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Re: criticism requested

Hi Glen,

Have been catching up on my emails, followed the replies to your request for
reviews with interest - I have an 80 gal that had two smaller swords in it,
that got bigger.... and bigger - sold one, some difference in more light to
my other plants, but bit the bullet and sold the other one too, so glad I
did, although I put in a 'smaller' Ozelot, which is now also getting

I appreciate the need to have tanks that don't need constant pruning, and am
setting up my smaller tanks this way, using mainly anubias and crypts, a
stem plant group or two as a feature, and I like the two micranthemums for
smallish clumps in the 10 gal tanks, and lilaeopsis as my foreground
'grass', with some driftwood or rocks that have moss and/or anubias on them.
I've been playing with the two main Amano layouts, the centred mound or more
often, the 2/3 1/3 sections, or is it 3/4 1/4!  In these and my medium and
big tanks, I'm moving from the solid background row to irregular larger
clumps of things, with some open space between them here and there, it makes
a huge difference to the look of the tank.  I actually think your discus
tank is a great display for these fish; as someone suggested, I would think
about a diagonal emptyish path through, with some driftwood maybe to
highlight it, it depends how far you want to go.  You could maybe add some
more variation in the Vallisnera leaf type and colour in a clump of say
aponagotons (twisted leaf), crinum (wider straight leaf), and tall red
crypts (thin long red leaves) - I've done this in my 80 gal, and I like the
intertwining effect.  Then contrast the long leaves with some dense, tiny
leaved plants like the micranthemums or other examples given, they don't
need much pruning, just pull out a handful every so often!  I'd say add
something with a slender straight, long but smaller leaf, like the
hygrophilas, but too hard re pruning, just something that echoes the long
leaf shape but without any twists, to keep the busyness factor down a bit.
If you can get it and grow it, the spiky stars look of heteranthera
zosterifolia and didiplis diandra would be a good contrast plant for the
vals too.  And lilaeopsis would be good in amongst the anubias for small
scale verticals in the foreground.
Can't wait til I can get a digital camera one of these days, and put my
stuff up too, its such a great idea!

Kind regards,

Susi Barber