Sorry if this is kinda repetitive from my last post, but as some of you know I am redoing a Evolve 4 and want to make it into a NPT. I am going to be using the organic soil and sand cap. I would like to try the stock light, and if needed I will upgrade the light.
Here are the plants I am thinking of using. I would love to hear opinions and if you think the plants give enough of a balance btw stems/floating/etc. Also is this way too much? I plan on taking all the other decorations out and only having plants.
1- Echinodrous "Green Ozelot"
1- Camboda Green
1- Banana Plant
1- Java Fern
6- Little clumps of Salvinia
Also, what would you suggest for stocking? Just one Betta?
I'm about to start setting up my own Evolve 4 that I got a couple of weeks ago when I saw the great clearance price at Petco lol. I'm still trying to decide which plants are going to go in it, although they'll definitely be ones that fall in the "low tech" category since I'd also like to use the stock light if possible. From various reviews and threads by other owners of the Evolve 4 I've found on the planted tank forum, it really is fine for low light plants, so thats reassuring at least lol. I know that I definitely want black substrate--I'd really like to try Eco-Complete (which also just happens to be black lol), but since funds are pretty limited right now, I'll probably end up using organic potting soil hidden underneath a layer of black aquarium sand. I also *really* want some sort of carpet plant for the foreground (obvs), since thats something I haven't tried yet in my planted tanks, but the lighting thing is definitely going to limit my options.
But about YOUR tank lol--those plant choices all look good imo. As far as the "1" in front of the first 5 choices, are you referring to like, one rooted/potted plant (with the ozelot, anubias, and I guess cabomba--I've really only seen it sold in stem bunches, but that definitely doesn't mean they're not available potted lol). Java ferns are often available at petco/petsmart pre-attached/growing on pieces of driftwood, and then in those pre-packaged tubes containing plants (thats actually where my "windelov" variety java fern came from), and then at the LPS where I get the majority of my plants they have a tank full of java moss and java fern all mixed together thats just sold by the handful. The driftwood is definitely a good idea since you're getting java fern--they have rhizomes and since that actually has to be left above substrate level, you're going to want to have them attached to something. A piece of driftwood with at least a few pieces of java fern tied to it would look awesome. And thats definitely not too many plants, especially if you were planning to do only "one" of each.
I'm guessing in the 3rd one you mean cabomba, right? I did want to mention, just in case you weren't aware, that both require at least medium light, the cabomba will definitely need more than what the stock lighting provides, and I'm pretty sure the ocelot will as well, although I'm not very familiar with that particular type of sword. I do have an amazon sword though (its super small because all the leaves died when it was transitioning to a new tank--usually happens with all the sword species actually, although you start seeing new growth almost immediately, but mine is growing back super slow, but thats my fault since they're heavy root feeders and its in a tank with just plain sand substrate--I really need to get some root tabs for it). It might be worth considering going with an amazon sword instead since they're pretty much the only Echinodorus species that does ok under low light conditions. I'd def go with just one each of the ozelot and banana plant. And like I mentioned above, if you're getting a piece of driftwood already, it would really make sense to attach the java fern to it, but it really looks best when theres at least a few "bunches" attached in different spots on the driftwood, plus its very unlikely that you'd purchase it in any form where it was only "one" plant. The anubias you could do definitely do two, but depending on the species you choose and its size, just one would look fine also. Personally, I might rethink the cabomba--along with its pretty high light requirements, it also utilizes very high amounts of ferts, I think it really tends to thrive best in high-tech tank setups with C02 and all that. Bacopa carolina is one I'd highly recommend if you're wanting a stemmed plant to go towards the back--it does fine in low light and is quite hardy as well as attractive. I have some in all my tanks actually lol. Spiral val (Vallisneria spiralis) is another great background plant, grows very well in low-moderate light--even in low light tanks growth is noticeably fairly quick. The awesome thing though is that you can just cut them to any length desired without damaging them at all, so while they *can* get super tall, they can also make great background plants even in small tanks-you just trim them every so often. I only have a pretty small bunch of this growing in the back of my 5g hex right now but definitely plan on getting more for that tank and very likely future ones as well. I can think of quite a few really lol, so if you're interested I'd be more than happy to share more suggestions. Oh, and salvinia is probably my favorite floating plant <3.
I agreewith lilnaugrim's suggestion of cherry shrimp as well