April '11 - Marcio Silva's 36 L Planted Invertebrate Aquarium. (Brazil)
This month's aquarium may have been conceived for CO2 testing and as a temporary grow-out tank for shrimp and snails, and set up mainly with leftover material from other tanks, but Brazilian aquarist Marcio Silva took the opportunity to put in practice what he'd been learning of aquascaping on the net, and came up with a really nice result, well documented in the video further below. Enjoy!
Resun HF-2001 (340 L/h). Used with chemical filtration (activated carbon), biological filtration (ceramics) and physical filtration (perlon).
3x20 W compact daylight fluorescent lamps, on for 12 hours a day.
CaribSea Eco-Complete, 5 cm up front and 8 cm behind.
A few rocks, but with the carpet growth they became hidden.
CO2 system with a 2 kg cylinder and a Tunze pressure regulator (which is excellent btw), an Eheim diffusor and a solenoid valve, turned on with the lighting by an analogical timer. This way the system is automatic, supplying light and CO2 together also turning off together.
Temp 28°C. The other measurements I don't normally check. In fact I've never even got to buying the tests. Since the partial water changes are done twice a week I believe the aquarium water is always soft.
Every Wednesday and Saturday I do significant water changes of 40 to 50% of the effective volume, and add iron-based fertilizer, especifically for the red plants. Pruning is done as needed, as well as the filtration elements changing and filter cleaning.
Potimirim potimirim shrimp, Potimirim glabra and baby Pomacea bridgesi snails. The shrimp total about 20 and the baby Pomacea snails easily reached 30. I had about 300 of them in another (300 L) tank, and decided to use them in this tank and the result was great.
I decided to set up this tank when I built the CO2 system, because the famous DIY bottles were a problem for me, and also decided to apply some of the aquascaping knowledge I'd gained by reading. But you can't learn fishkeeping just by reading, I believe that 70% of our hobby can only be learned by hands-on daily practice. For this setup I had to do a lot of partial water changes for several months and that was the most important point for me, because I took it very seriously, motivated to continue with the tank, and soon realized that it was most beautiful setup I'd achieved so far. It may not seem much for some and I know it doesn't come close to some of those great setups (that we see around the net) but for me it was great, I used my potential and dedicated myself to my best, and loved the result. Even more so because I didn't use anything too expensive in this setup, only the CO2 system was a bit pricey, the rest was of the stuff I already had around at home. With this setup I learned in practice the importance of good filtration and the difference that partial water changes make in an aquarium. In the end they mean much less work, because you don't have algae blooms and other problems, sick and withering plants. In this tank I could notice intense activity of the Potimirim shrimp, with the water changes they always come out and show themselves extremely well adapted to the tank. This makes me very happy, because I know just how much they require pristine water (like discus) and I could even observe some females loaded with eggs. O course they never developed because the reproductive cycle passes through larval stages, but this was a symptom of perfect harmony between the aquarium, fauna and flora. That's it, don't stop at the theory, trust yourself and your talent, use the day by day practice to learn the truths of fishkeeping.
If you'd like to submit an aquarium for Tank of the Month, just contact me.
The second video featured in this section, with nice and soft background music!