Wednesday, February 20, 2013

JustAquatic Ideas: Aquarium setup for your home

So you have decided to setup your first aquarium. Maybe this will be an addition to your existing ones. Or you just wanted to get rid of the old ones and completely replace it with a better one. You're thinking of making it more creative. Probably you wanted to make it a beautiful masterpiece of your home. You have seen a lot of beautiful aquariums online but it cost you a lot of money. You know that there is something you can do to make it unique in your own way. But you are out of ideas.

We are giving you interesting aquarium setup to inspire you but are cost-effective and can be easily setup.

1. Nature style by Takashi Amano.

He is a Japanese photographer and aquarist and published popular books on aquascaping and freshwater aquarium plants and fish. The idea of this design is to create a miniature of natural landscapes and environment. The tank only contains selected stones and driftwood. There is one or two main stone placed near the center and some small ones are grouped near it.

For plants, limited colors the better and usually small leaves aquarium plants such as small aquatic ferns and Java moss are the best choice for this type of aquarium.

Minimalism is the key for this setup. To control the algae and to compliment the plants, we recommend Neocaridinia heteropoda and Caridina Multidentata.

You can check out Amano's portfolio for more interesting designs at

2. Dutch Aquarium style

This is one of the oldest style of of aquascaping.
Compare to the Nature style, Dutch Aquarium style focuses on arrangement of the plants on neat rows. Mostly, taller plants are place in the back portion and smaller plants in front. The beauty of this style is emphasized on colored plants creating terraces with different heights.

In this particular setup we recommend you to use plants that can easily be trimmed and goes with the other group of aquatic plants such as Limnophila aquatica. Alternanthera reineckii, Ammania gracilis and Rotala.

The colorful the plants you use the better. The most important thing to remember with this style is keep your plants well trimmed. Take a look on a well kept garden as your inspiration. As you notice in the sample image, the hardscape is usually not visible are not present. Play around with the color combination of each plants and you'll appreciate its beauty.

3. El Natural Style Planted Aquarium

This is probably the easiest to setup. This style is inspired and designed by Diana Walstad. Growing plants using natural light, potting soil and water is the focus of this technique.

The idea of this style is to create a well-designed planted aquarium without spending much of your money and time for maintenance. This consists of substrate using potting soil and gravel to hold and grow your plants and a few fish.

The key of this style for low in maintenance is the plants which cleans the water naturally. A powerhead is needed to provide air flow since there is no filters used in El Natural aquarium setup. Fish also contributes to the growth of plants by providing CO2 and fertilization for their waste. It is a good idea to position this aquarium where it can get a natural light from the sun.

Things to consider in setting up the El Natural Style Planted aquarium is you need to choose plants which require a good amount of light and fertilization for better growth. Also, few types of plants and fish needed to be considered in this setup. Using fish that require clean water is not recommended since the filtration may not be enough. Overall, this is the style that you wanted to setup if you don’t want to spend lots of money and maintenance but having a nice planted aquarium.

What is your favorite aquarium style and setup. Let us know by posting your comments below.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Just Aquatic Hobbyist Guide : 3 Easy to Grow Aquarium Plants

Having live plants will not only bring a stunning look to your aquarium. It will also bring immense benefits to your aquarium fish. Getting started on what plants to grow in your aquarium sometimes can be difficult. We’re here to help you. Here are three aquatic plants you can easily grow and start with.

1. Java Fern

The Microsorum Pteropus, better known as the Java Fern is an easy to maintain aquatic plant that grows relatively well and requires very little attention aside from some regular trimming, making it perfect for beginners. They grow to around 12 inches tall and have green, creeping rhizomes and fit anywhere in the aquarium

Java ferns are hardy and will do well when planted in either a moderately lighted area or in the shade. They do not require too much nutrients or CO2 for them to grow. These aquarium plants do not need to be buried in sand and are usually fixed to driftwood or rocks, which the roots envelope and cling on to. They are planted either in groups or as a single plant.

2. Java Moss

This is, as the name implies, a moss. It has no actual roots, but clings to driftwood and other aquarium structures via root-like growths called rhizoids. Java moss grows quickly, considering how little it needs, and can even live in a betta bowl or under a single incandescent bulb!.

If you plan to keep Java moss in a tank with a power filter, I recommend tying it to driftwood or other aquarium d├ęcor with fishing line or cotton thread (brown or dark green blend in well). Over time, the moss will begin to “adhere” to the structure it is tied to and will spread as it grows. You may prune it with a pair of scissors to keep it neat-looking. If you keep it in a bowl or a tank with an undergravel filter, you have the additional option of letting it float freely (if you do this when using a power filter, it will get sucked up against the intake and make a mess).

This is an excellent choice for a livebearer tank, as the fry will hide in and feed off of the moss until they are large enough to venture out into the rest of the tank.

3. Anubias

There are different kinds of Anubias such as Anubias Afzelli, Anubias Barteri, Anubias Nana, etc. Anubias tether the rhizome to a rock or bark and allow the roots to establish themselves. Simply ensure the Anubias are planted above the substrate with roots exposed.

With very limited pretentions in terms of light and water, Anubia Nana for example is ideal for everyone, from beginners to the most advanced lovers of anubias aquarium plants. An important aspect everyone should take into account, however, is that algae can appear on the leaves if the plant is not being taken care of properly. This involves positioning the plant in a less bright area and maintaining a constant level of PO4 in the water.

Most people have a different way to handle the demands of the plants. Some people might find it easy to handle particular plant type some find it difficult. You can try to mix different plants. I am sure you’ll find the best to suit your aquarium. You can start with 3 basic aquarium plants.