April '01 - Primary Colors!
When a freshwater tank is meant to be much more than just a container for fish, but also a part of the roomīs decoration, you may sometimes be interested having a general composition that favors a certain color, to help contrast or integrate the tank with its surroundings or produce any other interesting effect. So, just for fun and inspiration, this monthīs tanks are some fine examples of compositions that lean towards one of the three primary optical colors: Red, Green and Blue!
Regis Pelletīs 450 L Planted Tank (USA)
Creating a reddish composition that still maintains a touch of beauty and naturality is quite a challenge. Red aquatic plants are among the most awesome you can find, but also generally known to be more difficult to keep. In contrast, red fishes are commonly available and many are easy to keep, such as Swordtails, Platies, Guppies, Cardinals, Serpae Tetras, Cherry Barbs, Rosy Barbs, Bettas, Dwarf Gouramies, and so on. Finally, you can easily find rocks, driftwood, gravel and other pieces of decoration in various tones towards reddish-brown, and finish off with a Gro-lux type lighting, which really brings out the red of everything it reflects on. The huge and heavily planted tank shown belongs to American hobbyist Regis Pellet, who made use of gravel, driftwood and lighting, but also a large selection of red plants to create a beautiful and rare composition.
Martin Statsnyīs 300 L Nature Aquarium (Czech Republic)
Creating a green tank can be considered the exact opposite of creating a red tank. Green aquatic plants are readily available in all sorts of shapes and tones, and many of them are hardy enough that you donīt need to be a botany/chemistry major to grow them well in aquariums. However, if you do learn a little of the basics and provide them with a good amount of lighting, nutrients and CO2, you can create some spectacular aquascapes such as the tank shown above, owned by Czech hobbyist Martin Statsny. You can see his creation in greater detail at his website (in Czech). On the other hand, truely green freshwater fish are extremely rare (even in saltwater, actually), and the fishes sold with "green" in their names are usually not very green at all, or rather pale green at the most: Green Terror, Green Betta, Green Discus, Green Swordtail, and so on. Finally, you canīt really find any naturally green decoration, but as a tank ages you can allow algae to cover rocks and driftwood and create a natural effect, as long as you also take measures to keep it under control and not let it take over the entire tank!
James Folsomīs 110 L Community Tank (USA)
When you talk about anything related to water such as an aquarium, "blue" is the color that promptly comes to mind. As an example, itīs the color of choice for the great majority of aquarium sites found on the web. However, if you give it a little more thought youīll notice that most natural aquatic landscapes arenīt blue at all, and you canīt even find a single piece of naturally blue decoration. In spite of this fact, a touch of blue in a tank does usually give it a very pleasant aspect. The most common choice to accomplish this task is to add a blue background to the tank, and in the case of the nicely done tank shown above, American hobbyist James Folsom goes one step beyond and uses blue gravel for a rather unnatural but interesting result. You can see more photos of this tank at his on-line photo album. Finally, you can compensate the lack of blue plants/decoration with the fish population, since blue fish are just as common as red ones. The most popular examples are Bettas, Neons, Guppies, Gouramies, and many species of cichlids.
If you'd like to submit an aquarium for Tank of the Month, just contact me.
Photos taken by their respective authors and displayed here with their permission.