AndreaW Posted March 9, 2022 Share Posted March 9, 2022 (edited) Now that I've got my 10G Betta tank going, I need to start thinking about what I'm going to do with this tank. It's a 46G Bowfront I've had running for about 20 years. My son has taken it over and it has a random mix of fish that he has picked out and some stray fish dropped off at my door. It truly is a hodgepodge tank. Inhabitants: Currently it has a bunch of tertras, Cories, Kuhli Loaches and my son's Pleco named "Gary" who is the most peculiar Pleco I've ever met. I think he's defective, but my son loves him. He has a flat nose and I've never seen him suck or rasp at anything. In fact, I've never once seen him eat or poop, but somehow he has grown to 8". I swear he's a zombie. The tank is at full capacity as far as stocking and I need to convince my son that his Pleco will need to be rehomed eventually. Until then, I will be keeping all the current inhabitants for now. He also has two Mystery Snails. What I want: I would love to do a planted tank with driftwood and make a better setup for the Pleco, especially. I'm new to aquarium plants and would like to keep it simple while I'm learning. History/Setup: It originally housed a couple fancy goldfish and a Pleco (the reason I have such heavy filtration on the tank) and I have had various tropical fish since then. This is its third location and I've redone the silicone once. I'm still running the original setup of a Marineland Emperor 280 HOB filter, with an under-gravel filter with (2) Marineland Penguin powerhead 550s. So I have a total of 570GPH flow in the tank. It has a fluorescent hood light with a 24" full spectrum bulb and a glass top. (The tank is 36" wide). I've tried live plants before, but they never survive most likely because I didn't know what I was doing like fertilizer/lighting/substrate, etc. (still don't know most of what I am doing). Considerations/Questions: Since it's so heavily stocked, I think I need to continue a higher filtration, so I'm thinking of removing the under-gravel plate and powerheads, but add another HOB filter to the other side so it still gets even flow/filtration. Then down the road, I can swap the HOBs to sponge filters if it's stocked lighter. I was told if I wanted to grow any live plants I would have to upgrade the light to an LED. I don't know if that's true or not? It currently has 2" typical aquarium gravel, which I would like to keep (I want to do my best to keep the nitrogen cycle intact), but will probably need to add some additional gravel if I'm going to do live plants. I will probably get some smaller river gravel that is smoother to mix in with the coarser gravel. Or should I top the coarser gravel with the smoother, smaller gravel? Will live plants survive the inhabitants? I bought some stem plants recently and dropped the whole pot in but neither of them survived. All the leaves fell off (or were stripped off) and I just have bare stems left. I buried the stems in the gravel but so far they aren't doing anything. I've heard Plecos will eat and beat plants up pretty good and that the Mystery snails will eat live plants. But, If it's heavily planted, will the plants have a better chance of surviving? I'm looking forward to trying some different plants. I haven't done any stem or larger plants because most are too big for my other 10G tank. Any and all advice appreciated. I'm kinda lost where to start, what to do, and how much to do at once, or if I should space things out to keep the inhabitants and nitrogen cycle happy. Edited March 16, 2022 by AndreaW 1 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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