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Clown loaches and yoyo loaches in my 40 gallon ADA rimless aquarium (a few cardinal tetra in the background). The yoyo loach that had been near death is on the right, recovered now and happily rooting through the glossostigma and Hemianthus callitrichoides for bits of food. So here’s what I have learned since setting up this tank in early February.

If you want a pristine “lawn” of low-growing plants, like the most excellent HC, do not under any circumstances have loaches in your tank. They dig in it, sending up small clouds of sand or dirt or whatever the planting medium is. They uproot HC whose roots are quite delicate. If you are fantasizing about one day having a perfect Takashi Amano style tank like this, you will be unfulfilled.

On the other hand, if you are not a perfectionist and you enjoy the livestock as much as you do the plants, go for it. The more robust glossostigma can stand the abuse and appears to be thriving despite the fish. Because I overplanted the HC, it hasn’t completely disappeared, although I do fear for it longterm.

I have enjoyed this well-lighted tank, a sunny summer landscape during the last couple of rainy chilly weeks.