#76: 510L Aquatic Garden

Jared Weinberger & Jarrett Burch Augusta, United States


This is a lovely tank full of healthy plants. But the layout is unbalanced with the big grouping of Alternanthera on the left end of the tank. The Glossostigma "lawn" has become deep enough that it appears more like a little hedge in the front of the tank. It would look better a little shorter and if it were moved back a little from the front glass.
— Karen Randall

Aquascape Details

Dimensions 183 × 46 × 61 cm
Volume 510L
Background This acrylic tank has an integral matte-black back.
Lighting 4 x 96W power compact fluorescent bulbs (6700K).
Filtration (1) Eheim 2228 packed as Eheim suggests; (2) Magnum 350 with the carbon container filled entirely with floss for extra mechanical filtration.
Plants Alternanthera reineckii, Anubias Coffeefolia, A. nana, A. Frazeri; Barclaya longifolia; Crinum thaianum; Cryptocoryne willisi lucens, C. undulata; Echinodorus bleheri "Ruffled", E."Oriental", E. "Ozelot", E. "Rose", E. "Flame", Glossostigma elatinoides, Hygrophila polysperma "Rosanervig", Nymphaea "zenkeri", Nymphoides aquatica, Riccia fluitans, Rotala wallichii, Sagittaria chilensis (broadleaf), S. sublata
Animals Main schools are angelfish and cardinal tetras. Small numbers of red phantom tetras, platies, mollies, true and false SAEs, Kuhli loaches, Corydoras aeneus, Otocinclus affinis, Farlowella acus
Materials Standard, small-grain aquarium gravel with laterite in bottom layer (Aquarium Pharmaceutical). Four pieces of Malaysian driftwood, small polished stones.
Additional Information This aquascape evolved over the course of a year. Changes were dictated by how well plants grew, their sizes, colors, heights and contrast. With this six-foot long tank, one concern was to emphasize the vertical, making use not only of taller plants, but also the surface, where in addition to the crinum leaves and tops of the stem plants, you will often see the many stalks from our large ozelot swords with numerous daughter plants.

The slightly elevated terrace in the back right corner was achieved with two pieces of Malaysian driftwood lined with thin plastic sheet which serves not only to hold back the substrate, but also to contain the crinum roots. We let the crinum leaves grow up and a little across the tank, gently combed by the spraybar return. The large ozelot sword in this corner as well as that on the left have been most prolific in providing numerous daughter plants as well as sites for angelfish spawnings. The driftwood retainer creates three areas: the terrace behind, the diftwood itself (site of Anubias spp.) and the area below in front.

We wanted two open areas, which are separated by two pieces of Malaysian driftwood with Anubias spp. on them and Barclaya longifolia in front. The diagonal row of swords on the right side leads the eye toward the back, for a sense of depth and is where we try out different species, moving young plants toward the back as they grow. The Alternantera in our "bouquet" grouping of stem plants on the left serves to hide the filter and CO2-return tubing. We found that Rotala wallichii nicely sets off a small stand of narrow-leaf Sagittaria with a pleasant contrast in leaf color, texture and type. At one time we experimented with riccia and recently found a nice clump of it growing between plants in the back of the tank. It was divided up and fastened to some smooth decorative stones and placed in the front right corner as a foreground grouping. Additional stones were used to fasten isolated Anubias plants on the terrace.

We have commercial CO2, water-column fertilization and substrate fertilization for root feeders. Tank was established July 1999.

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