July '00 - Frode's 530 Liter Dutch Tank.
One of the advantages of planted tanks is that you can make some really beautiful aquascapes in even the smallest little recipients (the first tank in Takashi Amano´s Nature Aquarium World Vol. II has only 1 liter!), but that doesn´t mean you´re limited to these. It is generally suggested that you avoid building planted tanks with more that 50 - 60 cm of high (both because of lighting penetration considerations and because it starts getting pretty hard for a human to reach the lower plants for pruning!), but if you stay within this limit you can still stretch the other two dimensions at leisure and create some seriously big setups. Just keep in mind that, both in the beginning and afterwards, you must be ready to invest a lot of time and money since maintaining a huge planted tank is not trivial in both aspects. So we start the third season with this amazing, huge planted tank, owned by someone who was indeed willing to do it, Norwegian hobbyist Frode Roe. Actually this is only one of his several great setups, all of which can be seen at his wonderful personal website.
This aquarium was first setup in August 1999. Its dimensions are 160x50x55 (cm), and has an Eheim Canister Filter and an Eheim Power Filter for filtration. Lighting is made with 5x58 W Philips fluorescent tubes (965 and 950), totalling 295 W. Substrate is fine gravel mixed with clay, and it uses DIY CO2 injection. Plant population is as follows: Left side - Ludwigia repens, Micranthemum micranthemoides, Cryptocoryne balsanae, Java Moss, Anubias and Java Fern on corkbark. Center -
Hygrophila stricta, Ludwigia repens, Limnophila sessiflora, Java Moss and Glossostigma elatinoides. Right side - Java Moss on corkbark, Crinum natans, Micranthemum micranthemoides, Rotala wallichii, Hygrophila stricta, Hygrophila difformis, Cryptocoryne willisi and some Java Moss. Fish population contains Congo Tetras, Hemigrammus rhodostomus, Botia macracantha, Apistogramma cacatuoides, Crossocheilus siamensis, Rams, Ancistrus Catfish, Otocinclus, Carnegiella strigata, Corydoras jullii and Corydoras aeneus.
Here are a few comments made by the owner himself:
"The main point in the Dutch style is to create big groups of each plant species built up in terraces. The groups of plants must be put close to each other. Each group must contrast with the others in different colors, shape and height. Plant rows can be very useful in this style. A group in the foreground must not grow taller than a group behind, because you will lose the powerful visual effect that this style gives. You should build up the bed in terraces of unequal height and size. Attempt an asymmetrical layout that gives the impression of varying depth. A nice flat foreground in the middle is preferred. You should always avoid symmetry and never use big solitairy plants in the dead center of the aquarium, if a solitairy plant is being used, it can be placed in the back or among the sides of the aquarium. Lighting must be correct and powerful. Full-spectrum bulbs, metal halide lamps or halogen lamps are required. Because of the high lighting, CO2 addition is a must."
If you'd like to submit an aquarium for Tank of the Month, just contact me.
Left Side Closeup
Right Side Closeup
Photos taken by Frode Roe and displayed here with his permission.