September '01 - Alex Fan's 160 Liter Nature Aquarium.
This month's tank is a very didactical example of how you can follow a set of simple, basic guidelines to create a very pleasant and natural looking aquascape. Unfortunately, I have lost contact with the owner of the tank to get some extra details, so the description that follows is partly information he had already sent me, and partly my own educated guesses based on the photos. Alex Fan from Hong Kong started with a medium sized tank (160 L) with favorable dimensions (100x40x40 cm), to which he added 3x30 W of fluorescent lighting (ADA and Nisso), and a 5-8 cm layer of fine natural gravel enriched by a commercial gravel additive. He then chose a beautiful piece of driftwood as the centerpiece, around which all plants would be arranged. Clumps of Riccia fluitans or Vesicularia dubyana were attached to the wood for a striking effect. Tall, bundled plants such as Ceratopteris sp., Limnophila sp. and Cabomba sp. go in the back; single-piece plants such as Nymphaea sp. go in the middle; and short/grassy plants such as Sagittaria sp., Cryptocoryne sp., Lilaeopsis sp. and Echinodorus tenellus go in the front. Choose any appropriate size filter, add some extra CO2 injection, and regular water changes with addition of a good liquid fertilizer, and here it is...a beautiful, natural, successful planted aquarium! Once the water chemistry and biology is stabilized you can start adding small, peaceful and plant-safe community fishes of your choice. Alex chose Rainbowfishes, Rasboras, Cardinal Tetras, Rummy-Nose Tetras, Cories and a few other species, all of which are clearly enjoying a happy life in this great setup!
If you'd like to submit an aquarium for Tank of the Month, just contact me.
A well-chosen piece of wood can make quite an impact
An excellent selection of small, compatible fish species
Photos taken by Alex Fan, and displayed here with his permission.