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[APD] RE: 38 Gallon Habitat plan.. need feedback


I'm not sure I'd call your list "a few" specific plant species - it looks like alot of species to me. Also not sure what the numbers mean in reference to stem plants like the Rotala and Ludwigia - 2 stems of Rotala (any sp) will look kind of sparse, if that's what you mean. If you mean two bunches of stems (say, 12 in all), that will look better.

In any case, this seems like alot of plants for a 38 to me. 10 full grown A. crispus will take up quite a bit of space, as will the Hygro corymbosa. 10 E. tennellus & 10 sag. subulata will, when they start to fill in, take up the entire foreground, and then some. Same with the micranthemum - it grows and spreads fast. The Vals also get big and spread alot.

It's good to plant heavily from the start, but you might want to consider growing these plants in succession, rather than as a single aquascape. The two Hygros will grow very fast - you might want to start out by planting a forground of E. ten & Sag sub. and then adding lots of hygros, replacing it with other species as the tank stablilizes. The Anubias may be an algae magnet when the tank is getting started, since it grows slowly and has those nice broad leaves for algae to settle on. Rotala macranda and Didiplis diandra can be fussy; they are also plants I'd put in later, when I'd gotten the hang of fertilizing and so on.

In my experience, which is limited compared to Tom Barr or Karen Randall, some of the plants you've listed - R. macranda, D. diandra, R. wallichii, and possibly the Lobelia and hairgrass - are going to want more light than the barely 1.5 watts per gallon you'd be getting from your 2 25 watt tubes. I know Tom (and others) have probably gotten those plants to grow well in those light levels, but I have had little or no success.

Finally, you don't mention CO2 at all. IME this is going to cause the plants not to grow as well, and the algae to grow better.

I don't mean to discourage you. My first planted tank (aside from the crypt in my son's Eclipse 6) was a 29 gallon tank with about 1 watt/gallon, and I went through a very long & frustrating time before I figured out a combination of plants and fertilizer that would work. That tank ended up being planted with Anubias, Bolbitis, Crypts, Hygro polysperma, H. salicifolia and Rotala indica, fertilized with Flourish, KNO3, and Flourish Excel (at water change ONLY), and a nice Hagen Plant-gro CO2 system. Over the years I've tried other species and they just don't do well with the light/fertilizer I've got.

Hope this is useful,


Chris wrote: I am planning on setting up a 38 gallon planted tank and have considered setting this tank up with a few specific plants species. I am basically looking for some feedback on the compatibility of these species and how well they are likely to thrive under my current tank conditions. The tank will be set up with Eco-Complete as the substrate, 2 Flora Sun 25 Watt (8500 K) Florescent tubes for the lighting, and an Aquaclear 300 filter for the filtration. I am also looking for some comments on the species I have selected... and if I am on target with the numbers of these plants for my 38 gallon tank size. As far as the fish are concerned.. I'm planning on having mainly Angels and well as some Rasboras and maybe a couple small Gouramis. I greatly appreciate all feedback... even any criticisms. :) Ok... now here are the quantities and species of plants that I am considering:

2 Rotala Indica
2 Rotala Macrandra
2 Rotala Wallichii
4 Ludwiga Perencis
8 Micranthemum Micranthenoides
5 Eleocharis Acicularis (Hairgrass)
1 Anubias Barteri
10 Sagittaria Subulata
10 Echinodorus Tenellus
6 Vallisneria Americana
2 Hygrophilia Corymbosa
6 Hygrophilia Polysperma
4 Dipiplis Diandra
2 Limnophila Sessiliforma
2 Heteranthera Zosterifolia
1 Lobelia Cardinalis
10 Aponogeton Crispus

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