I am planning on setting up my new 55g as a Tetra tank, i need ideas...

dboll2

Member
for how I should set up the environment of the tank
(live plants, no false decor or ornaments)
I know that I want to do a sand or bark-like substrate
(any suggestions?)

but I am not really sure what to do as far as plants and arrangement of those plants

I have a bunch of safe flat rock that I found in the local river that I plan on using

I know this is a REALLY broad question


I guess what I am asking is what type of environment do you suggest I do for my 55 gallon tetra tank?
 

snail_chen

Member
If I remember correctly, most tetras are from Amazon region, where the water is soft. So first avoid limestone in your tank. Then select plants from South America. For example, the popular Anubia is from Africa, but the following plants are known from South America:
Echinodorus (swords.), Eichhornia diversifolia, Stargrass, Micro Sword ...
 
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dboll2

Member
snail_chen said:
If I remember correctly, most tetras are from Amazon region, where the water is soft. So first avoid limestone in your tank. Then select plants from South America. For example, the popular Anubia is from Africa, but the following plants are known from South America:
Echinodorus (swords.), Eichhornia diversifolia, Stargrass, Micro Sword ...
this is exactly what I was trying to ask
haha

what plants, substrate, wood, and stones work well with tetras?

thanks for digging deep for me!
 

blkdeath75

Member
I'm sure a lot of wood would be a good start for looks and softer water, then maybe some "Amazon" sword(I'm assuming it would fit the look you want). Depending on which ones you decide on just do a bit of research and see what is common in their native habitat and try to replicate it and get yourself a nice biotope(I think that's the right word for it?). Just google Amazon biotope it may answer more than I can.
 

snail_chen

Member
dboll2 said:
this is exactly what I was trying to ask
haha

what plants, substrate, wood, and stones work well with tetras?

thanks for digging deep for me!
If you have budget, try ADA's name brand Amazonia II substrate, but it is quite expensive, at least for me, $40 a bag, only available online. But it is supposedly the BEST substrate for your plants.
 

Nutter

Member
I'll just point out that there's no need to stick with plants that are native to SA unless you specifically want to have a biotope tank. The fish will be perfectly happy with plants from anywhere in the world so long as they are suitable for the water & light conditions. Tall fine leaved plants should surround the back & sides of the tank. Ambulia & Vallisneria are two of my favourites for a Tetra tank as the fish seem to like playing in among the fronds but there are many other plant varieties that could go around the back & sides. The main thing there is just to make sure there are plenty of tall plants so the fish feel secure. If they feel secure they will swim around in the front area of the tank confidently displaying their colours.

There are plenty of options as far as plants go & if you provide details about lighting I can make recommendations for you along with tips on set up & maintenance.

ADA substrates are supposed to be pretty good but I can't vouch for that from personal experience. As far as I'm concerned there's no need to look any further than Eco-Complete which is an excellent product at a good price. You can mix the Eco-Complete with sand or use it by itself. It has a nice sandy texture that bottom feeders quite enjoy sifting through. You can use different pieces of bark, pebbles or small rocks to break up the substrate if you wish.

There are many rocks that are safe for use in the aquarium & should not alter water chemistry. Slate, quatz, volcanic rock & granite are among the most popular. There are probably some forms of rock indigenous to your area that would be suitable. Pretty much any wood that is dead & dry is ok. There should be no bark & no sap left in or on the wood. You can probably collect some from around your home or most LFS will have various bits of wood for sale.

For all bits of wood or rock that you want to use it is wise to boil them for at least 5mins to kill off any nasties prior to adding them to the aquarium. A good scrub with a nylon brush (new) after boiling is all that is needed to remove any loose material. Some pieces of wood need to be soaked in water for a period of time before they will sink so be prepared for that to.
 

Aquarist

Member
Good morning,

A Center Piece...A lot of folks like to have a special ornament or plant, driftwood, something in the center of the tank to focus on. This is all well and good but I like the idea of not having a center piece in the center of the tank. By placing that "special" ornament or plant or driftwood off center, over to one side, can be even more pleasing to the .

Ken
 

Kunsthure

Member
My suggestion would be to stick with simple lines so the tetras don't get lost visually amongst fancier plants. If it were me, I'd go with Italian vals, dwarf hair grass, crypt spiralis and retrosporalis, maybe some onion plants, some large amazon swords on each side to frame the tank, and flame moss on driftwood and/or rocks.

-Lisa
 

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