Aquarium & Tropical Fish Site
February '07

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Photos & Descriptions

702_Planted_Tank_1.jpg (51kb)

February '07 - Fabiano Pita's 340 L Planted Tank. (USA)

After many years, I finally have the opportunity again to show a setup with which I've some personal involvement. Brazilian aquarist Fabiano Pita was already a visitor of the site when he moved to Ames (USA) in 2002, at the same time I was living there. We met, became friends, and he set up a little 20 liter planted tank at the time with cuttings from my own plants. In the following year we both moved abroad, he went back to Brazil, then returned to the USA, and the interesting thing is that in these two moves he actually brought along the plants, equipment and even the substrate! A nice example of the level of persistence and attachment that an aquarist can achieve... ;-)

This month's setup also serves as a good example of how, for an experienced and responsible aquarist, there's no obligation or concern about "cramming" a tank with as many fish as you can, a mindset that's very common (and to a point comprehensible) among beginners. Quite the contrary, this very spacious and comfortable tank set up in the beginning of 2004 serves as home and garden to only a Discus couple and 5 Oto's!

Owner:Fabiano Pita, Brazilian, presently living in Des Moines (USA).
Setup:February 2004.
Dimensions:122x46x61 cm.
Volume: 340 L (nominal), 300 L (effective).
Filtration:Fluval 404 Canister.
Lighting:6x40 W fluorescent (3x Grolux + 3x Daylight) 10 hours/day.
Substrate: Pool filter sand and DIY treated earthworm compost.
Heating: 200 W.
Others:CO2 injection (4 kg cylinder) 10 hours/day.
Water:Temp 24-29°C, pH 7, Hardness 2.
Maintenance:Water changes 20% every 20 days, filter cleaning every 2 months.
Fauna:2 Discus (couple) and 5 Oto's.
Flora:Riccia fluitans, Eleocharis minima, Glossostigma elatinoides, Hemianthus micranthemoides, Heteranthera zosterifolia, Rotala macrandra, Rotala rotundifolia, Rotala wallichii, Anubias nana, Anubias sp., Java moss, Aponogeton madagascarensis (2 varieties), Ammannia gracilis, Echinodorus tenellus, Echinodorus 'ozelot', Hairy Bacopa, Didiplis diandra, Cryptocoryne wendtii 'brown'.

"Remember that cutting of Anubias nana I stole from you in Ames? Well, after 3 years and moves to Brazil, then back to the USA, I was blessed with 5 flowers. Here are the photos, together with my present aquarium (90G) in our house in West Des Moines."

"It was set up in February 2004 in Colorado Springs, dismantled and transported to Des Moines in May 2005. I had 2 algae blooms that almost made me give up. Lots of persistence and hours of maintenance later, the algae disappeared like magic (I believe that small changes in the amount of injected CO2 did the trick). Since then the maintenance has been minimal. The greatest work is the regular pruning which occurs at every 15 days at most. The discus pair spawns weekly whenever the temperature rises above 27C (summer)."

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

702_Planted_Tank_2.jpg (38kb)
   Anubias nana flowering away under water

702_Planted_Tank_3.jpg (49kb)
Aponogeton madagascarensis leaf and other details   

Photos taken by Fabiano Pita and displayed here with his permission.

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