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Re: Arrowana tank

 You wrote:

I'm planning on setting up a 180 gallon planted tank with
a single silver arowana.  The tank is in a room
that has large windows on three sides and has a double-light 
fixture (the bulbs are just the ones that came with the 

Enclosed is a tentative list of 
plants that i
will consider (i'm not putting all of them in; maybe you can 
help me
narrow down the list).
Can you suggest a floating plant that is easy to keep, fits my 
setup, and would help

the arowana with cover?
Water lettuce,Eichhornia sp., Salvinia and water sprite.

For substrate, I will plant the nutrient-hungry species in 
individual or group pots
of a homemade
potting mixture that has worked well in the past.  Would you 
suggest I add laterite
to the mixture?
Wouldn't hurt.

I don't plan on using CO2 supplementation and would avoid it at 
all costs, 
Not really an issue in your case but you can do it also if you
You don't seem to want to go there:)
You won't need CO2 at the low lighting levels your suggesting(a
shop light and ambient light only?). You may want another shop
light BTW. That would do well then.
but I
will periodically treat the water with some kind of liquid
iron/potassium supplement. 
You won't need it. K+ would do well though after a water
You will have iron in the soil right? Iron in the soil would be
better. Algae cannot get at it since they have no roots. You
also don't have a CO2 system nor want/have lots of light so a
low lech approach would be better and less maintenence for you.
Peat added to the bottom of the gravel may help you immensely.
The fish will give off enough waste for the plants at the lower
lighting levels. I set up a few tanks with big aggressive fish
and had great success with peat,flourite only, and old sand with
iron tabs added every few months. All three did very well.
No addtions of special fertilizers trace elements etc. Just fed
the fish well and do a water change every month or two weeks
Adding more light and CO2 will throw this balance off though.
It's about balance once again. Plants need three things
basically. CO2, light and nutrients(fish waste). Not just one or
two but all **three**. This is what plants "eat". If you have
only  small amount of waste and need only a small amount of CO2
and light you'll do great. 
 I plan on keeping the temperature in 
high 70s. 
No issue there

 I may also add a dozen malaysian live-bearing snails 
to help
"aerate" the substrate. 
No issue there either.
Echinodorus bleheri (paniculatus)
Echinodorus osiris (rubra)
Echinodorus 'Ozelot' "green"
Echinodorus quadricostatus "magdalenensis"
Echinodorus cordifolius "Ovalis"
these will do okay but better if you add a good peat base to the
gravel. I'd add a few but too many.

Egeria densa (Elodea or Anacharis)
Vallisneria spiralis "Tiger"
They will soften your water lowering your KH if they don't get
enough CO2 which is likely in your.

Vesicularia dubyana
this is a great one for you
Add some driftwood and attach Java moss and Java fern to it.
The fish won't uproot these.
Riccia fluitans
Pass on this one

Ceratopteris cornuta
Ceratopteris thalictroides
Ceratophyllum demersum
All of these are good
Crinum natans

Don't even, these need lots of light
Cryptocoryne beckettii
Cryptocoryne willisii
These are good. Add affinis ands aponoigetifolia to this list if
you can ever get these. They do great in lower light non CO2
injected tanks.
Gymnocoronis spilanthoides
Hydrocotyle leucocephala
Lemna minor
Lemna major
Microsorum pteropus
Salvinia cucullata
these are fine
Shinnersia rivularis
Pass on this one unless you wanbt to try these plants floating.
Think about all the floating plants also. A bunch of different
floating plants looks BAD in any tank IMO. Pick a few(two or
three at most).
A cork back or a plant filter also would be good options for you
tank. Adding cork to the pots themselves or on other things in
the tank and attaching Java moss/fern to them might help you.
they are easy plants.

Tom Barr

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