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Thread: Background plants for my new tank?

  1. #1
    Hey guys!

    Iím looking for advice on plant choice for my new tank and was wondering if you could lend your sage wisdom. Let me apologize in advance, as I think I'm going to also post this to another plant forum, but I wanted to take this as a chance to get to know the other plant folks in the club and also get some idea of what plants might be available locally.

    I really want to get this tank planted ASAP so it has a chance of getting ever so slightly established before I have to leave for the holidays and Iím starting to stress a bit. Iíve been obsessively cramming aquatic plant knowledge into my head for the past several weeks and itís starting to feel more like Iím preparing for a final exam than Iím enjoying my reunion with this hobby! ;-)

    Anyway, I have some aspects of the tank nailed down and plants acquired or lined up: branchy Manzanita driftwood with Xmas moss and narrow leaf java fern, glosso for the foreground, some e. tenellus (havenít scored any yet- plz let me know if you have some!) and crypts in the midground.

    These aspects of the tank were very much inspired by this first tank of Amanoís:

    Itís the background thatís giving me trouble.

    Iíve always wanted to try my hand at the taller crypts and had been planning on some retrospiralis or balananse as my primary background plants, although Iím now wondering if theyíd be too tall for my 21Ē tank. Even if these crypts would make a good fit for the tank and aquascape, I think I still need some fast growing stems in the beginning to help the tank get established.

    In looking around for complementing ideas for stems, I came upon this beautiful tank by greenbrightly that shares many of the midground characteristics I had in mind:

    I really like the textures of his stems, particularly the plant to the rear left. Itís narrow leaves are just lovely. Unfortunately, he gives no flora listing so Iím not sure what heís using. Any idea whatís going on back there? If youíd like to see more detail, there are loads of pictures in the set plus you can click on the ďALL SIZESĒ icon for higher resolution.

    This too has gotten me rethinking a background primarily of tall crypts. Iím wondering if the background would look better with similar looking stems to greenbrightlyís tank, with maybe one cluster of c. balansae to satisfy my desire to take the plant for a test drive.

    Anyway, Iíd really appreciate your opinion on the crypts versus stems issue and recommendations for stem plants, particularly plants available locally in the club or easily acquired. (BTW, I do have some contraband green hygro available, the lone stem survivor of my old tank.).

    Obligatory tank specs:
    46 gallon bow, 21 inches tall.
    Pressurized CO2
    96 watts PC lighting



  2. #2
    Planting a bunch of stems, even on a temporary basis, will help get the tank stabilized. I have a dozen or more different fine leaved mid or background stems which would do well in your tank and root easily. Are you looking for just green vegetation or possibly some color?
    Have you considered criniums? They have narrow leaves as well and do well in med light or better. You might have to prune them a little as they get bigger to keep the leaves from draping across the top of your tank.
    If you are coming to the party on the 6th, let us know and I would be happy to bring a bag of trimmings for you.
    Plants, plants, and more plants...

  3. #3
    Hey Geotek!

    Thanks so much for the plant offer! I am in fact looking forward to my first meeting on the 6th, and your trimmings would be very much appreciated!

    I had been envisioning a mostly green scape, but I would definitely be game for a well placed touch of color.

    Gotta say that I think I'm already committed to trading plants locally when at all possible. I just scored come xmas moss and various plants from a purchase on another forum and while all an all I'm not disappointed, I did pay top dollar and got a little shorted on the plants. Not too big a deal, but I like the idea of trading plants with someone you can sit down and drink a beer with...


  4. #4
    I just found a closeup of the mystery stem plant:

    What is this guy?

  5. #5
    Are you still looking for E. tenellus(narrow leaf chain sword)? I have few extra clumps I can bring. I also have Valisneria spiralis that is adapted to soft water and is not affected by excel, marble queen swords, and crinium thiainum if you are interested.
    Out of curiosity, what passes as top dollar? Most plants, or bags of a single species usually sell at the auctions for somewhere around $5 or less, unless there is a real bidding war.
    Plants, plants, and more plants...

  6. #6
    HoustonFishFanatic from The Planted Tank Forum identified my mystery stem as Juncus repens aka Star Grass or Lesser Creeping Rush.

    It's native to Georgia, too!

  7. #7
    Sounds like you need to go on a collecting trip down south! I haven't seen it in the Piedmont at all. You should try normal Stargrass, Heteranthera zosterfolia, as a background plant. It'll match the theme well.


  8. #8
    Hey Geotek!

    Yes, I'd very much like to get a hold of your E. Tenellus, if you don't mind (uh, I think my wife would make a joke out of that :-). What stems might I be able to score from you? Just let me know what I can give you for your plants. Thanks!

    As for my top dollar comment, the bulk of my purchase seemed reasonably priced, e.g. $5 per golfball of xmas moss and $20 for a nice sized clump of glosso but I thought $5 for a c. balansae, $3 for one c. parva and $2 for a single tiny plantlet of E. tenellus to be on the high side. All in all, not a big deal as I was mainly in it for the glosso and moss.

  9. #9
    At a glance, I have an excess of Myriophyllum aquaticum, a little M. simulim and M. mattenogrosse; Rotala indica, R. colorata (lots) , and a green rotala; Hygrophila corymbosa v augustifolia, H. diformis, polysperma v. sunset, Llimnophila aromatica, Cambomba carolina, a purple tinted and a green cabomba.
    Didiplis diandra may not have enough light to work in your tank unless you attach it to the driftwood, something to consider as I also have it available.
    How many clumps of E. tennellus do you want? Assuming clumps are 4"+ and have 6 or more leaves?
    As far as prices I would charge a lot less, as in less than half of what you have been paying, we can even agree on a price after you see the stems, we are pretty reasonable in this club. As in $5 will get you at least a handful or two of plants. If you want any regular Java ferns, let me know, I have a range of sizes, I'll likely also bring a couple of criniums and a few leapard vals, in case you are interested. I also have red wednt crpts available.
    Plants, plants, and more plants...

  10. #10
    Hey Geotek:

    Sorry for getting back to you so late in the day.

    If you could part with 15-20 of the Tenellus, that'd be ideal, but whatever you can spare would be appreciated.

    Kirsten is hooking me up with Java fern, so I'm good there.

    As for your stems, what is M. simulim? I couldn't find it online. Of the others I'd be most interested in the green rotala, M. mattenogrosse, h. diformis, Hygrophila corymbosa v augustifolia, and Limnophila aromatica.

    Maybe I'll go for a red c. wendtii as well.

    I don't really know exactly how I'll scape the stems. I think I'll just see how they grow in, keep what I like and bring the other guys to share at a future meeting.



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