Many years ago I found a big interest for tropical fish and I kept a number of fish tanks. I’ve had the pleasure of breeding a number of fish including angel fish and some chiclids. There’s something about creating an under water environment that inspires me; watching the PH, Ammonia and Nitrate levels is incredibly interesting, ensuring that Co2 and light are sufficient to inspire plant growth so oxygen levels are correct for the fish and that ammonia levels are at a minimum due to the plant growth. It’s a challenge and I love a challenge – introducing your first fish after several weeks of carefully getting the tank correct is an amazing feeling, and even better is watching them thrive.
Over the years I lived in a number of places that didn’t provide the right environment for a fish tank. You need sufficient space, you need minimal sunlight and you need a stable floor. It was only until a few months ago that my fiance and I bought a new house which would provide the requirements for me to unleash my passion and that’s exactly what I did. About 2 months ago I set forth on the journey of creating a planted aquarium. Back when I started keep tropical fish the hobby involved some gravel, a heater, a filtration system and that was about it, nowadays everything has changed – Co2 canisters, soil instead of gravel and an assortment of other complexities. I spent a great deal of time reading and researching, and planted aquariums appeared to be the in thing. With aquariums I’m not one to usually follow the trends, but the challenge intrigued me. A planted aquarium is an aquarium that has an incredibly strong focus on plants – when I say this, I mean lots of plants, Co2 injectors, soil, fertilisers and so forth – like an underwater garden.
Here are some examples, but please understand that these are by some of the world famous aquascapers:
Quite incredible aren’t they? If you’re interested in watching tanks like this being set up, you should look up Takashi Amano and James Findley. Here’s an example:
So that gives you a bit of an idea of what’s possible and who the experts are. A magnificent form of art if you ask me.
After watching literally hundreds of videos by Jacobs Aquarium, cloud9aquariums, Dustinsfishtanks and TheGreenMachineLtd I decided on a direction I wanted to go in and I’ve been working on it ever since.
Here are my photographs:
It hasn’t been the easiest journey and it was more of a challenge than I expected it to be. I run into quite a few difficulties along the way, here are some of them:
I think I’ve done a decent job, the plants are thriving, the fish are healthy and everything appears stable. It’s early days though and it requires continuous work so we’ll see how it is in a few months time!
Any readers out there who keep fish?
Update 14/04/2014 – My tank is now a cichlid tank.