#26: 151L Aquatic Garden

Cathy Hartland Middletown, United States

Awards and Comments

Honorable Mention
I really like the effective use of driftwood in this tank. While I've never actually visited a lake full of Rainbows this tank makes me feel as if I were watching Rainbow flit in and out of the branches of a fallen tree in the lake shallows! It is a shame that the exhibitor was not able to find a way to better disguise the equipment against the back wall of the aquarium.
— Karen Randall
This tank has a good chance to be nice when it grows a little older!
— Claus Christensen

Aquascape Details

Dimensions 91 × 30 × 56 cm
Volume 151L
Background black posterboard
Lighting NO fluorescent, 3 watts/gal: 2 Penn Plax Ultra Tri-Lux, 2 Coralife Nutrigrow
Filtration Renaissance Prime 20 canister filter with floss, sponge, and phosphate resin.
Plants Aponogeton longiplumulosis
Echinodorus tenellus
Sagittaria natans
Isoetes lacustrus
Cryptocoryne ciliata
Crypt. lucens (?)
Crypt. beckettii
Crypt. balansae
Eleocharis parva
Echinodorus parvaflorus
Hemianthus micranthemoides
Anubias frazeri
Animals Melanotaenia praecox - Dwarf Neon Rainbowfish
Puntius titia - Cherry Barb
Capoetia oligolepis - Checkered Barb
Pseudogastromyzon sp. - Borneo Sucker Loach
Otocinclus sp.
Crossochielus siamensis - Siamese Algae Eater
Materials 2 small rocks
1 large piece of driftwood, found along river
Additional Information DIY CO2 dual-bottle setup, fertilization daily with PMDD, several times per week with Flourish, Jobe's plant sticks and Flourish tabs in Flourite substrate.

This aquarium emphasizes a sense of openness, spaciousness. The strong horizontal lines of the driftwood are countered by plants with a vertical growth habit. A clump of micranthemum grows out of a cavity in the wood, softening its rugged character. A drift of cryptocoryne brings a note of bright color to the otherwise green aquascape. Two low chunks of rock anchor the right side of the composition, balancing the driftwood and heavier planting on the left. Emphasis was given to low maintenance without sacrificing beauty.

The exact identification of the reddish crypts is not known. They were green plants labelled as C. willsii at purchase, but soon developed red coloration and grew much larger than C. willsii. Perhaps they are C. lucens or a small C. wendtii.

Dwarf hairgrass grows in a foreground patch around the right-side rock. This patch is slowly widening and eventually will form a carpet across the entire foreground. In the meantime, E. tenellus provides lush greenery across the bottom 1/3 of the aquarium. Two small Echinodorus parvaflora are lodged amongst the rocks and will add to the composition as they grow.

The driftwood has become embedded with a patina of green algae which gives the SAE and otocinclus a favorite place for exploration. Checkered barbs spawn in the micranthemum. Borneo loaches vacuum the tank glass (patches of green are left for them in obscure locations). Cherry barbs court one another and rainbowfish play in the current. It is a busy tank, and yet serene with open space and arching leaves.

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