#66: 850L Aquatic Garden
Steve Maier, Strongsville OH USA | E-mail: stevemaier at ameritech.net
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Awards and Judge Comments

Second Place

This aquascape presents an impressive wall of plants. Despite the beautiful array of color and texture, the composition seems unfocused.

Roger Miller

I suppose you get the dark purple reds out due to the Aquasuns. Tank lacks of depth! There's hardly any more than one stone detectible. Please add some (big ones) or take the lonely one to the left away.

Detlef Hupfeld

WOW! The variety of colors and textures makes this one of the most attractive tanks I've ever seen. The sense of depth is excellent. The green glosso, the white rock, and the dark red Alternanthera create a great focal point, as does the striking Nomaphila siamensis. With the amount of light used, I'm sure the plants grow very fast, and must present a constant challenge trimming and pruning to keep it looking this nice.

Chuck Gadd

Aquascape Details

Tank Size
183 x 66 x 71 cm (72 x 26 x 28 in)
Volume
850L (225 gallons)
Background
Normally a background is not used. The tank is built into the wall of my basement and is viewable from both sides. For display and photographing purposes, I drape a black polyester cloth behind the tank.
Lighting
Lighting is URI Aquasun VHO fluorescent. There are two circuits on separate timers. Rear illumination is 480 watts for 7 hours per day. Front illumination is 320 watts for 8 hours per day. Total illumination time is 10.5 hours. The lighting is direct with the bulbs mounted in waterproof end caps approximately 4 inches over the water.
Filtration
The tank is acrylic with rear corner overflows. There are bioballs in the overflows. The tank is overfilled so that water passes into the top of the overflow chambers and the top of the overflows are used as a sediment and detritus trap. Basically, disposable polyester batting is used on top of the bioballs as a prefilter. The water is then pumped through a Rainbow Lifeguard Pleated cartridge filter and a UV sterilizer is in line but not normally used. CO2 is provided by a separate loop consisting of an in tank Rio pump, a 20lb CO2 tank with a Cornelius beverage Gas Pressure regulator, an external CO2 reactor and an ARO flow control valve.
Additional Information
Fertilization is with PMDD, 60ml per day. Additionally Flourish FE, KH2PO4, and Miracle Grow plant sticks are used. NO3 is maintained at 5ppm. Fe is added but almost impossible to measure. Water hardness is not measured but crushed coral is added in the background, CO2 is usually around 16 ppm and pH is 6.4. Water temperature ranges from 78.5F at night to 81.0F in the daytime. Weekly water change is 70 gallons. Thank you June Olberding for your help with my chemical additions.
Plants
See planting plan
Fish/Animals
15 Congo tetras, 8 Serpae tetras, 13 Siamese algae eaters, 12 Otocinclus catfish, 2 Blue rams, 4 Dwarf Gouramis, 2 Green Cory cats, 6 Large Ramshorn snails and approximately 80 neon tetras.
Materials
There are two pieces of Swahala wood at the left side of the tank used as an anchor for the Anubias. There are four granite rocks pulled from the Cuyahoga River used as accent. Substrate: The bottom layer is Flourite. The thick middle layer is a combination of Profile and Vermiculite. The top layer is Flourite capped with 1/2 inch of Onyx sand.