Could I get some plant suggestions for this hex tank?

Discussion in 'Aquascaping' started by Hyoscine, 21 Aug 2017.

  1. Hyoscine

    Hyoscine Member

    4 Mar 2015
    Mistley, Essex
    Hi all,

    So, this is the tank in question; an Aquael Hex 60 litre thing. Initially it's just going to be a new home for my shrimp and snails, but once things have been up and running for a few months, the plan is to keep ten or so otos in there too. I've never had tank larger than 30 litres before, so I'm really looking forward to being able to keep a few fish, and having some decently sized plants.

    My main question is, what kind of plants do otos enjoy grazing from and hanging out around? There'll be a lot of driftwood and terracotta hardscape, but in the stuff I've watched on YouTube, it seems they like to pick algae from leaves too. Are there any plants I should avoid or seek out especially?

    The other thing I was wondering is, what would be cool focal plant for a tank with these dimensions? I guess the largest I could house would be about 40cm x 45cm, but that could be a bit cramped. I'd really like to get a Madagascan lace plant, but I think they might be a bit much size-wise? Are there any neat looking swords, say, that would be a better fit? Or anything really. I really don't know much about plants you can't keep in a 30cm cube...

  2. Vandal Gardener

    Vandal Gardener Member

    12 Jan 2017
    Auld Reekie
    Hiyah Hyoscine,

    First off I'll say congratulations on your new tank, oddly shaped tanks can be a bit more challenging to scape since you're outwith the usual golden ration et al conventions so the usual guidelines are amiss and up to your skills as an aquascaper.

    A few things will help the more knowledgeable here to help you out, I think I have a good grasp of stuff but don't feel that confident advising others, so will just add my initial thoughts and hopefully someone will really steer you in a bit.

    Basics -
    What filtration (internal/external) do you intend using
    what lights (this really will determine the plants that you're able to grow
    Are you going to add carbon dioxide? Or even a liquid carbon product (there's lots) in the small volume of water it would only be about 1ml (depending on brand and manufacturers instructions)
    What substrate
    What's your tap water's chemistry - Hard/soft etc? (where are you - is there someone near you on here so you can see what kind of success they're having?

    Basically you need to work out if you're going High/Low tech - google is your friend :) and start working from there as to be honest there's just too many variables from what you've posted.

    One thing I have learned after over a decade Is resist the temptation for bigger fish in smaller spaces, so although you might be able to keep a school of ottos (I think you're pushing it even with 6 personally) they really need a long established tank as they can be tricky to acclimatise. Also they need algae and although I'm sure you'll go through the bloom all new tanks seem to go through I'd be worried that there's sufficient food for them initially.

    If its just for algae I'd recommend amanos as they're beasts for eating the stuff.

    I've never grown the lace plant but thing that would be all you would get in the tank once it starts growing and even then it would outgrow the tank. Again I'd be tempted to start of easy growing small leaved plants so that it keeps a sense of scale in your aquarium. Monte Carlo, HC, Dwarf Hairgrass, Marislea, mosses the list is endless really a matter of personal taste - if the fish and plants are healthy and it looks good to you then what else matters.

    Try checking through the featured journals and other journals is its a great place to see the plants and learn their names and even tips for success
    Good luck
    Hyoscine likes this.
  3. mort

    mort Member

    15 Nov 2015
    My friend ran one of those tanks with seahorses for a while and from what I remember about it the lighting wasn't that strong. So I personally would have a central wood structure that adds height and brings a lot of the plants nearer the light. If you make it so it spreads out at the bottom, you should e able to maximise planting space. I'd choose plants which can be attached to wood, like java and anubius, maybe bucephalandra as well. The broader leaf species would be good for otto's and i'd echo the above and reduce the number.
    Hyoscine likes this.
  4. Hyoscine

    Hyoscine Member

    4 Mar 2015
    Mistley, Essex
    Hey, thanks for the replies! I've actually already ordered a bunch of plants now, which I'll list in a sec, but I'll describe my setup in a little more detail first. UKAPS is so high up on Google rankings, it might help someone out if I describe what I'm working with, what I'm hoping to grow, and maybe in a couple of months get back with what did and what didn't take. Okay...

    The tank is an Aquael Hexa 60
    I'm running an external filter I had from another tank, an Eheim Ecco Pro 130
    Initially, I'll just be using the light that came with the tank; an Aquael 6 watt Leddy tube
    (I might try adding a couple of LED spots under the hood though)
    The substrate is Tropica Plant Growth substrate capped with 2-4mm Nordic gravel from Unipac
    I've no plans to inject CO2, or to use liquid carbon
    My water is fairly hard, and slightly alkaline

    And the plants...

    Limnophila sessiliflora
    Eleocharis Sp.
    Vallisneria Spiralis Tiger
    Cryptocoryne Wendtii Brown
    Cryptocoryne Willissii
    Marsilea Hirsuta
    Pheonix moss

    I guess most people's first thoughts would be that this is super crowed, and that I'm shooting myself in the foot with the floaters. I think I've made okay(-ish?) plant choices, insofar as from what I've read they can all tolerate low light levels, but I'm probably pushing it, with a risk of overshadowing twice over the littlest of them. Guess I'll find out soon enough! I still quite like the idea of an oversized focal plant, as I got to thinking of this tank as more of a portrait than a landscape, but I'm going to try and emphasise that verticality through the hardscape instead. I'm just not sure I want to put all my eggs in one basket with one cool plant front and centre.

    I might still plant up the hardscape with smaller buce and anubia, but that can wait til another payday.

    With regards to the otos... Yeah, maybe amanos for now.
    Vandal Gardener likes this.

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