Sunday, September 3, 2017


For my birthday this year Carina got me an aquarium. This was something that I wanted for a long time. I spent a bit of time, before it arrived, thinking about how to set it up and which organisms to add. It is now 13 weeks after I set it up and I am very happy with how it looks.

Below is a video of the current state, the creatures in it, and the progress since the beginning.

One of the things that is not shown in the video is the way the large granite rocks are kept in place. I found these next to a bridge close to our house. After some scrubbing to get them clean, I left them in the sun for a few days. I built a "model" of the base of the tank to test some arrangements for the plants and rocks.
Planning the layout

After I found a suitable arrangement, I thought that it might be a bit risky to have the rocks stand upright without any support to keep them in this position. They weight approximately 5 kg and although they can stand on the gravel unassisted, it was not extremely stable if the tank needed to be moved.

I planned to have the base substrate and gravel approximately 10 cm deep. I made two perspex bases for the rocks that would be buried, to give additional support. These were epoxied to the rocks and left to cure for a few days.
Gluing the base to the rocks

The bases were designed in such a way that the rocks would be able to stand in the position I wanted, even without the support of the gravel. With everything in place they are very secure and I am not worried that they will fall over.
Rocks standing on their own - looks almost as if floating in the air

The setup of the tank was a lot of fun and in only a short while the plants seem to thrive. I had to trim them a few times already.
Setting up the tank, substrate for the plants, covered by gravel
Slowly adding water
Plants after only a few weeks 
A few more weeks
There was one week where the sun shone directly on the tank in the afternoon. I was not aware that this was happening and a small algae problem arose (during this time I was on holiday). After I noticed that this was happening I closed the curtains and the problem resolved itself (I did spend a bit of time cleaning the glass and also got 2 Netrite snails to help with the problem). Currently the sun does not shine through this window and the problem will only occur for 3 weeks, twice a year where I should remember to close the curtains in the afternoon.
The small algae problem

Recently I got a few Rams-horn snails from a friend, who also provided me with a lot of information on keeping fish and lending me several books to help me get going  - Thanks Per.

I am quite pleased with how this whole project turned out and slightly worried more aquariums may show up in our house in the future.


The tank is a Fluval Edge 46 liter. I use rainwater and tap water in a ratio of 2:1. This keeps the pH at approximately the right level but also ensure that there is few minerals in circulation. I do not add other chemicals and do a 15 % water change once a week.

- Chilly Rasbora - 7 (added first and the only inhabitants for approximately 4 weeks)
- Celestial Perl Danio's - 5
- Pygmy Corydoras - 5 (they are quite shy and tend to stay under the plants - they also find the hole to gulp air without any problem, I was worried about this at first but after a few days I think they learned where the hole is)
- Endler's Livebearers - 14 (I only got 5 BUT they spawned 3 times and now I have too many. Luckily this is easily remedied and I will sell/give away some of them soon)
- Cherry shrimp - 5
- Red onion snails - 2
- Rams-horn snails - many.

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