50gal Planting

  1. Samuel97 Well Known Member Member

    So I am intending to heavily plant but not co2 my new 50gal tank. The footprint is 80cm long and 40cm deep (60cm tall).

    My two questions are wether my plant choices are ok and about the substrate.

    1. I plan to base the tank with this, would this be a good base for the plants and what weight of pool filter sand will I need to get the right depth of substrate flat across that footprint? It all comes in 25kg bags and that seems excessive:


    2. I plan to have a line of Vallis at the back to grow upwards and into a sort of curtain for my angels and gourami to swim in and out of. At the middle depth some driftwood with anubias nana in the crevices, maybe a small amount of java fern. And st the foreground my amazon swords. I've seen some swords grow directly up but I have mine already growing in my 20 gal and they are spreading out with more leaves far more than they are going up, and have stayed quite low. Would all these plants be ok in a tank without co2 and what do you think of the scaping plan?

    Thanks guys!
  2. ark_fish Member Member

    I have a lot of those species in my 80 gallon and they are all doing well. I used mainly gravel but in one section used silica sand and put home made fertilizer under the gravel so they should be fine in your tank. I like your plan but you should add some red to your tank. Maybe add a red tiger lotus to your tank to bring in some color. Good Luck!:)

  3. Samuel97 Well Known Member Member

    Thankyou! I was told that red plants usually need more looking after and co2?
  4. ark_fish Member Member

    hmm, I've never found that, they are pretty much the same as any green plant. I guess some of those "Super red" strains would be so inbreed and screwed up they could very well be susceptible to disease but I haven't seen that before. BTW what kinds of fish are you planning on.

  5. Samuel97 Well Known Member Member

    Ok cool sounds good I'll see what red plants my LFS has. How much substrate do you think I'll need?

    Theres a thread for my stocking: 50 Gallon Stocking
  6. ark_fish Member Member

    I don't think any of your fish dig so it should be good if you put 1-2 cm of soil underneath 2-4 cm of medium to fine gravel or sand (silica sand is nice but it often gets dirty as it is so fine). Aquarium soil is pretty expensive so it would be best to make your own(It is very simple to make and works great.)
  7. Samuel97 Well Known Member Member

    How did you go about making yours? Does a coarser sand usually need less looking after then?

  8. ark_fish Member Member

    a coarser sand means fish poo and muck will sink in and will be less apparent. In a fine sand such silica sand (or at least most of it) is fine enough that fish waste doesn't sink in so it is more apparent. if you put this sand in a spot where their is very little water flow, a few days after a water change muck will appear on the surface of the sand but its not that bad and it can be siphoned off but if the portion of your tank with sand has moderate water flow the fish scum won't get caught their and dirty up the pure white sand. So finer sand doesn't add to your fish waste problem it just makes it more apparent and can be dealt with quite easily.

    Here is a website link telling you how to make subsoil: How to Make Your Own Aquarium Soil

    Best of luck!:)