Popular Aquascaping Styles

Thursday, February 28, 2013
Various Aquascaping Styles and Popular Themes for Aquascape Aquarium. If you look through the Aquascaping Showcase each of the tanks are more or less based on the Nature Style or Dutch Aquascaping Style. True. These scapes are beautiful aquascapes and inspirational, but something is very wrong here. There are more than two aquascaping styles in our aquascaping world! However, let we see first how exactly the Nature aquarium style, Dutch Aquascaping and Jungle Aquascape, which is always a top choice for most aquarists.

Dutch Aquascaping style

Dutch aquariums are an older style of aquascaping, dating back to the early 20th century. The style focuses on neat rows of plants normally arranged from a central focal point, with lower plants in front and taller plants in the back, creating a sense of depth. You'll often see this described as "streets" or "avenues" using plants.

Dutch Aquascaping Style

Dutch aquascapes also feature more colorful aquatic plants. They can be likened to a well-kept formal garden, where all the plants are arranged with a purpose and kept well trimmed and defined. It may not be the most natural looking, but it is extremely beautiful and visually interesting - depending on taste. Stern plants are used in the main, so maintenance levels can be relatively high due to the amount of pruning and eventual re-planting necessary to keep the aquascape looking good. Wood and rocks are not usually used. The effective use of colours, textures and contrasts are the most important aspects to achieving success with a Dutch aquascapes.

Nature Aquarium style

The term "Nature Aquarium", as an aquascape style, was conceived by the photographer, author and aquascaper, Takashi Amano in the late 1980s. The fundamental principle is that the aquascape is inspired from a scene from nature itself, whether it is from a landscape or an underwater scene. Typical Nature Aquarium compositions will have a significant quantity of hardscape like the wood and/or rocks that form the backbone of the layout, with the plants providing a vital supporting role to bring a sense of harmony and balance.

The Nature Aquarium Style is designed to keep aquascapes simplistic and natural looking. Hardscape in Nature aquascaping style is often covered with ferns, moss and Anubias to add a sense of "age", helping to increase the natural feel to the aquascape. Stems plants are often used to add important textures and colours, although some layouts don't use any, relying on slower growing species such as ferns and crypts. These plants are ideal for long-term, low-maintenance aquascapes. The Nature aquascaping style is very popular all over the world and is also known as the Japanese style, with many variations on style and technique being implemented all the time by innovative and creative aquascapers.

Jungle Aquascaping style

There is no formal definition of Jungle Aquascaping style. One could say it is a blend of Dutch and Nature aquascaping styles, using some elements of both perhaps. The aquascape is typically allowed to grow untamed, giving it a wild, natural look. Although relatively "messy" when compared to some Japanese or Dutch aquascapes, the overall effect can look very attractive.

Follow each aquarists imagination. the aquascaping style in 2012 was more inspiring. Multiple streams of popular aquascape aquarium styles have its own fans. Nature, Jungle or Dutch style. Iwagumi and Taiwan aquascaping style, each has its own characteristics.

Build your own aquascaping style. One does not have to conform to any style, or blend of style, of course. Create what you like; the aquascaping possibilities are only limited by your imagination once you have mastered growing plants!
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Fluval C4 Power Filter for Planted Aquarium

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Fluval C4 Power Filter Review

Fluval C4 Power Filter by Hagen
Sometimes delicate fish and aquarium plants require a more gentle water flow. Fluval C4 Power Filter equipped with Fluval's patented re-filtration system which allows you to control the flow rate without compromising filtration efficiency.

The Fluval C4 Power Filter is designed to provide maximum surface area and optimum dwell times in all stages of the filtration process. Features with 5 stages of filtration: 2 mechanical, 1 chemical and 2 biological stages for top performance.

The result is clean, clear and healthy water for aquarium life to thrive in. Each filter is equipped with the Fluval C4 Poly/Foam, Activated Carbon, C-nodes and drip tray pad. An integrated trickle chamber filled with C-Nodes is where biological filtration is super charged for fast and efficient nitrification.

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Fluval C4 New 5 Stage Filtration System

Unsurpassed Mechanical, Chemical, and Biological Filtration
A healthy aquarium requires “beneficial” bacteria. Invisible and harmless, they are essential in the removal of toxic ammonia and nitrite. With regular cartridge filtration systems, when you throw away the cartridge, you throw away beneficial bacteria. It can take weeks for the bacteria to re-colonize, resulting in a stressful environment.

The New Fluval 5-stage filtration system is different. Fluval C4 Power filter featuring 5 stages of filtration for aquariums between 40 to 70 gallons. Only one of the filtration components is changed at a time. This ensures that the maximum amount of beneficial bacteria remains. There is never a sudden depletion of bacteria so biological filtration remains always at high effective levels.

Stage 1 & 2: Mechanical- Poly/Foam Pad
Effective mechanical filtration is essential for efficient chemical and biological filtration.

Stage 3: Chemical- Activated Carbon Insert
The Fluval Activated Carbon Filter Insert contains 100% premium research grade carbon, which provides large amounts of surface area for adsorption of undesirable impurities. The activated carbon filter insert removes unwanted odors, discoloration and impurities, resulting in a crystal clear aquarium.

Stage 4: Biological-Bio-Screen
Fluval’s Bio-Screen removes any debris before dripping into the biological chamber. It also ensures that the water pumped to the Trickle Chamber is evenly spread through all areas before it drips on the C-Nodes, which are contained in the chamber.

Stage 5: Biological- C-Nodes
The surface of the C-Nodes provides a higher filtration surface and more biological power than a traditional cartridge, resulting in a healthy aquarium environment.

Fluval Power Filter C-Series Specs

Sizes available:
The Fluval Power Filter C-Series consists of the C2, C3, and C4 models. The filters are suitable for both marine and freshwater aquariums.
  1. Fluval C4 Power Filter, for 40 to 70 gallon aquariums; Maximum Flow Rate of 264 GPH
  2. Fluval C3 Power Filter, for 20 to 50 gallon aquariums; Maximum Flow Rate of 153 GPH
  3. Fluval C2 Power Filter, for 10 to 30 gallon aquariums; Maximum Flow Rate of 119 GPH
More details are available here.

Fluval C-Series Power Filter by Hagen
Click to see larger image
What’s In The Box?
  1. Filter Cover
  2. Filter Case
  3. Leveling Device
  4. C-Nodes
  5. “U” Tube
  6. Telescopic Intake Tube
  7. Bio-Screen
  8. Mechanical Frame
  9. Chemical Basket
  10. Impeller Cover Assembly
  11. Impeller
  12. Biological Trickle Chamber with Cover
  13. Poly/Foam Pad
  14. Activated Carbon
  15. Motor Unit with Seal Ring

Fluval C4 Power Filter Product Details
  • Helps provide a stress-free environment
  • Clip on filter - Quick and easy maintenance
  • Equipped with cleaning indicator for when the polyfoam needs to be rinsed
  • Filters 264 gallons/hour - see also Fluval FX5 canister filter
  • New 5 Stages Filtration System (40-70 gallons Aquarium)
For optimal performance it is recommended to clean the impeller cover assembly once a year and follow the rules of filter media replacement here. The mechanical filtration on Fluval C4 Power Filter is performed by a dual layer of foam and polyester, and is easily removed for quick cleaning. The patented re-circulation grid enhances mechanical filtration when the flow rate is reduced. A convenient chemical insert basket directs water flow to maximize toxin removal. Maintaining only one stage at a time will preserve beneficial bacteria, resulting in a stress-free environment, while ensuring aquarium water stays clear. The Fluval C4 Power Filter clips on, is ideal for use on planted aquariums between 40 to 70 gallons, and is the perfect way to provide your fish and plants with refreshing and clear water.

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Rating : 4.5 - Votes : 88 People
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Aquascaping Ideas Low Maintenance Moss Tree Layout

Wednesday, December 21, 2011
The slower growing species such as ferns and crypts are long term and ideal for the low-maintenance aquascapes like this layout. As the driftwood composition is the main focus on this layout, it's good selecting the driftwood composition that suits to the simple plant composition and layout.

Aquascaping Ideas Low Maintenance Moss Tree Layout
Low Maintenance Moss Tree Layout  - Aquascaping Ideas for small tanks
In today's world of planted aquarium, many aquascape enthusiasts choose to keep the low maintenance layout because several reasons. This small tank was set up specifically to showcase the driftwood as currently there is a trend to use driftwood in Aquariums. The low maintenance aquascaping ideas like this Low Maintenance Moss Tree layout is very suitable for those of you who wanted something simple and relatively low-maintenance that didn’t need much pruning.

Aquascaping Layout Ideas

Date/Location 2009 - Mr. Hoad, Mid Levels, Hong Kong (Designed and Maintained by Bubbles Aquarium)
Tank Size 24" (L) x 12" (W) x 24" (H)
Volume 108 Liters
Lighting T5HO 24 Watt x 2
Filtration Hang-on Filter 800 L/H, PowerHead 301 Undergravel System
Substrate ADA Aqua Soil Africana, JBL AquaBasis Bottom Fertilizer
Substrate Additives ADA Bacter 100, ADA Clear Super, ADA Tourmaline BC, Penac P, Penac W
Decorative Materials Driftwood, ADA Riccia Stones

Note: Choosing a driftwood for aquascape aquarium can be quite expensive because it can make a big hole in some aquarium owners. So we should simply go for a small piece of aquarium driftwood which can be easily found on the beach but you need to put that piece in quarantine tank for at least a couple of days and when the PH levels of this driftwood piece match with your Ph level of tank than you can use this driftwood. After this process make sure that driftwood is clean and can be used with the tank. Using the suitable driftwood will definitely enhance the beauty of your Aquarium.

You can read more about this set up, or ask questions by visiting the Bubles Aquarium site.
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Invertebrates in Freshwater Planted Aquarium

Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Freshwater aquarium invertebrates are thus becoming an increasingly popular choice among aquarium enthusiasts. Over the course of the earth’s evolution, invertebrates have evolved to an amazing level of diversity. Their fascination stems from their bizarre forms, fantastic colours or markings and their interesting behavior. Often small size makes them ideal for nano aquariums. Most aquarium invertebrates such as freshwater shrimps and snail species are tolerant of salinity and pH ranges but are very sensitive to ammonia/ammonium and heavy metal concentrations.

Popular Invertebrates for Aquascape Aquarium

There are many aquarium invertebrates like shrimps and snails species available to the aquascape aquarium. Some are purely ornamental, while others (namely neocardina and cardinia species for shrimps and Neritina species for snails) are kept primarily as algae eaters.

Freshwater Snails
Freshwater snails make their appearance in every aquarium sooner or later, sometimes becoming a real nuisance. Recently, these former “undesirables” have found their own place in some aquarium enthusiasts.  Some varieties such as Ramshorn Snails are highly interesting and also useful helpers in aquascape aquarium.

Dwarf Crayfish
Crayfish are also fascinating aquarium inhabitants. Most varieties grow to a considerable size, however, and require an appropriately large habitat. Dwarf crayfish of the Cambarellus genus are ideal for nano aquarium. With a size of 3-5 cm, they are suitable maintained in nano tanks of 25 liter or larger.

As dwarf crayfish are not interested in destroying plants, any aquarium greenery of your choice is appropriate. However, Crayfish are the great “escape artists”. They are able to survive in air for some time and are excellent climbers. An aquarium containing crabs or crayfish thus needs to be “escape-proof”.

Aquarium Shrimps
These lively little invertebrates are highly robust animals which flourish when kept in the right conditions. Most aquarium shrimp varieties have a relatively large tolerance range with regard to water values. A good supply of oxygen is particularly important. If the oxygen level drops too low, this will have an adverse effect on their health.

Shrimp are generally omnivorous, with a preference for plants. In addition to algae, their menu also contains natural animal plankton, detritus (dead plant material, decaying leaves, etc.). And even carrion.

Keeping Freshwater Aquarium Invertebrates

Of the many invertebrates species found to be useful to the aquaria hobby, like the Japanese Marsh Shrimp which better known as the Yamato or Amano Shrimp is by far the most popular algae eater in the hobby. And Ramshorn snails on the other hand, are not far behind, they will rid algae from your rocks, driftwood and make your aquarium equipment as if they were brand new. Even Black Beard Algae (BBA) doesn't stand a chance.

Click Here for more details on
Fluval EBI Nano Shrimp Habitat
Keeping Freshwater Shrimp with Fluval EBI Nano Aquarium
If you want to learn keeping freshwater invertebrates at home, I recommend  starting with the Fluval EBI Nano Shrimp Habitat by Hagen. The nano shrimp aquarium has been designed with freshwater shrimp specifically in mind. The Fluval Ebi comes fully equipped to provide the ideal habitat for freshwater shrimp and crayfish.

With their vibrant colours and entertaining disposition, freshwater shrimp (called ebi in Japanese) are a truly fascinating species to collect and keep. The Fluval EBI Nano Shrimp Habitat kit includes everything you need to enjoy this wonderful and increasingly-popular hobby. Equipped with an internal filter designed for maximum water clarity and biological capacity, the Fluval Ebi is a great habitat to get you started and experience the fascinating lives of shrimp. read more.

For the majority of shrimps a neutral and medium hardness water is generally suitable. Some species of shrimp do have preferences for slightly acidic or moderately alkaline waters though a range of 5.6 to 7.5 pH and hardness levels around 5-10 gH. Temperature, likewise has to be kept below 30C.

While changing water, ensure that chlorine, chloramine and heavy metals are removed with dechlorinators prior to adding to the tank. It is highly recommended not to use any hot tap water when performing water changes. It should be noted that if keeping these aquarium shrimps, snails and other freshwater aquarium invertebrates, copper based water additives or medicines should never be used.
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Fluval Edge 2 - 12 Gallon Size New Aquarium by Hagen

Friday, December 16, 2011
New Fluval Edge 2
Style and function come together in the revolutionary of the new Fluval EDGE 2 aquarium set. As well as the standard 23 litre/6 US gal model, the new Fluval Edge 2 inspired by architectural styling and creates a unique visual effect capturing emotion and serenity within a contemporary setting.

So, after months of rumours and a video from a rep floating around on youtube, Hagen have finally released news of the Fluval Edge 2 aquarium.

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Fluval Edge 2 Product Features

Fluval Edge 2 Dimensions
Dimensions 43cm x 26cm x 44.8cm high (59.4 cm total height)and 6 sided, 12 gallon sealed glass aquarium. With twice the volume as the standard Fluval Edge but the same footprint, the larger 46 litre version allows more fish and a more rooms for creative aquascaping, without taking up additional linear space.

360 Degree Viewing
The world’s first 3D water cube aquarium, the 46 litre Fluval Edge Aquarium 2 can be filled to the very brim thanks to the glass top, providing high definition viewing from every angle.

The partially sealed top reduces evaporation for less maintenance and a large, hidden aperture allows oxygen exchange to keep fish healthy. A floating base design gives the set a very small footprint for easy placement and lends the aquarium a clean, contemporary look.

Powerful Lighting
Fluval Edge 2 LED Lighting
With over 40 bright, white LEDs and three blue moonlights, along with the upgraded capacity, the new edge promises to be a biorb life killer.

The Fluval Edge 2 - 12 gallon model includes 42 LED bulbs—39 white and 3 deep blue bulbs.
You can turn on all the lights for full illumination or turn on only the blue bulbs to create a night-time moonlight effect. The LEDs create clear and natural-looking lighting that makes fish and plant colors look strikingly vibrant and the 7600k high luminosity LED's also suitable for aquatic plants.

Advanced - Hidden LED Lighting, Filtration & Wiring
The Fluval EDGE 2 consists of two main components working in perfect harmony: a clear glass aquarium nestled inside an elegant pedestal. The pedestal appears to be clasping the tank, making the aquarium appear like it is suspended in mid-air. The column houses the filter and the electrical wiring is neatly concealed inside the column.

Fluval EDGE 2 has a clear glass top that allows a clear and virtually unobstructed aerial view of the interior. The cover is completely sealed, which allows you to fill the aquarium right up to the brim, creating a spectacular effect.

Water evaporation is minimal. The unobtrusive pedestal structure and the clear top allow a great all-around view. Instead of a traditional canopy, there is a small cover at the top that houses the lighting. The LED lighting, filtration & wiring on Fluval EDGE 2 is easily hidden away in the décorative column

Fluval EDGE 2 Power Filter
Fluval Edge 2 Power Filter

The Fluval EDGE 2 comes with a Fluval Power Filter, which is hidden from view inside the pedestal column. The power filter keeps the aquarium water clean. Powerful and easy to use Edge filter with a quiet pump inside circulates the water. As the water flows through the Fluval filter, it flows through mechanical, chemical and biological filtering media, which skims and washes the water clean so that fish and plants can enjoy a clear and healthy environment. All required media is included.

Easy to assemble, easy to clean!
The Fluval Edge Aquarium takes only seconds to assemble and the perforated, removable cover effectively dissipates lamp heat, avoids moisture and allows easy access to the filter’s lift out media trays.

New Fluval Edge 2 Colors Available

The new Fluval Edge 2 now comes in a stunning gloss white finish that will blend perfectly with the latest home décor. Gloss black and Pewter (23L only) finishes are also available.

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FLuval EDGE 2 Videos

You can watch the video about Aquascaping tutorial with the new Fluval EDGE 2 46L model by George Farmer, an Aquascaping expert from the UK Aquatic Plant Society (UKAPS). To see how it turned out and to get some great aquascaping tips check out the video here:

The new Fluval Edge 2 - 12 gallon/46 liter Black aquarium set for sale.
>> Order Now for free delivery or pick up early January.
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Fluval FX5 External Canister Filter by Hagen

Monday, December 12, 2011
Fluval FX5 Filter
Fluval FX5 External Canister Filter by Hagen
With the Fluval FX5, you're getting way more than you asked for, for a fraction of the price! Get 60% off - See Price!

Fluval FX5 External Canister Filter by Hagen is a high performance, canister filter for aquariums up to 400 gallons. The Fluval FX5 A218 offers unparallel filtration power, maximum versatility and incredible control in fine-tuning water characteristics. Fluval FX5 Smart Pump Technology ensures a quiet, efficient operation. This self-priming system provides plug-in-and-start convenience. The multi-stage system allows you to stack filter media in the precise combination of layers that will work best for your planted aquarium. This Fluval FX5 filter will provide you infinite flexibility in creating and maintaining the ideal environment for your fish and plants.

The Fluval FX5's massive capacity and powerful integrated motor processes and recirculates 563 gallons of water every hour, enabling you to precisely manage water conditions for aquariums as large as 400 gallons. It will hold up to 1.5 gallons of media, yet it's compact enough fit under almost any aquarium cabinet.

The Fluval FX5 Filter siphons water and suspended debris through its clog-proof intake strainer, and then sends it through three levels of foam, which traps most particulate matter. The powerful pump then sends it through the multiple levels of media for the cleaning and processing sequence. As water flows back into the aquarium the flared design of the adjustable output nozzle disperses it in multiple directions, agitating the water and creating currents that help break down wastes and prevent them from settling. The Fluval FX5 ensures a continuous flow of pure, precisely treated water.

Fluval FX5 A218 Key Features

Fluval FX5 External Canister Filter was designed with Fluval’s unique Smart Pump technology. Here are some of the Fluval FX5 key features that make this canister filter become the absolute Best filter ever...

FX5 Fluval AquaStop valves
AquaStop Valves
The AquaStop valves make maintenance easy by allowing you to stop the water flow with an easy 90-degree turn of the valve lever. This means you can separate the hosing from the FX5 filter in one step. The valve lever can also be used to regulate water flow with no harm to the motor or its components. Three valves are provided: one for the intake, one for the output and one to be used to drain the filter under certain circumstances during the maintenance process.

Clog-Proof Intake Strainer
The wide, rounded mouth of the FX5 intake strainer is shaped to siphon water quickly. Covered by a fine screen that’s beveled to repel debris, it is virtually clog-proof, so there is never a build-up of solids that could impede water flow.

Self-Priming Instant-Start System
With the FX5, there’s never any need for manual siphoning. Simply fill the canister filter with 2 gallons of water, plug the filter in, then the filter will complete the filling process from your aquarium. It pumps for 2 minutes, pauses for 2 minutes to evacuate air then restarts immediately.

Purge Valve
The FX5 canister filter features a purge valve drain at its base. This makes it possible for you to empty the canister for maintenance before moving it.

The Fluval FX5’s superior performance and capability are backed by Fluval’s well-earned reputation for the best fish and aquarium care. Hagen Aquatic Research Station certification is your assurance of the most up-to-date and reliable research in aqua-care science. The use of the Fluval FX5 will help provide your fish with the aquatic home they deserve. *The FX5 helps meet the desired objectives of any aquarium. For the best performance, the Fluval FX5 Filter should be placed completely beneath the aquarium.

Lift-Out Stack of Media Baskets
The lift-out stack of media baskets is at the heart of Fluval multistage filtration. These large capacity baskets enable you to stack filtration media in the precise combination of layers that will work best for your aquarium. Use one type of media in each basket, or layer two or three types to suit your aquariums needs. Each basket is lined with a foam insert for effective mechanical pre-filtering. The instant-release T-handles let you lift, then separate the basket stack quickly and easily, making routine maintenance simple.

Multi-Directional Output Nozzle
The flared spout of the adjustable twin output nozzles sends multiple streams of purified water toward all corners of the aquarium, creating currents that agitate the water to break down wastes and help hold them in suspension until they can be drawn into the filter by the intake strainer. With more waste solids kept afloat, fewer settle, which means that bottom surfaces, and in fact the entire aquarium, is kept cleaner.

SMART PUMP™ Technology
Designed and engineered for reliable filtration of delicately balanced aquarium environments, FX5 Fluval's Smart Pump technology employs an electronic circuit board to continually monitor the pump. Impeller speed and force are constantly measured to ensure powerful output and energy efficiency. Smart Pump technology is also critical in evacuating any air that may build up in the system. Once every 24 hours, the filter will pause and allow any trapped air to escape, thus maintaining maximum filtration efficiency.

Fluval FX5 Canister Filter Specifications

  • Wattages 230-240V/50Hz: 48W
  • Wattages 120V/60Hz: 50W
  • Biological Volume: 1.5 gallons, 5.9 L
  • Pump Output: 925 gallons/hour
  • Head Height (max.): 10.8ft
  • Filter Circulation*: 563 gallons/hour
  • Filtration Volume: 5.28 gallons, 20 L
  • Aquarium Capacity: 400 gallons 1,500 liters
  • Mechanical Area (Foam): 325.5 in.2 2,100 cm2
*Note: Flow rates were measured with intake and output hoses of the same length and without media.

FLUVAL FX5 Filter Media Options

Fluval FX5 Media Option
  • Fluval Polishing Pad – Screens out fine particulates
  • Fluval Ammonia Remover – Effectively removes ammonia before it can harm fish.
  • Fluval Foam – Effectively traps and retains solid waste and particulates, allow biological and chemical media to function better.
  • BioMax – Porous ceramic rings that provide a huge surface area for beneficial bacteria to colonize.
  • Fluval Carbon – Research-grade carbon removes colors, odors and toxins from water.

Fluval FX5 External Canister Filter Review

The Fluval FX5 A218 canister filter is a great aquarium filter but requires regular cleaning - every 1-3 months full filter clean. However, you don't need to replace all of the media each time you clean the filter which can get really expensive.

A few things to note on Fluval FX5 External Canister Filter :

The Fx5 filter has incredible suction, it's made for a 400 gallon tank. Do not place aquarium plants or bubble makers anywhere near it or it will suck the plants against and in and the bubbles up that will make your filter noisy.

If you are breeding anything in your tank, expect to find babies in the filter. Thin skinny fish like loaches may be sucked up into the filter if they can't swim fast enough so you may want to put a breeding basket around it to keep them away but not hinder the filter intake.

The FX5 filter, when full of media and water is heavy but not too bad. It weighs around 40-50 lbs depending on your media. The filter media of Fluval A218 FX5 canister filter is expensive, but you can make your own rough filter pads (open hole filled black filter media), and carbon bags much cheaper than buying the premade media. However, the rest you'll want to buy real "Fluval parts" - Search for best prices »

Remember to fill it until it's about 1-1.5" from the top before attaching to to the hoses. You don't want the FX5 filter to have to work too hard to finish filling. It is self priming but needs that much help to make it work effectively.

If you hear it struggling after you hook it up (and you added enough water) it's because there's too much air in the system, turn it off, wait about 15 seconds, turn it back on. You'll see a huge mass of bubbles come out then it will work fine.

Remember to open the valves once you have it hooked up to the hoses - before plugging it in. Overall the Fluval FX5 is a highly recommended External Canister Filter for planted aquarium and any tanks 100 gallons and greater.

Fluval FX5 Sale and Best Price
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Best Freshwater Fish for Aquarium Aquascaping

Thursday, October 20, 2011
Best Freshwater Fish for Aquarium AquascapeThere are thousands of freshwater fish species in the world, but not all types of fish suitable for acuascape aquarium. The best freshwater fish for aquarium aquascaping must meet several requirements.

In addition to general requirements such as the types of freshwater fish that are kept should be able to live in harmony, or other types of Tetras and Rasboras maintained in groups, there are also some special requirements; the fish that are kept does not include the aquatic plant eaters (herbivores), such as Gold fish, or types of cichlid that like digging sand.

Which fish are safe for a freshwater planted tank?

Most planted tanks are tropical, so I will list tropical fish you should avoid most large South American Cichlids - really only dwarfs, Discus, Keyholes, and a select few others will not eat plants. African Cichlids will also terrorize your plants.

Those fish who eat plants include headstanders, silver dollar, distichodus, leporinus, goldfish, butterfly goodeid, pacu, prochilodus, silver shark, tinfoil barb, severum, some African cichlids, oscars, plecos, bristlenose catfish. Some fish will eat any kind of plants, while others may prefer certain types like fine-leaved ones.

Many of the above mentioned fish grow to a large size, so imagine how much damage they can do in a planted tank.

Best Freshwater Fish for Planted Tank - Aquarium Aquascaping
There are those who can uproot plants by their digging and large size eg. African cichlids, large catfish. Aquarium plants with short roots and foreground/ground cover plants are most at risk. Digging fish such as Loaches, Catfish, and other burrowing species can be problematic as they often uproot plants, while herbivorous fish such as Silver Dollars and most species of Plecostomus will readily devour your plants. The best thing is to wait until your plants are established and well rooted before introducing large fish & bottom feeders.

Cichlids are commonly cited as fish to avoid in planted tanks, but there are exceptions, for example: Cockatoo (apisto cacatuoides), Jewel (only tough plants), Ram, Kribensis, Angelfish, Discus, Firemouth (hardy plants & protect roots eg plant in pots). Some African cichlid species can also live with plants but plants are not a natural and major feature in their habitat, so no point having plants (the high pH & hardness also doesn't suit most tropical plants).

Best Freshwater Fish for Aquarium Aquascaping
The best freshwater fish for planted aquarium with small / medium size tanks (<200 Liters) are the smaller ones like Tetras, Rasboras, most Barbs, Danios, Minnows, Gouramis, Dwarf Cichlids, Discus, Kuhli Loaches, Glass Catfish, Killifish, Rainbowfish, including freshwater Gobies and Blennies would all make great displays, and also those who can eat algae and scavenge in the substrate. There is a fish compatibility chart that also lists compatibility with plants by usually compatible, sometimes compatible and rarely compatible. This table will greatly help us in choosing the best freshwater fish for aquarium aquascaping.
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Basic Aquascaping Principles and Technique

Basic Aquascaping Principles and TechniqueIn recent years the term aquascaping has become better known by aquarists all over the world. The simple gathering of plants, beautiful stones and driftwood is no longer the goal of many aquarists. However, unlike the average freshwater aquarium, an aquascape takes much more time, planning, and research. The finished product is well worth the efforts.

For anyone that missed purchasing the AGA 2004 Convention DVD, or missed the convention itself, The big man from Japan, Takashi Amano had a couple of interesting lectures that are well worth buying the DVD for. The following are some notes on things from the DVD that really hit home for me, as found below. I've tried to separate those comments that I saw as his aquascaping principles, vs. those things that appeared be techniques he uses. It's kind of random, but I think it still may have some useful advice.


  1. Plant all groups in odd numbers.
  2. Fine leaved plants look best in the mid to back center of a tank, with heavier leaved plants toward the edges.
  3. Don't use red in the middle as they have a heavy, dark, feel.
  4. Dark leaves (red or dark green) look best toward back edges, with light colored leaves toward the center.
  5. Arrange plants and hardscape (rocks and wood) to provide good contrast of light and dark areas.
  6. Light colored sand provides good contrast to plants.
  7. When rocks are used, use multiple sizes, mixing large and small rocks, as in nature.
  8. Rock edges should generally be rounded.
  9. Hide your intentions with rocks. Allow plants to obscure them to some extent, maybe completely.
  10. Aquascapes with unplanted sand in front is a good alternative to the traditional “Nature Aquarium” style of all foreground covered with foreground plants.
  11. An attractive layout alternative is a slope up from near the middle up to the two back corners.

Takashi Amano - How is Made Nature Aquarium (1/2)


  1. Use cotton thread to attach Java moss to wood, or lava (pumice?) rocks.
  2. Moss on rocks is great for edge work, blending an open sandy area into a planted area.
  3. Use driftwood with moss, or large moss rocks, as something for background to grow over and cast shadows for good dark/light contrast areas.
  4. Wrap Anubias onto moss covered rocks using a plastic ties, and trim off almost all roots, for “rocked Anubias”.
  5. A rocked Anubias can be set right on sand, or moved around as desired. But initially face it slightly forward to hide roots. Later it will grow upward toward the light.
  6. Plan on putting crypts only in places with deep substrate.
  7. Use stem plants in even lengths with graduated height sets, descending from high to low, as the sets move toward the front or middle of the tank.
  8. Plant stems 2 or 3 at a time, in the same hole.
  9. A new tank should not be trimmed for 3 months.
  10. On first trimming, let stem plants grow to the top, and then trim to halfway point.
  11. Anubias and moss make great foreground plants as they take no trimming.
  12. Putting tubing (and or wires) that come into, or out of, the tank on the side makes it less visible to straight on viewing due to a “mirror” effect from side reflection.
  13. Creating a substrate with separate sand vs. soil areas can be accommodated by placing cardboard in the tanks where you want the boundaries between the two, and slowly filling in both sides until full. After adjusting any slope you might want in the sand or soil, and making sure that both sides are at the same height where they touch either side of the cardboard, the cardboard can be gently removed.
  14. Sloping substrate from front to back works better if something like drift wood is placed in the middle of the slope to keep substrate moving forward. Moss rocks also make a nice barrier serving the same purpose.
  15. If a substrate of separated soil and sand is used, driftwood and/or rocks can placed on the line between the two to cover or hide the separation point.
  16. Light shining up from the back bottom looks great! And will light any ripples on the surface from an angle beneath, highlighting them.
  17. For a really simple landscapes, use mossed pebbles around big central rocks.
  18. A fully mossed group of interwoven driftwood branches looks wonderful when it fills in. It will look almost solid, and if done correctly can give a sloping look from lower front to upper back, possibly also sloping low and toward the middle, and up toward back corners.

Takashi Amano - How is Made Nature Aquarium (2/2)

This principles and techniques are based on the style and ideas of the Nature Aquarium, AGA 2004 Convention DVD. It is allways a question of personal preferences on what type of aquascape you try to achieve. Many people just love those good looking japanese aquascapes, but they don´t feel able to achieve it. It is not a question of experience wether you can do it or not. It is no more difficult to have a beautiful Nature Aquarium than it is to have a normal tank. It is just the careful selection of plants and accessories that makes the difference. So many people just don´t have enough self confidence to try it. The aquascaping principles and technique will give you a very compact guideline. Follow the rules and you will achieve your goal.
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Freshwater Tropical Fish - Killifish

Sunday, October 16, 2011
Another best freshwater fish for aquarium and aquascaping enthusiasts is Killifish. The name "Killifish" is derived from the Dutch word "kilde", meaning small creek, and puddle. Most killies are small fish, from one to two inches, with the largest species growing to just under six inches. They comprise of a group of fishes of the family Cyprinodontidae and are commonly known as the egg laying tooth carps, cousins to live-bearing fish such as mollies and guppies. Like their live-bearing counterparts, killifish are usually mosquito larvae eaters. There are about 350 species of killifish found within the equatorial belts throughout the world and in practically all regions except Australasia. Many killifish species are as brightly colored as salt-water fish and have incredible finnage.

In the wild most species of this best freshwater fish for aquarium are territorial by nature, the male defending his area against intrusion by other males. They mate with whichever females they can tempt into their territory. In the aquarium, it's best to keep a ratio of one male with two or three females. Killies are excellent jumpers so keep a closely fitting lid. In their natural environment most killifish live in soft and slightly acidic waters (pH 6.2-6.8) with temperature ranging from 22 to 26° C.

Killifish - Best Freshwater Fish for Aquarium
Killifish are divided into three general breeding groups of annuals, semi annuals, and non-annuals (plant spawners). In the wild, the annuals spawn every day, because in nature, when the pond dries up, the eggs go into a hibernation phase known as diapauses. When the pond fills with the rains from the next season (sometimes 6 months) the eggs hatch and it isn't long before the whole pond is filled with killifish.

Spawning of this best fish for aquarium is done every day, just in case in the next rainy season, the first rains are insufficient to fill the pool. By spawning daily (2-3 eggs or more), this ensures hatching times of the next generation of killies are thus spread out over time. Species of annual killifish therefore grow and mature quickly, so they can repeat the process before the ponds dry up again, between rainy seasons. Killifish that come from areas that are wet year round, such as streams, ponds, and swamps, tend to livelonger, some as many as 5 years or more.

Semi-annuals live in areas, which sometimes dry out to moist mud, but at other times retain water throughout the dry season. They are therefore substrate (in the mud, leaves, etc.) spawners and tend to live a little longer than the annual species of killifish. Semi-annual killifish can be water incubated, but also have higher hatching rates if allowed to be stored in moist peat for 30 -60 days. After this 'drying' period put the peat and eggs in water and within a few days’ baby fish hatches. Semi-annuals generally tend to be substrate spawners, meaning they will spawn in peat moss, Java Moss or in spawning mops placed at the bottom of the aquarium.

The non-annuals, such as the Aphyosemion genus species of this best freshwater fish for aquarium live in permanent bodies of water and, in some cases, will live for up to five years. These species, although there are some more difficult and require more to keep, breed, and raise species. The non-annuals, or plant spawners, can be bred using the spawning mop method for higher yield and with water incubation of the eggs. Most non-annual killifish eggs hatch on an average of 21 days or so.
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