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Time to Change - Would love some thoughts


7 Jul 2008
I am playing with the idea of rearranging my 125 gallon tank. Because I have some big fish in there (4 balas, 1 13" ghost knife fish & 5 rope fish (the rest are small like tetras)), I have stuck to plants with big roots because smaller plants with not much of a root system can be easily uprooted by the bigger fish. That is the problem of learning you wanted plants after you have fish. :)

So right now my tank is planted chalk full of tall broad leaf plants. They were all just a few inches tall when I planted them, but they are all blowing out the top of the tank now, or close to the top. I have been pruning and even pulling a few plants because the entire tank was plants and I needed room for the larger fish to hang out.

But now these days I am thinking I want a kind of plant that does not grow too high. Nothing that is mega hard to grow and maybe has a good root system. I have 1.25 Watts per gallon, I am using CO2 (30ppm) and dosing with PMDD and phosphates daily.

I would like to help the tank look more linear. So a good solid base of plants, maybe a plant or two that grows taller, but I want to give the fish more room than they have now.

I am looking for ideas, what kinds of plants etc. I still feel so new to all of this. I am not sure what kind of plants are out there, which ones are easy to care for, etc. Even if you have some photos (or know of some online) of tanks that are similar layouts, I would love to see them.

Thanks everyone!
What species do you have now?

Amazon Swords and Crypts have good root systems, although you'll need to let them establish themselves first. You could also have Java Ferns and Anubias attached to wood.
How about a crypt-only layout? Super low maintenance and tough enough not to get uprooted once established.


For a really striking aquascape, plants are a hugely important part of the equation, but decor (hardscape) is an essential consideration too.

Do you have any photos of your current set-up?