Evaluate My Plant List Please

r_e_g

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The time has come for my to select plants for my new 40g breeder (16 in. high) so I'd love feedback please. Lighting is a Finnex Planted+ 24/7 CC. I'm using pool filter sand as my substrate supplemented with root tabs and liquid ferts. Tap pH is ~8; GH and KH are 8 degrees. I'm not planning to start with CO2 but it's a possibility down the road. Hardscape is a significant amount of spider wood. I want to plant the back and sides pretty heavily and leave a good amount of swimming room for fish. Cover for fry is highly desirable. I may or may not stick some Anubias or java fern on my spider wood so I'm more concerned with achieving a good balance among the other plants.

Foreground:
Marsilea crenanta (some carpet would be nice, don't need it to cover the tank)

Midground:
Cryptocoryne wendtii
Hemianthus glomeratus (as a bush, not carpet)
Echinodorus 'rubin'

Midground/background:
Ludwigia natans super red
Green cabomba
A Vallisneria maybe? I don't want it to take over the entire tank though.

Will this be a harmonious combination? I know planting in clumps is desirable so is this too many species? Will they grow happily in my setup? I'm not expecting lightning fast growth without CO2 but I do want the tank to be lush before several years go by. Speaking of which, I've heard that planting densely from the start rather than waiting for plants to spread is a good way to prevent an overabundance of algae. How much is "densely?"

Many many thanks!

ETA: Photo of the spider wood. I don't want the plants to overshadow the hardscape. That being said, I'm not a big fan of attaching a ton of rhizome plants to wood.
 

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Fahn

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Sounds like a plan, your lighting is sufficient and in my opinion the more plants the better. Your Marsilea won't carpet densely without CO2, and may be at risk of being shaded out by taller plants. You could try a liquid carbon supplement like Excel but keep in mind some plants like Vals don't tolerate it well.
 
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r_e_g

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Fahn said:
Sounds like a plan, your lighting is sufficient and in my opinion the more plants the better. Your Marsilea won't carpet densely without CO2, and may be at risk of being shaded out by taller plants. You could try a liquid carbon supplement like Excel but keep in mind some plants like Vals don't tolerate it well.
Thank you. I'm thinking I can probably position the Marsilea such that it receives sufficient light. By the way, fabulous crayfish.
 

Fahn

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r_e_g said:
Thank you. I'm thinking I can probably position the Marsilea such that it receives sufficient light. By the way, fabulous crayfish.
Thanks, unfortunately he is no longer with us. Crawled out of the tank
 

-Mak-

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Looks good!
If you don’t want rhizome plants on wood, you could try moss. It just helps the aquascape look much more mature, and not like the wood has just plopped into the “stream” yesterday. George Farmer on YouTube has some awesome examples of aquascapes with wood

What liquid ferts will you use? With an inert substrate like sand you’ll want more concentrated and complete one.
 
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r_e_g

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-Mak- said:
Looks good!
If you don’t want rhizome plants on wood, you could try moss. It just helps the aquascape look much more mature, and not like the wood has just plopped into the “stream” yesterday. George Farmer on YouTube has some awesome examples of aquascapes with wood

What liquid ferts will you use? With an inert substrate like sand you’ll want more concentrated and complete one.
Thank you. I'll probably stick a rhizome plant or two in junctions between the two pieces of wood or where I need to cover ugly blunt ends but in some of the scapes I've seen, the rhizome plants just look like they were stuck on and I really want to avoid that. You make a good point about totally bare wood looking unnatural though. I don't want that either. I'm half-coping that it acquires a gently coat of algae in time but moss would be a better bet. I have java moss (or something I believed to be java moss-it doesn't branch at all from what I can see) in my shrimp tank that has never anchored to anything so that's turned me off from mosses. I've attached a picture of my "java moss" plus what I believe is bladderwort mixed in it. I would reconsider though and I especially like the look of Fissidens fontanus-any moss that will actually cover the driftwood instead of just looking like loose messy strands would be awesome. I adore George Farmer's videos and will have to go and watch some more.

I haven't bought any fertilizers yet but I was thinking of Easy Green. I am certainly open to any other suggestions as long as they're shrimp safe.
 

-Mak-

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r_e_g said:
Thank you. I'll probably stick a rhizome plant or two in junctions between the two pieces of wood or where I need to cover ugly blunt ends but in some of the scapes I've seen, the rhizome plants just look like they were stuck on and I really want to avoid that. You make a good point about totally bare wood looking unnatural though. I don't want that either. I'm half-coping that it acquires a gently coat of algae in time but moss would be a better bet. I have java moss (or something I believed to be java moss-it doesn't branch at all from what I can see) in my shrimp tank that has never anchored to anything so that's turned me off from mosses. I've attached a picture of my "java moss" plus what I believe is bladderwort mixed in it. I would reconsider though and I especially like the look of Fissidens fontanus-any moss that will actually cover the driftwood instead of just looking like loose messy strands would be awesome. I adore George Farmer's videos and will have to go and watch some more.

I haven't bought any fertilizers yet but I was thinking of Easy Green. I am certainly open to any other suggestions as long as they're shrimp safe.
It does look like java. For a less scraggly looking moss, you can try mini Christmas moss, phoenix moss, or fissidens like you said.

Easy green is a good one, for something more concentrated Nilocg Thrive or UNS plant food also works
 
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