Dimensions 122 × 46 × 61 cm
Background Plant photos (commercial)
Lighting Two 175 watt 5500K metal halide bulbs, two 40 watt Triton fluorescent bulbs
Filtration "Amiracle" brand trickle filter with siphon tube overflow,
Dupla "BioKascade" biomedia,
Quiet One pump
Plants Armoracia aquatica,
Anubias barteri var. nana,
Animals "Turquoise Discus",
Materials Quartz gravel substrate (#0 grit, "Texblast") with Duplarit laterite,
Petrified wood rocks
Additional Information In developing the plan, we needed to balance the location of low growing plants
and their requirements for varying degrees of light against the locations of the
taller or faster growing plants. Even with this careful design, regular pruning
is needed to keep the faster growing plants under control.
The tall Anubias (lanceolata, afzelii), the Hygrophila stricta and Hygrophila
salicifolia were placed in rear corners and along the sides of the tank. This
keeps them from shading the lower plants in the front and provides some
relatively open areas in the rear of the tank for fish to hide in if they get
nervous. By not densely planting the corners, it also makes it easier to siphon
up any detritus that collects in these areas. These plants have their leaves
mostly towards the surface so they are not blocked from view by the plants in
Visual strong points are the thick clusters of Ludwigia repens, Heteranthera
zosterifolia and Hygrophila polysperma. All three of these grow very quickly
and provide the major textures of the aquascape. The H. zosterifolia is an
especially striking plant with its bright green rosettes. The tall Anubias
lanceolata visually separates it from the Hygrophila polysperma.
To fill in the shaded areas in front of the larger plants, low growing
Cryptocoryne and Anubias plants are used. The C. affinis is positioned
along the path of the lower water return on the left side and nicely
defines the current flow. The A. barteri var nana and A. coffeeafolia add
interesting color and texture highlights in their areas of the tank.
A major focal point is the vertical color splash of the Ammannia senegalensis.
This offers a dramatic contrast to the plants around it and serves to divide the
tank into two separate visual spaces. A lesser counterpoint to this is the
small bunch of Lysimachia nummularia tucked in by the A. coffeeafolia. This and
the A. senegalensis forms a frame around the highly textured Anubias,
providing a perfect setting for photographing fish.
The focal point of the left side of the tank is the Echinodorus osiris. Its
large dark red leaves contrast nicely with the Ludwigia behind it and the A.
nana in front of it. A group of bright green Armoracia aquatica provides a
detail point in the middle front of the tank.
To provide a dynamic feeling to the tank, a large Barclaya longifolia with its
soaring flower stems and rippled fountain-like leaves is placed just to the
right of center. A smaller Barclaya to its right provides for a feeling of
territorial conquest. The soft, flowing texture of the Barclaya leaves is nicely
set off by the leaf varieties behind it. A small clump of Hydrocotyle vulgaris
occupies the far right corner, providing a bright green splash of color.
A final accent is a section of Hydrocotyle verticillata floating on the top. We
tried to plant one end of it, but it kept pulling itself out of the gravel. It
has large water roots and lily-pad like leaves and seems perfectly happy just
floating over the left side of the tank. It is a lovely green and looks very
appealing from above. It is a fast grower that we keep under control by merely
cutting a few inches off the end every few days.