Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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eandrews 02-11-2007 11:24 PM

New Freshwater Tank
Hi all, i just joined this forum and am looking for some good advice. I have had freshwater aquariums for several years now. I currently have a 90 gallon tank, with African Cichlids stocked in it. I would like to completely change the design of the tank. The tank has white gravel and a lot of holey rock in it. I would like to trade in all the cichlids I currently have, and get some community fish. I would also like to have a lot (i mean a lot) of live plants. I would like to have a huge school of cardinal tetras and other community fish. I was wondering if i should get new gravel and new rocks and completely redo everything, or could i keep the holey rock and white gravel substrate (would this look bad with plants). I would like to be able to do this on the cheap side as well, if i can, money is not a problem though. Also if I were to get new substrate and rocks (or something else) what should I get, and what types of plants should I get and what type of fish should I get?


fish_4_all 02-12-2007 12:31 AM

Well it depends on what plants you are looking for and what type of fish you want to switch to.

For plants, the gravel will work for most plants if it is on the small side. It might look a little odd with all the green growing out of but it could also set a nice contrast. It will really depend on your personal preferences. IMO, I don't think it would look bad but I like a contrasting gravel.

The real issue for plants and masses of them is lights and how many watts you have and what type of lighting. Let us know what type you have now.

As for fish, 90 gallons, have a lot of fun with it. The plants will make a happy habitat for a lot of different species and as long as you don't for the more exotic and larger species you can put a lot of them in there.

Lupin 02-12-2007 01:21 AM


I have white gravel and I hate it when there are green algae creeping over them.:blink: I prefer black gravel.:mrgreen: A nice contrast with cute neons and cardinals.:love: I'd say you revamp the tank into Amazon biotope.:brow: Diamond tetras, red phantom tetras, black phantom tetras, silver-tipped tetras, lemon tetras, black neon tetras, beacon tetras, glowlight tetras and other tetras would make a stunning tank.:love: Not all of course.:lol: Otos, pitbull plecs, cories, farlowellas and bristlenose plecs are good candidates for bottom area. Hatchetfish will make a good surface dweller along with glass bloodfins.
So many choices.:thumbsup:

soco1125 02-12-2007 09:12 AM

Check your gravel and rocks to make sure they won't alter the pH of your water. It'd be a real pain to try to maintain a neutral or low pH for your community fish with those rocks constantly raising it. I think what you do to check them is pour a little vinegar on them... if it fizzles, you shouldn't use them. I may be misinformed on this technique, so do get a second opinion :)

eandrews 02-12-2007 09:28 AM

Sounds good, what type of rocks and decor should I get? Also what type of black gravel? And what would be some good plants that are hardy and don't require a whole lot of matinence but look nice?


soco1125 02-12-2007 09:54 AM

Slate should work well if you want some rock caves and whatnot. Also driftwood... looks good with java moss growing on it and gives the fishies a place to hide.

As for substrate, natural gravel usually looks a lot better than that painted looking stuff. You can use a fine gravel mixed with laterite or Fluorite... or all Fluorite. I personally use a 50/50 gravel and Fluorite mix and fertilize the roots every once in awhile.

The plants most people have success with are crypts, swords, java fern, anubias, vallisneria, ludwiga, wisteria, java moss, sagittaria, hygrophila, and Christmas moss. These are relatively undemanding so long as they have sufficient light and a little fertilization (especially swords).

Andyandsue 02-12-2007 02:46 PM

Ooh, sounds fun.
I am a floral designer by trade, but computer geek for the money. Each designer at the florist (that I now do computer work for) has an aquarium of different size and style. It's funny now that I think of it, but we all seem to have chosen the same decor for our tanks: Natural colored substrate, natural rock(s) both light and dark, and plants of varying height and color, lowest in the front of course. We all have contrast in the rock and the plant color(s), as it would occur in nature.

My son has the neon colored gravel and decorations, with glow-in-the dark plants! How's that for decor?? :shock:

I have a community tank and love it. More fun to watch them do their thing. I'm not sure that I contributed much to your plans but I can say that a natural looking tank, especially if planted, would be aesthetically pleasing to those of us in the agricultural industry!

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