Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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mastermindc3pro 05-29-2010 10:03 PM

Replanting Looking for ideas
 
Since from the looks of my tank the majority of my swords are coming back. What types of plants would you recommend to go with them im looking for some foreground plants and im going to get a piece of driftwood. Mabey some rocks i want to make it a more natural looking envirnment. Im also debating getting rid of the gravel i have and replacing it, however im not if i want to go through that type of work and also risk that level of stress on my fish, have any of you done that before or have any recomendations for that. Im thinking of going for a sand look or a small rock type. Im open to all ideas so feel through nay comments my way, also if you have any pictures of ideas that you have used if you dont mind showing me that would be great.

Byron 05-30-2010 12:11 PM

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.

Byron.

mastermindc3pro 05-30-2010 02:40 PM

The gravel i have now is a mix of different types of colors green, blue and red its not natural looking. Im feeling a more natural looking look now and i was leaning more towards a natural color gravel like you suggested dark browns and grays but also some little rocks. I really liked those plant suggestions you made im going to order some but i want to decide on the substrate before i get more plants. Do you think if i start changing my substrate my fish will become stressed? Also what would you think the best way to do a substrate change would be, should i just like shovel it out a little at a time?

Byron 05-30-2010 03:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mastermindc3pro (Post 393911)
The gravel i have now is a mix of different types of colors green, blue and red its not natural looking. Im feeling a more natural looking look now and i was leaning more towards a natural color gravel like you suggested dark browns and grays but also some little rocks. I really liked those plant suggestions you made im going to order some but i want to decide on the substrate before i get more plants. Do you think if i start changing my substrate my fish will become stressed? Also what would you think the best way to do a substrate change would be, should i just like shovel it out a little at a time?

The substrate can be changed with the fish in the tank, although in my experience it is easier to remove them when it is a full change-over. What size is the tank? A spare 10g or 15g is useful for times like this; the spare can be filled with water from the tank, the filter temporarily transferred over, the plants too, and the fish netted into the spare. Then you can more easily siphon out the water and remove the existing gravel, replace it with washed new gravel, arrange the rock or wood, carefully fill the tank, re-plant the plants, and move the filter back (without touching the media) and then the fish. The filter media plus the live plants handle the ammonia and you won't even see a mini-cycle. I've done this several times over the years. It helps to have the plants when you do this, as I've explained.

Byron.

eileen 05-30-2010 04:10 PM

Pics of pool filter sand tanks
 
4 Attachment(s)
Here are some pictures of my tanks. I changed from black sand to pool filter sand to brighten up a small tank. I used a black contact paper for the background. The fish with the brighter colors shows up well and the live low light plants look good against it. The 6 gal. tank I did not even rinse that out after setting up the 2nd level slate rock wall on the right side I set up all the plants and just used a small plate on the bottom and poured treated water on the plate so the decor. would not get messed up and the plants. I removed the fish and saved all the existing water from the change over so the good bacteria was still in the water, plants and my filter. I put my filter in the old water in a bucket while changing over from blk. sand to pool filter sand. I bought at a pool suppy place for $11.99 for 50lbs. Pool filter sand is also courser then play sand and makes it easy to keep clean. Just rub it between your hands in sections when algae starts to grow on it.


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