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Angelfish plant list for my 46 G bow front?


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Didn’t somebody post an angelfish biotope plant list not too long ago?  Or maybe that was a discus plant list? I can’t remember now which it was.

If somebody has an angelfish biotope plant list (I know that actually covers a range of variable biotopes) that’s what I’m wanting.  I know that swords, Vals, Amazon frogbit would all be reasonable options, but what else?  I’ve never been a huge fan of stem plants but I’m willing to try.  The tank is 21” deep with moderate to low lighting.  Plants will need to be relatively low maintenance.  Very much NOT interested in duckweed no matter that it would fit the biotope.  😆 

I’m planning a sort of eroding stream margin look with driftwood branches arching over from high on one end to simulate exposed roots and Vals as the main focus plant to help hide the spot where the branches arise.  I’m thinking I’ll have to use some kind of hook over the side of the tank at an upper, back corner as an attachment point for the “origin” point of the “roots”.  I already have some plastic hooks designed to go over a door that I think will work.  Then zip ties may be my friend for attaching the branches.

I’d like some smaller plants to look like they “caught” and rooted around where some of the branches hit the sand bottom, I’m thinking maybe ‘Red Pearl’ swords for this.  It will be a pool filter sand cap over heavy clay soil with some Osmocote mixed into the soil.  I’ll probably have some half buried river rocks (I have plenty left over from the 75 G project).  Might do some ‘Red Flame’ swords for between/among rocks.  With light green Val as the most abundant plant, plus some moss(es) the tank will need some more color.  I’ll only be using fairly plain colored rocks since I don’t want them to be the focus.

I'm very open to thoughts, recommendations, ideas on how to attach the branches at their “origin” in an upper corner.  I have silicone, can get fish safe epoxy putty, superglue, etc, for attaching wood but don’t want to glue it to the actual tank wall.  I could also make a slate piece to drill through, then into the bases of the “roots”, then hang the slate for the origin point.  Do you think I will need to put some slate at the bottom tips of the “roots” to help keep them in place and give them weight?  I have assorted mosses that I’ll pick from to put on some roots and could use to help hide the “root” origin.

Any other thoughts for reasonably low maintenance, moderate to low light plants to fit the angelfish biotope?

 Since I got so long-winded, here are my questions:

1. How do I attach my branches/“roots” at the top, back corner of the tank without gluing to the tank itself?

2. Do I add slate to the tips of the “roots” where they meet the substrate to add weight and stability?

3. What plants fit a fairly broad definition of an angelfish biotope besides Vals, swords, moss, and Amazon frogbit?  (duckweed doesn’t count because I’m not going there)

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On 8/19/2021 at 11:52 PM, Tankseeker said:

Anubias and Java fern are at the top of the Low maintenance list

But Anubias is from Africa and Java ferns from Asia.  I’m looking for South American plants that will fit in an angelfish biotope/habitat.  I’m not sticking to a true, focal biotope but I’d like to stay on the same continent at least.

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@Tankseeker. @Patrick_G I very much appreciate the suggestions but I’m really trying to come reasonably close to a more true habitat.  I’m finding it difficult to come up with a ready made list of plants native to an angelfish’s habitat even though I’m sure I’ve seen one somewhere.  There are lots of “Best Plants for Angelfish” lists (I’ve read at least a dozen by now and they almost all have Anubias and Java fern on them) but they’re pulling plants from all over the world that work for angelfish and there’s nothing wrong with that.

But I’m trying for something closer to a biotope so plants that are from the same place as angelfish rather than just plants that can be used with angelfish.  That’s why I’m looking for more to add to my potential plant list since the stem plants I’m finding are more delicate that may not hold up to angelfish (they sometimes tear up plants), or need higher light than I want, etc.

My tentative list now has Helanthium bolivianum ‘Quadricostatus’ added, but I’m still thinking about Heteranthera zosterifolia but I have no experience with that one.  I’m also trying to decide if I want to try Lilaeopsis brasiliensis tucked into a pot in/on the origin point of the “root” bundle so it could grow up close to the light since it’s a higher light demand plant.  I’ve also decided probably on using some of my Christmas moss.  I just need to decide if I’m going to take time to glue individual fronds or cut some up and tie it in place.  I’m leaning towards cutting and tying since it will probably grow in bushier and faster than glued fronds, plus gluing fronds sounds sooooooo tedious!  Tying is bad enough, but it’s quick compared to frond gluing.

So my search continues!

Edited by Odd Duck
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On 8/20/2021 at 2:59 AM, Tankseeker said:

I don’t understand,why hold yourself back just get many variety’s of plants they have different textures and looks that could look really appealing together 

It’s a thing, doing a biotope.  I’ve thought about it off and on for years.  It was really just getting to be a thing when I faded away from the hobby years ago.  With better information  and variety of plant access nowadays, it’s reachable by the average hobbyist if that’s what they want to do.  It’s like having a numbers matched muscle car to a collector.

I’ve got plenty of pretty tanks, I just feel like doing something a little different.  This tank is in my living room, just left of the TV (my hundred is just right of the TV and it’s got a mix of plants from all over selected purely for appearance).  I just want the satisfaction of setting this one up to specifically fit for angelfish, some cories, possibly some dither fish (haven’t yet decided) and be as native as I can reasonably make it.

Angelfish are apparently often found in areas with fairly minimal plants, but that’s not an aquascape that particularly appeals to me because I really like plants.  So I’m going to select a fairly minimalistic plantscape to combine with my hardscape which I’ll try to make as true to accurate as I can.

I don’t need a numbers matched car, but if anybody knows of a basket case, not matched but complete, ‘56 corvette convertible, I’ll take it!  I’m not looking for the equivalent rarity of a numbers matched car (meaning not a perfect, focal, biotope), but I want “complete” if that analogy still makes sense.

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On 8/20/2021 at 3:44 AM, Tankseeker said:

That’s what I like a bout this hobby there’s no one way to do things Yiu just do whatever you like

Exactly!  Each of my tanks is different.  There are certain similarities:  I seem to end up with a large, central focus in a cube, I have some similar plants between many tanks (certain plants grow better for me so I have offspring and they spread to other tanks), I really like swords, Buces, Anubias, and Crypts, longer tanks seem to end up with 2 focal points, but the foci are markedly different, etc.

So this tank will be a very different hardscape than what seems to be my “go to”, but will carry along some similar plants so it’s not so much of a difference from my other living room tank that it will jangle against my nerves.  I’m still looking for soothing since it will be right under my nose, so to speak.

I really appreciate your interest.  It makes me think about, and better define, my ideas and reasons for switching up and repurposing the tank.  So, thank you!

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