23g Fluval Vista Plantes Tank Set Up

bigpdamonsta

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Hey everybody, I’ve had this kit sitting around while I researched a ton, and I just found a piece of driftwood I loved, so it’s time to start thinking about how I’m going to set it up! This will be my first fish tank, so I’m very open to any and all suggestions for making it as beautiful/good for the fish as possible. The stocking plan for this tank is a pair of Herman blue rams, school of 10 ish cardinal tetras, and then maybe a few (3-5) male guppies or endlers. Tap water parameters are 7.6 pH, 160 ppm GH, 70 ppm KH. There’s a lot of varying info about how much driftwood will actually affect these values, but I plan to soak it for a while to leach out tannins.
This is the way I think the piece of wood looks best, but it can kind of be rotated. I thought the little opening facing the front might encourage fish to hide in there and be visible.

Anyway, what kind of scaling do you guys think would compliment this driftwood/the fish well? I was planning on moderate/heavy planting maybe? No CO2, but I was planning on dosing excel daily and feet’s/root tans if I could get away with medium light or demand plants.
From research a much smarter person than me has done, this LED puts out 30 PAR at the substrate level, but I imagine smaller plants behind/under the wood will be kinda shaded and would need to be low light plants, right? What kinda plants, and placement of them, jump out to you guys?
Should I get another smaller piece of driftwood, or some rocks, for the right side of the tank? Like I said, I’m open to all kinds of suggestions, even stocking ones lol.

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Betta Gremlin

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I think that rocks and a bunch of plants would look good on the more empty side of the tank!
Also, have you thought of trying out moss on the drift wood?
 
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bigpdamonsta

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I was definitely planning on growing some java moss on it, and I am planning to buy a nice clump of bucephalandra and mounting it into the driftwood as well.
So, if rocks, I know there are many different kinds, what do you think would work/look good? Volcano rock of some kind? Ideally something that doesn’t bring hardness or pH up at all
 

danhutchins

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Betta Gremlin said:
I think that rocks and a bunch of plants would look good on the more empty side of the tank!
Also, have you thought of trying out moss on the drift wood?
I think moss and anubis on the drift wood would look good. Some tall plants in the back and going smaller to the front. The best low growing plant for carpet or just pieces here and there is s.repens they dont require a ton of light and dont need co2 so you should be fine with it a little shaded.
 
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bigpdamonsta

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That’s good to know, I thought carpets wouldn’t be doable. I’ll look into s. repens. A specific question: I really like the look of tall jungle vals, or any val really. Do you guys think it would look better to plant them in the back left corner, so that when they eventually grow to the surface, they will float/flow towards the right, with the driftwood? Or plants them on the right so that they flow towards the left, sort of balancing the wood?
 
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