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Hello every,

I am new to the community and relatively new to the hobby (3-4 years). I spend hours watching fish videos/streams, reading posts on forums, and online articles. So I am knowledgeable but lack a bunch of practical knowledge from others on forums that have been doing this for decades. Anyway I have MTS as many people do.

I am in the process of setting up my man cave / fish room and I have a 5 foot 125 gallon tank sitting in my garage waiting for the room. I have gone through about 80 revisions of how I want to set this tank up. 

Here is the recent crazy idea that I was wondering if it would work. 

I want to do a planted tank with primarily epified plants such as java fern with maybe a few crypts tucked into rocks. 

I have this idea to build it so that the light is bright with big shadows. I think I can accomplish this with large drift wood and using a single LED spot light hung over the top of the tank. I would have a section of the top covered in floating plants. To also add to the dramatic shadows.

The stocking is maybe the crazy part. I want to go back to the first fish I loved and that is the honey gourami. I had a pair of wild type honeys that I loved watching. Some of you might think I am crazy but I want to do like 20+ honey gouramis in place of a tetra or barb. I have read that they are very social fish and I can't see why they wouldn't work in a large group. The next crazy part is I would love to have them with a group of 5 electric blue acara. I feel like the honeys would be big enough to not be food for the EBA. They also preferred to hang out under my floating plants when I had them so I predict they stay away from the EBA. I would probably want to put my 6 panda Garra in there as well as my king tiger pleco forgot the L number sorry.


Any problems you all can see coming up with a set up like this?

Also would a bamboo shrimp get destroyed by the EBA?

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I would give your idea a try, I think a group of honey gourami would be neat, and since the tend to hang out at the top of the water and the EBA stay around the bottom for the most part I think they would work. You may want to think about having one more spotlight over the tank since it is 5 foot long, I think if you just had the one light in the center that the ends of the tank would be quite dark, but maybe that's what you are going for? Good luck with the tank build.

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I'm about as new as you, so I'm not going to chime in and say if it would work or not, but it sounds like a stunning combination to me--the yellow and blue would look awesome together, and I like your shadows idea.  The sizes of the fish would look nice too IMO.  It's a pretty long tank, so maybe you want to light more than 1 spotlight's worth of it (light on each end, or light 1/3 or 2/3 of it and leave part darker?)--you can always play around and just add more light if you find you/your plants need it.

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I don't know enough about the stocking to comment, but I think you will really like the light set up. I think it will more natural looking.  I did that intentionally on my 65, and the fish seemed to appreciate getting out of the spotlight occasionally.  I have a side mounted HOB on my 29 that pushes the water across the tank and back.  All of the floating plants drift towards the HOB, leaving about a third of the tank brightly lit, and producing some interesting light and shadow effects on the rest.
It will also be interesting to watch how a couple of inches in either direction changes  the way identical plants grow in that setup.



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Yeah that will be a fun test! I will definitely place the same plants directly under the light and in the shaded area and monitor their growth. I was thinking of having the spot light hang about 2 feet above the tank so the light will spread out quite a bit. Most of the plants I will put in will be low light. The idea was to have the outer edges darker but if it is too dramatic I could always add another. 

This is the light I plan to use.https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075CKBCQC/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_YkH.FbDHG20AZ?psc=1


Edited by BillingsZ
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