July 2013: BillBug68’s Rimless 12 gal long Iwagumi

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My obsession with this hobby actually began against my will in February 2012. My wife, son, and I were out buying dog food at the pet store when my son, being three at the time, of course wanted to look at the fishies! Needless to say, I came home late that night with an Aqueon 10 gallon starter kit, black and white sand, pirate decor, several fake plants, and a single female Betta. Well, after doing everything wrong(adding several other fish right away, etc., etc.) I began to scour the Internet for answers. That is when I found the lovely AA forum. Fast forward through several substrate changes, re-scapes, etc. with my little 10 gallon tank, I started developing an obsession with the simplicity, elegance, and style of rimless tanks, specifically the Iwagumi style. So, when I came in to some extra money, I decided to sell my 10 gallon, and almost exactly a year after my introduction to aquaria, I decided to pull the trigger on my high tech Iwagumi dream tank…


  • Tank: Mr Aqua rimless 12 gallon long 35.4 x 8.3 x 9.4 inch
  • Background: Etched window film
  • Filtration: Fluval 106 canister through 1/2″ clear vinyl tubing and 13mm Cal Aqua “Fluxus” lily pipes
  • Lighting: 36″ Finnex Ray 2
  • Heater: Hydor 200 watt 1/2″ in-line heater
  • Co2: 20 ounce paintball tank with GLA Atomic V.2 regulator with solenoid, Up-Aqua mini bubble counter, glass diffuser, and glass drop checker
  • Substrate: ADA Aquasoil Amazonia
  • Hardscape: Seiryu Stones
  • Plants: Hemianthus Callitrichoides, Hydrocotyle sp. “Japan”, and Blyxa Japonica


My maintenance is broken down in to three various types: daily, weekly, and monthly.

Daily maintenance usually only consists of dosing fertilizers via the PPS Pro method and feeding. However, I also do a quick once over of the tank, make sure all timers are working, check my Co2 tank for pressure, and clean the glass if need be.

During my weekly maintenance I will start off by testing Nitrates and Phosphates, which I maintain at 20ppm and 2ppm respectively. I will then drop the water level a few inches so I can begin working with out splashing over the sides. I start with a thorough cleaning of all the glass and stones, followed by vacuuming the HC, and an approximate 30-40% water change.

Monthly maintenance will be the same as weekly, but with the addition of filter and co2 maintenance. All filter media is cleaned with tank water, Purigen is replaced with a freshly recharged bag, all vinyl tubing and lily pipes are cleaned out with a large pipe cleaner. As for co2, I keep two diffusers on hand. I will replace the diffuser with a clean one, then soak the dirty one in bleach, rinse, dry, and set it aside for next month. The same method is actually used with my Purigen. When it’s monthly maintenance time, it’s really nice to have that stuff already clean and ready to replace.

Trimming is not on a set schedule, I trim whenever the tank needs to be trimmed.


– 1 Sunset Honey Gourami
– 16 Neon Tetras
– 5 Otocinclus
– 5 Amano Shrimp
– Several juvenile Red Cherry Shrimp


I feed Omega One Tropical flakes, one small pinch daily.


It is an absolute honor to be nominated for TOTM, I’d like to thank everyone who participates on the forum, all the regulars on the planted sub-forum, the moderators for keeping AA so great, and all those who have been of great help to myself and others. Special thanks to Brian_Nano12g and DanTheGuppyMan! I honestly don’t know what I would do without this hobby! I am so glad I fell in love with it, and I know I will be keeping fish well in to my old age!

Filed under TOTM.