) plus the floating plants perform water filtration very well. The aquascape can be rather sparse and barren in appearance though, so clever use of lots of wood and rock is needed, and a sand substrate is ideal.


Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]

Last edited by Byron; 08-11-2011 at 10:02 AM.
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