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Hello! I just purchased an 80 gallon bow-front tank and would like to do a planted aquarium. I would really appreciate any opinions on my grand plan. I am still a novice and although I try to do a lot of research, I know opinions can vary and I want to do the right thing.

I'd like to "segregate" the tank by using bedrock and doing one section with a brown fluorite substrate for the plants and the other section with gravel.

Two canister filters, one on each side, each having a 75-80 gallon capacity (Rena or Fluval?)

Double lights-one Marine-Glo bulb, one Life-Glo bulb. I was told this will be adequate if I choose hardy plants. I'm not looking for anything exotic.

No CO2. I'm going to try the Flourish Excel and other required nutrients and fertilizers to see if that will be adequate. If not, I'll probably get some kind of CO2 system.

I love the bubble wands. Yes or no?

I'm going to cycle with 10 Serpae Tetras. After cycling, I'm planning on adding (in stages, of course) 10 Neon or Cardinal Tetras, 2 Powder Blue Gouramis, 5 Clown Loaches, 6 Panda Cory Cats, and some kind of algae eating fish. Will this work?

My husband loves cichlids, but they tear up plants as everybody knows. I was told that dwarf cichlids do not do that. True or false?

Are there any gaping holes or errors in my grand plan? Am I missing anything crucial? Thanks for your time! :D
 

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Sounds like a viable plan....only issues i see are...if your NOT doing C02 then ditch the bubble wands...you will want all the natural C02 you can get from your fish and waste...with the bubble wand you will gas off this and will not be good outcome. if you like cichlids then go for some dwarf species, they may still nibble on the plants but not to the point of masacre......try getting a presponge power sweep head...aim it just below the surface of the water, this will keep water motion going. I like RENA myself but both can and will work...i would avoid any algae eating critters untill you see a nice supply of it or you could starve them in an early planted tank


hope this helps you

Doug
 

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I might consider dropping the clown loaches because they can get quite large up to about 15 inches I think, they dont grow fast so you could keep them for awhile but they will get to large for your tank
 
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