#13: 340L Aquatic Garden Tropical Heaven

Michael Crampton Pretoria, South Africa


This is a pleasing aquarium planning or not. Sometimes just going with instinct or even purposefully allowing nature to do the aquascaping can come up with aquariums more pleasing than the best planned compositions. For the most part the plants have created nice little mounds that fit together well and are reminescent of a rainforest canopy or other rolling natural scene. The rosette plants are obviously thriving in their home and make a good impression. This is an aquarium that I could lose myself in for many hours at a time. Don't be afraid to move your plants around into better p0sitions as they get bigger though. They all look robust and could actually benefit from replanting. It's a good chance to thin out unhealthy foliage and compacted roots both of which are very good for cultivated plants.
— Phil Edwards
The plants in the foreground are too big. There should have been an open space in the layout.
— Takashi Amano
While your tank may not be as "manicured" as some in this contest it has a peaceful quite feel to it that I like. Your plants and fish look to be healthy and thriving. Don't be afraid to move plants into better positions as they outgrow thier spot. Even the Crypts will grow back just fine even if they sulk for a while at first!
— Karen Randall

Aquascape Details

Dimensions 150 × 45 × 50 cm
Title Tropical Heaven
Volume 340L
Background Standard Fishtank background (laminated). Not a great choice.
Lighting 2 X 40 W Daylight Fourescent, 2 X 40 Watt Flora Grow Flourescent
Filtration Penn-Plax Cascade 1200 Canister Filter (1125 l/hr)
Plants 1
Animals Cardinal Tetra, Neon Tetra, Rummynose tetra, Flying fox, Albino Rainbow shark, Siamese algae eater, Golden algae eater, Congo tetra, 3 spot Gourami, Leopard danio, Guppies, Black widow, Clown Loach, Assortment of Cory's.
Materials Substrate is made up of humus, vermiculite and a scattering root tablets containing iron. This is overlain with gravel (1-4mm mix). Rock were bought from the local nursary. Driftwood was bought from the LFS and cured over a period of 3 weeks. The pieces I have are over 4 years old already. There is an artificail castle in the mass of plants. See if you can see it, I can't!
Additional Information 40 ml PhytoFe with micronutrients every two weeks. Root tablets containing iron added every month at the base of plants.
Although this is not a true aquascape, plant species that prefer medium to low light are hard to come by in SA. Hence the eratic planting in this tank. Basically, when I could find it I bought it and hoped for the best (no planning!). Now my plants are booming and I would like a experienced opinion and this is certainly the place for that. In fact many plants, especially the Crypts, I have seen once and never again and now I am scared to move them. As you can see they are in the wrong position altogether.

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