November 2015 TOTM: Fresh2o

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Hello and thank you for your support and for choosing my planted tank as Tank of The Month.

My mom kept a tank of tropical fish when I was young. Slate bottom, steel framed (Metaframe brand) tank with an air driven filter filled with charcoal and fiberglass floss. That piqued my interest at a very early age. Going to pet shops was a special treat that I looked forward to. Years (and many tanks) later, it is still my favorite hobby. Oddly enough, the bigger the house I move into, the fewer number of tanks. I know it is supposed to be the other way around.

Having two kids in college might play a role in that situation. When my hands are not in the tank, I spend my time as a computer programmer for a major health care corporation.
In the early 90s I setup my first planted tank. The English language publication of The Optimum Aquarium was my primary source of knowledge. The tank was mild success filled with trial and error and I learned a lot from it.

Fast forward twenty plus years, my focus has returned to planted tanks because they are much easier to setup and maintain compared to what they used to be. The biggest challenge is finding that right balance of light, fertilizers, and CO2. The visual impact of colors and textures, and the opportunity to be creative with those elements is a big draw for me as well. Planted tanks can be as stunning, if not more, than well tended, mature reef tanks in my opinion.

My current tank is a culmination of input gathered from direct advice from current and former AA members and from build threads from this wonderful forum. Many of the plants in my tank are from other AA members.



Size: 30x12x12 (20 long)
Date Started: January 2013
Lighting: Finnex Planted+
Filter: Fluval AquaClear 50
Heater: Fluval M Series
CO2: Aquatek Premium Regulator, Valkan 24 oz paintball tank, Fluval ceramic diffuser
Substrate: 40# EcoComplete, black, regular grade

Daily: PPS-Pro (modified: no KNO3, increased KH2PO4)
Weekly: 30-40% water change; change floss in HOB filter
Monthly: Aqua Fertz Root Pellets; rinse HOB filter media

Ember Tetras, Golden Tetras*, Celestial Pearl Danios, Otocinclus, Amano shrimp, Malaysian Trumpet Snails, Rams Horn Snails, Pond Snails
* – 8 years and counting



Blyxa aubertii, Ammania bonsai, Staurogyne repens, Alternanthera reineckii ‘mini’, Pogostemon helferi (Downoi), Pogostemon stellatus ‘octopus’, Pogostemon quadrifolias, Pogostemon erectus, Rotala macrandra, Rotala colorata, Rotala indica, Limnophilia aromatica, Bacopa caroliniana, Ludwigia species ‘red’




Fish are fed daily with a diet consisting of various flakes (Omega One and Cobalt Tropical), freeze dried tubifex, bloodworms, baby brine shrimp, and frozen bloodworms, daphnia, and baby brine shrimp.


There are so many more nicer looking tanks on this forum. It is definitely an honor to have been selected for this award.





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