#22: 284L Aquatic Garden

Mickie Vest Cincinnati, United States


This tank looks like it needs to "grow in" a little. I think in a few months it will have amuch more "settled" look. I would prefer to see a little less dependence on the H. polysperma and a little more diversity in leaf shape and texture.
— Karen Randall

Aquascape Details

Dimensions 122 × 46 × 51 cm
Volume 284L
Background Plain Black (painted)
Lighting 2 Shop lights holding 2 GE Sunshine bulbs each. 40 watts each of 4 bulbs.
Filtration Eheim 2217 with coarse and fine mechanical filter material and small landscaping lava rock as biological media.
Plants Anubias barteri v. nana, Anubias barteri var. angustifolia, Cryptocoryne parva, Cryptocoryne undulata, Hydrocotyle leucocephala, Hygrophila corymbosa "Siamensis", Hygrophila difformis,
Hygrophila polysperma 'Rosanervig', Hygrophila polysperma, Micranthemum umbrosum, Myriophyllum aquaticum, Nomaphila stricta.
Animals 5 Botia macracantha (Clown Loach), 6 Caridina japonica (Yamato Shrimp), 2 Crossocheilus siamensis, 6 Hemigrammus ocellifer (Head & Tail Light Tetra), Malaysian Trumpet Snails, 6 Melanotaenia boesemani (Boeseman's Rainbowfish), 5 Otocinclus vittatus (Oto Cat), 2 Rasbora heteromorpha (Harlequin Rasbora).
Materials Rock cave, general purpose sand over kitty litter substrate.
Additional Information I've tried to give some visual interest and balance to the tank by selecting plants with different shape, sizes and color of leaves without creating a chaotic effect.

On both ends of the tank are large stands of Hygrophila polysperma which need frequent trimming but tend to "bend" towards the center of the tank. Below taller and thicker plants are the Cryptocorynes and Anubias also serving as mid ground and foreground plants.

The larger leaved plants are placed at an angle from close to center balancing the strong presence of the rock cave that serves as the Clown Loach hang out.

The open unplanted area in front is the play ground for the Clown Loaches. They enjoy swimming at the front of the glass and digging pits around in the substrate. Keeping this area clear prevents them from uprooting plants I may have planted there (and elsewhere).

The kitty litter layer was mixed with Osmocote (timed released fertilizer) on inception of the tank. This is also suplemented with additions of Jobes fertilizer sticks in heavy planted areas at the sides and back. Florish and Florish iron are dripped into the tank on a daily basis with a device made from a 2 liter soda bottle and IV tubing. A small amount of nitrate is also added to this fertilizer mix.

DIY CO2 is added to the intake of the Eheim filter.

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