Scape Ideas and Plant Suggestions


Plant Guru Team
Lifetime Member
Sep 23, 2007
South Florida
Hey all,

I think I am finally ready to learn more about aquascaping. I tend to change things around every couple of months, but in the past this was more due to issues with algae and tossing plants and trying new ones in various attempts to get things right.

After several months of struggle and learning, I feel more confident that I can grow plants and not algae (lol) and this has been borne out now by 2 solid months of good growth, no algae, excellent plant growth and color, and overall healthy tank conditions.

So, I am now playing with lower light to reduce growth as I have to trim my stems WAY too often (lol) and would like to have a more stable look. I have too many plants now, more due to testing various 'difficult' plants to prove that they would indeed grow well in my tank.

I am currently scaping more by PAR, as my lights are off-center and the sides are pretty dark. You can see this in the pics. The left side especially, which is why the anubias, bolbitus, and javas are on that side and in the back on the wood.

I would especially appreciate any opinions on the following:

1. I like the right side of the tank with the L. Aromatica with the green hygro in front and the amazon chain in front of that. I need to train the aromatica to have a better shape as it is a bit uneven. I tend to replant tops and know this is likely the cause :) Should I just cut across the tops
and wait for it to grow the side shoots so they come in around the same size as they will be the same 'age'?

2. I need to trim the glosso but think that HC might look better overall as a carpet plant. I really like the looks of those who have it. Will HC grow any slower or lower than glosso in general?

3. I like the P. stellata in the middle, but I have the L. aromatica and Ludwigia inclinata var cuba to either side, and I think I have too many plants with a similar look. Any suggestions for a nice background center? I still need some room for the fish as well. I was thinking some red orchids to offset the green on either side?

4 .I like the cuba on the left, and the anubias, but can't seem to bring it together. Any thoughts?

5. I have a large school of cardinals, soon to be doubled, about 250-300 total. So, I want them to have room to do so. I also have about 18 dwarf cichlids who are substrate dwellers and need the wood and such for hiding places and small territories.

Here is a link to a few pics I took tonight. I just trimmed the cuba yesterday, so looks nice. The hygro needs a trim along with the aromatica. Well actually the
whole tank needs a trim.

gerrydirish/Cardinals - Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Looks better in person.

Any thoughts and suggestions are welcome.

I need to get a better camera!