Aquarium & Tropical Fish Site
September '04

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September '04 - J.W.Esselaar's 325 L Nature Aquarium. (Netherlands)

Best of Both Worlds! This is the result when a talented fishkeeper living in the land of the Dutch-style tanks decides to try his hand at creating an eastern Amano-style aquascape. The combination of a vast Riccia 'grazing field' with some orderly arranged bushes of stalk plants creates at the same time a striking and soothing effect. Complement this with the strong colors of Pigeon Blood Discus and a few schooling fish, and there's your recipe for a perfect setup!

Owner:Jan-Willem Esselaar, 38, from Amsterdam (Netherlands), 8 years of fishkeeping
Setup:September 2002
Dimensions:130x50x50 cm
Volume: 325 L (nominal), 280 L (effective)
Filtration:Eheim 2228, foam, ceramic stone, bio balls
Lighting:2x38 Watts Arcadia Fresh Water
Heating:Dennerle bottom heater cable
Substrate:Gravel and Laterite
Others:Dennerle CO2 difusor with pH monitor
Water:Temp 28C, pH 6.5, KH 3, GH 3
Fauna:3 Pigeon Blood Discus, 5 Corydoras panda, 4 Corydoras julii, 2 Ramirezi, 15 Dawn Tetras (Hyphessobrycon eos), 20 Amano Shrimp (Caridina japonica)
Flora:Echinodorus osiris, Anubias nana, Cryptocoryne wendtii 'red', Cryptocoryne wendtii 'green', Cryptocoryne balansae, Rotala macrandra, Hydrocotyle verticillata, Eustralis stellata, Micranthemum umbrosum, Riccia fluitans, Glossostigma elatinoides, Hygrophila corymbosa, Cyperus helferi.
Maintenance:Water change 1/3 every week (3 parts R.O. water, 1 part tap water); 10 ml Easy Life ProFito every day; Dennerle growth enhancer capsules once a week; Iron tablets every two weeks; Laterite balls next to hungry plants once every three months.
Comments:At first I had some difficulty with algae. Since Discus need a lot of food when they are young, I had trouble keeping the water right for the plants (too much nitrate). Now they have grown, I feed them only once a day with 1 cube of turkey heart (with colour enhancer and vitamins). All the other fish have to share. Now and then I supplement their diet with frozen artemia and mosquito larvae (red and white). I think the most important things in keeping a tank healthy is changing the water regularly and not feeding too much. I am a big fan of the Japanese aqua artist Takashi Amano. His books really got me into this hobby.

If you'd like to submit an aquarium for Tank of the Month, just contact me.

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Photos taken by Jan-Willem Esselaar and displayed here with his permission.

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