January '00 - Matthius's 90 Liter Community Tank.
The Art of Aquariums. This month's tank is a great example of how our hobby can be much more than just keeping pretty fish. Owned by Canadian ceramic artist and aquarium hobbyist Matthius Lettington, this setup is an eye-pleasing, harmonic balance of colors, shapes and movement. Also noteworthy is the photographic quality of the images. The tank holds 90 Liters (76x31x38 cm) and was set up in March 1998. It's filtered by an aquaclear style filter. Lighting consits of 3x20W fluorescent tubes: one Power Glo, one Sun Glo and one Aqua Glo. They're turned on around 8 AM and get turned off around 11 PM. Gravel is a mixture of commercial products, available from companies like Hagen, all natural colours. Typical water parameters are pH 7.1 and Temp 28 C. Plant population includes Cabombas, Hygrophila polysperma, Nymphaea lotus, Java Fern, Hornwort, Wendt's Cryptocoryne, Sagittarias and Valisnerias. Among the fishes are 5 Boesemani Rainbows, 1 Flying Fox, 1 Pleco, 1 Otocinclus, 1 Male betta, 1 Discus and 1 Dwarf Gourami. Once a week the water is changed (20-25%), and fertilized with 10 ml of phosphate free, iron based liquid fertilizer. There is also a slow release of iron suppliment put beneath the roots of the plants that can use it the most.
Matthius adds the following comments about his experience with this tank: "I clean my filter material each week by rinsing it in the water siphoned from the tank, the charcoal is rinsed but I seldom replace it. I've lost very few fish from this tank, actually none, now that I think about it...none from this tank! I have my tanks a little warm but I think that it helps keep infestations like Ich down. I use water sprite and hornwort to keep phospate levels down. My advice for first time buyers, get a 33 gallon, it's roughly the same size. You won't outgrow it too fast, and you will not be overwhelmed by it. If you are going to use plants invest in a extra set of lights. The plants that grow along the surface like hornwort get a fine algae growing on them as a result, but I have no problems with this. Introduce plants that are harmonious with each other and the tank population."
If you'd like to submit an aquarium for Tank of the Month, just contact me.
Male Dwarf Gourami
Photos taken by Matthius Lettington and displayed here with his permission.