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Fish with planted tank

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Hey everyone, the misses and I are just about to start our first 4ft tank (Thanks Dennison!)

We have gone for a nice planted tank with a decent size display Driftwood, moss tree and some nice grass style carpet plants.

We wanted cichlids like electric yellow and blue but have been told they destroy plants. So we would like to know what fish that are similar to cichlids and look nice and colourful that go well in a planted tank.

We don't like discus FYI Haha and we know we can go the tetra route but want more choice.

Cheers :)

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I have a 6x2x2 tank but not really any delicate mosses.

It has 3 species of rainbowfish, 6 species of corydora, BN, Tiger plecos, 4 species of tetra, keyholes, rams, kribs, rasboras, glass cats, danios and one other type I'm not sure of.

And the snails, oh the snails, watch out for those multiplying pests.

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Planted African tanks are not that much of a challenge....... and yet enough of a challenge that they scare so many people away.

So whats the trick?

Well for starters there are plants that do remarkably well with Africans.

The big 3 -> Anubias, swords, java fern.

these plants can handle high pH and swords will happily grow in coral sand.

Next you need to understand that Africans are very curious fish.

if something strange is in the tank, they will investigate........ and they dont have hands so they do it with their teeth!

Therefor a plant cannot be a strange out of place object!

NO there needs to be lots of plants, they need to be the background.

So common that its actually the places without plants that fish investigate!

Next the fish need to be well fed AND the plants need to be healthy so they dont grow thick coats of algae.

Fish will try graze algae off leaves.... so we need the plants to be growing well, using up nutrients and thus starving out algae.

The fish also need to be well fed, NLS is way tastier than anubias....... IMHO :D

You also need to let the plants get established properly BEFORE ADDING FISH.

Well maybe some small b/n first

Monster swords with epic roots will not be easily ripped out, and will have 50 leaves on them.

They wont care if a cichlid damages one.

But a freshly bought sword with 5 leaves........ one gets shredded and thats a 20% loss!

So get swords in early, get a fert tablet under them and have a decent light!

Anubias and java fern grow slow at first.

Let them get established!

Lastly, start with small fish :)

get some 3cm yellows.

Seriously for many cichlids the val weed bed areas of lake Malawi are their nursery.

fish that grow up with plants, dont care about them.

Fish that have never seen them before, wont be able to help themselves and will investigate.

remember they are curious always.

Yea I posted some pictures above.

But srsly do yourself a favor and click this link.

See what can be done.

Hobbyist Gallery - Travis Simonson

Edited by Donny@ageofaquariums
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Thanks for the info guys.

Donny... LEGEND! do you ever get sick of being awesome? Haha.

I'll look into that link when I get the chance later! Very keen and more excited by the minute to start the tank!

Planted for a couple of weeks NO DOUBT. will have co2 and plant t5s :)


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