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February '11

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02_Planted_Cube_1.jpg (68kb)

February '11 - Samuel Guimarăes's 64 L Planted Cube Aquarium. (Brazil)

Cubic shaped aquariums are rather difficult to set up right and establish a truly nice aquascape, but on the other hand, from further away this type tank is one of the most effective as a decorative piece on furniture. How about one of these in your living room?

Owner:Samuel Guimarăes, 25, from Belo Horizonte (Brazil), 11 years of fishkeeping.
Setup:August 2010.
Dimensions:40x40x40 cm.
Volume: 64 L (nominal).
Filtration:DIY canister filter with 600 L/h water pump, 1 L Siporax and perlon.
Lighting:3x23 W Phillips twister compact fluorescent 6500 K and 63 lumens/Watt, 9 hours/day.
Heating:50 W Boyu.
Substrate:7 kg Seachem Flourite.
Decoration:Just a piece of wood.
Others:4 kg CO2 cylinder with solenoid valve and ceramic diffuser (one bubble every 1.5 seconds); DIY light fixture in brushed steel, computer cooler with 9 V source (from a burnt modem) to preven water heating by the lamps (the cooler turns on together with the CO2 and lights; it fans the air column above the water surface, not the water itself.
Water:Temp 26°C; pH 6.6-6.8, GH and KH 2-3.
Maintenance:Weekly partial water changes (about 30%); occarional cleaning of front and side glasses (there's no green spot).
Fauna: 5 cardinal tetras, 5 serpae tetras, 3 otos.
Flora: Didiplis diandra, Hemianthus micranthemoides, Rotala rotundifolia, Rotala wallichii, Lobelia sp., Glossostigma elatinoides, Vesicularia dubyana, Echinodorus tenellus.
Comments:At age 13 (11 years ago) I had a 30 L tank for 2 or 3 years (starting with crayfish, fish and later turtles), which I ended up selling at the end of High School. At the time of fish population there were some cardinals, serpaes, swordtails (that spawned a lot, some grew and were sold to shops), pleco, black widows and a few zebra danios. UGF filter (argh), 500 L/h pump, heater with thermostat, river gravel, incandescent bulbs (sheesh), rocks. Total weekly water changes (hahaha, the water would get really dirty), I'd wash the entire tank, removed everything and washed gravel, rocks, everything. I barely treated the new water with anti-chlorine and no matter what, back inside went the poor fish again. How completely wrong it all was hehehe...

Today I'm a biologist in graduate school in Belo Horizinte, where I currently live. I'd been practicing the hobby "virtually" for 7 years (following related forums here and there), and, after lots of dreaming (literally) about having an aquarium again, I decided to return to the hobby, but this time, doing things the right way (as much as po$$ible).

Here's the result of some planning and lots of sweating hahaha (both for getting the $$, and for the canister and lighting which are DIY). Despite a few details, I'm very satisfied with what I've achieved so far.

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

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02_Planted_Cube_3.jpg (130kb)

Photos taken by Samuel Guimarăes and displayed here with his permission.

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