Plant choice for a shallow tank

Hanuman

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Hello everyone,

So I have this shallow tank project on the back-burner (100x30x25). Still haven't got the tank built but that just takes a week or two from the manufacturer. Anyway, I am looking for advise regarding plants selection. What I want is for the tank to convey a simple and natural feel while being a low maintenance tank. For that reason I want to limit the amount of types of plants. Only constraint I have is that I need to use all my bucephalandra collection that are in my 60cm nursing tank (maybe 7 ou 8 varieties) as I will be retiring that tank. Perhaps the bucephalandra coud be used for the mid-ground. For the foreground I wanted to use Eriocaulon as a carpeting plant (maybe 2 or 3 varieties that have similar requirements). For the background I am unsure what to use. I want to use only one type of plant that will basically go all the way from left to right. A moderately fast growing plant will probably be a good idea but not sure what to chose.

Any comments or advice on the plant selection?

Thank you.
 

Tim Harrison

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Well if you want low maintenance the obvious choice is a Crypt sp.. Once they get their roots established they will grow well.
 

Hanuman

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For the background? The thing I don't like about that plant is that it is rather invasive and will send deep underground shoots that will appear where you don't want. Perhaps not all crypts are like that but the ones I have in my 90cm tank are starting to make me annoyed :lol:
 

Hanuman

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Ok good to know. I have Cryptocoryne Wendtii Brown in my main tank. It wants to cross over the sand path every week. I constantly have to slap its hand.
I can see how deep the roots go from the side panel. Easily 4 to 5 inches below substrate. If it could go lower it would.
 

Hanuman

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I have been reading about the Hygrophila sp. ‘Araguaia’ and I am liking it. However, does it grow faster than the Hygrophila sp. Chai? I was looking at Dennis Wong's website and the Hygrophila sp. Chai seems to grow painfully slow, like really painfully.
 
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Hanuman

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Hello all,

So I have done this draft layout with plant selection. I would appreciate input on the plant selection. Too much? Too little? Incompatible plants? This is a general layout so don't pay much attention to stone positioning, it was just for me to have overall view. I am also unsure if to use all those #1 grass plants, reason being that I want the minimum maintenance possible and I have the feeling that the grass will give me more work than I want. I might be wrong.

Thank you
Screen Shot 2019-09-23 at 10.13.00.jpg


Screen Shot 2019-09-23 at 10.03.45.jpg
 

Tim Harrison

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Interesting plant choices. I'd go ahead and plant whatever you fancy, it's all just a learning curve and you're suppose to be having fun. Generally speaking planting a lot of different species when you're unsure of what will grow and how well is a good strategy anyway. What I think you might find is that some species will do better than others and start to dominate. Give them all a go and let nature take its course; ultimately it'll probably look more natural as well.
 

Hanuman

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Interesting plant choices. I'd go ahead and plant whatever you fancy, it's all just a learning curve and you're suppose to be having fun. Generally speaking planting a lot of different species when you're unsure of what will grow and how well is a good strategy anyway. What I think you might find is that some species will do better than others and start to dominate. Give them all a go and let nature take its course; ultimately it'll probably look more natural as well.

Thank you for your reply.

As much as going ahead makes a lot of sense I am more into having specific opinions on the plant selection and disposition. Some of these plants are not cheap and perhaps some plants just simply aren’t aesthetically compatible. I am looking for people’s experience and artistic views. Obviously a tank is meant to evolve and adjustments are needed along the way but I would rather start with a good small basis and add plants in the future rather than just trying everything out at once which will make things more complicated later. I also intend to make this tank a show tank so I want to minimize concept/tastes errors from the begining, hense my question. If I knew how to draw, it would also help me visualize what I have in mind but I am a complete retard when it comes to drawing.
 

alto

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I don't know if you’ve ordered the tank already, but some considerations
- substrate height - many plants prefer 3-4 cm minimum and up to 10 cm substrate depth
- substrate slope? this adds considerably to tank perspective, the difference front to back needs to be 10cm at minimum (water effect “flattens” the perspective)
- foreground plants, you’ve included some Eriocaulons and H tenellum which can both easily reach 10 - 15cm

My bias, I prefer green background and dominant plant effect, so I’d not use H araguaia as the framing plant
(I am a big fan of H micranthemoides, it’s a lovely green, smaller leaf (enhancing that distance perspective) and happily grows short or tall ;) )

I’m not familiar with many Erio or Buce species but I usually prefer to add more expensive plants once the tank has passed the first couple months (plants are established, there’s minimal algae ”explosion” risk, tank biology is more balanced etc)

I agree that I’d not add any crypts in this scape, but perhaps some Anubias for the deep green? or perhaps this is covered with the Buce’s

I just ripped out some L brasiliensis - it was mixed with E acicularis mini - as the brasiliensis was very “matted” looking (the rhizomes go every which way) though I’ve admired Filipe Oliveira’s Lilaeopsis Novae-Zelandiae (available through Tropica Denmark but unavailable with Tropica North America)

You might go back to your drawing and give each plant a different number, presently any #1 might be anywhere so it’s difficult to visualize

PS I will (unfortunately?) never like P helferi :lol:
 

Hanuman

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I don't know if you’ve ordered the tank already, but some considerations
- substrate height - many plants prefer 3-4 cm minimum and up to 10 cm substrate depth
- substrate slope? this adds considerably to tank perspective, the difference front to back needs to be 10cm at minimum (water effect “flattens” the perspective)
Thanks. No haven't ordered the tank yet as I want to have all set in my mind before going through this.
Yes I was averaging a 3cm substrate heigh in the front with a ~10cm at the back.

- foreground plants, you’ve included some Eriocaulons and H tenellum which can both easily reach 10 - 15cm
For the Helanthium tenellum that's a good thing to know. I will be scraping that plant then. I definitely don't want the foreground to hide the midground.
The Eriocaulon Quinquangulare I was just told it can grow up to 9/10cm. So long for that one in the foreground. Might send it to midground or a corner as a featured plant specially because it's red.
The Centrolepis Drummondiana (Erio Blood vomit) I have been reading a bit and it seems in the wild it can grow up to 12cm but that's emersed with the flower stalk. This said most people have told me they can only grow it up to around 3cm to 4cm so should be ok if not positioned dead center but rather on some strategic points.

My bias, I prefer green background and dominant plant effect, so I’d not use H araguaia as the framing plant
(I am a big fan of H micranthemoides, it’s a lovely green, smaller leaf (enhancing that distance perspective) and happily grows short or tall ;) )
I feel you. Would it give me too much maintenance? It does grow bushy right? That could be an issue for water circulation considering I was looking to use the same plant all along the background. Any other option you would see?

I’m not familiar with many Erio or Buce species but I usually prefer to add more expensive plants once the tank has passed the first couple months (plants are established, there’s minimal algae ”explosion” risk, tank biology is more balanced etc)
Unfortunately I don't have that luxury at least not for the Buce. For the rest yes I could wait. For the Buce they are in my 60 tank and once the shallow tank is in place I will have to retire the 60. No space. I don't expect much algea though (cross fingers - wishful thinking).

[...]but perhaps some Anubias for the deep green? or perhaps this is covered with the Buce’s
I do have some anubias in my other tank that I could use and that would probably do better in the shallow tank. My buce do go from ligh green to dark green so that should cover it.

I just ripped out some L brasiliensis - it was mixed with E acicularis mini - as the brasiliensis was very “matted” looking (the rhizomes go every which way) though I’ve admired Filipe Oliveira’s Lilaeopsis Novae-Zelandiae (available through Tropica Denmark but unavailable with Tropica North America)
The idea mixing these 3 grass was to provide a more natural feel to the carpet. The idea came from @Zeus.'s tank but I do have to consider the specificities of my tank and I am still ad odds if these grass will require more maintenance that I want. What would you recommend?

You might go back to your drawing and give each plant a different number, presently any #1 might be anywhere so it’s difficult to visualize
I purposely gave the 4 plants the same number as they are all grass (except the Marsilea Hirsuta) and they would intertwine to create a homogeneous carpet from left to right.

PS I will (unfortunately?) never like P helferi
Yes that one was more of a ramdom addition and I have been thinking it might just not be a good choice. Or maybe just one for the sake of trying it.
 
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