Converting To Planted Tank

Mephistophocles

New Member
Messages
34
Reaction score
18
Points
48
I have a 125-gal freshwater tank that is well established (I've owned it 2 years and the fellow I bought it from had it for 4) and very stable. It's currently way underpopulated with just a male/female pair of peacock cichlids, 2 tetras and a pleco (all inherited from former owner). The decor is all artificial (inherited from the original owner) and it's horrible - but I'm just now getting around to fixing that.

I want to convert it to a planted tank and then bump up the population a bit (undecided on what to add that will play nice with current inhabitants, but that's a decision for later), and have some experience with planted tanks - but have 2 questions.

The substrate is fairly coarse gravel. I really don't want to mess with the subtrate too much as this is a rock solid tank and that substrate is original - but I think it's a little coarse to do anything too interesting plant-wise. Does anyone have experience adding substrate to a tank like this (maybe sand?) to make it more condusive to plants? Any recommendations from the plant experts?

Second question - the cichlids love to move gravel around. Sometimes very large volumes of it. I have 3 other tanks (another 120 gal, a 90 gal and a 55 gal) that I *could* move the cichlids to - are they going to make trouble with live plants? And/or, are there certain plants that play nice with this particular fish - as I'd rather not move them unless necessary?

Thanks for the advice!
 

kallililly1973

Fishlore VIP
Messages
5,905
Reaction score
4,163
Points
423
Experience
3 years
Is setting up one of the other tanks and changing the substrate an option? I'm no plant pro but all my tanks do well with pool filter sand and basic Seachem ferts and Thrive and root tabs. I think the cichlids will definitely uproot anything you try to add... You could do some java fern Java moss Anubis and some Buce plants tied to driftwood and rocks... Just a thought
 

86 ssinit

Fishlore VIP
Messages
4,551
Reaction score
3,791
Points
308
Experience
More than 10 years
Pictures would help. But even with big gravel Amazon swords will grow. Especially in a well established tank like that. There is lots of nutrients in that gravel. I would buy 2 bigger sized swords and plant 1 on either side and see how they grow. Again pics will help. Tank and fish.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #4

Mephistophocles

New Member
Messages
34
Reaction score
18
Points
48
Here are pics, sorry for not including in original post. @kallilly1973 good thought on tying to wood and rocks to protect from the cichlids - hadn't considered that.

Got most of the fish in these; one of the cichlids is hiding in the boat - when she comes out I'll try to grab one of her too.

 

smee82

Fishlore VIP
Messages
5,601
Reaction score
1,940
Points
398
Experience
More than 10 years
I dont think you would get away with adding many plants without being uprooted by your fish. Plants that you can glue to the hardscape may work but thats about it.
 

86 ssinit

Fishlore VIP
Messages
4,551
Reaction score
3,791
Points
308
Experience
More than 10 years
9B7FF634-FA3B-4C7E-89DD-E27DA4DFF1FB.jpeg
Well if the fish aren’t pulling up the fake plants give it a shot with the sword plants. You could also plant in pots. Anubias on hardscape also looks good.
67C6BA5D-3084-495B-9F68-6D01D935932C.jpeg
plantin pot and anubias above on wood and below on a rock.
3F5A3C6C-3E75-4B62-B9CD-9ECF37E20DEB.jpeg
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #7

Mephistophocles

New Member
Messages
34
Reaction score
18
Points
48
Well if the fish aren’t pulling up the fake plants give it a shot with the sword plants. You could also plant in pots. Anubias on hardscape also looks good.plantin pot and anubias above on wood and below on a rock.
Good stuff ssinit. The cichlids do uproot the fake plants occasionally which is why i had the hesitation, but I'm really loving the driftwood & pot ideas. That's what I'm going with; will post updates here soon.
 
Toggle Sidebar

Aquarium Calculator

Follow FishLore!





Top Bottom