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My nickname Quantronghoang is my name too. Or you can call me Hoang Quan. :) I'm 21 years old student studying at Hochiminh City University of Architecture. I live in Hochiminh City, Vietnam. I am a fat guy who likes rock music and drawing. A hah, you can find my artworks (2D and 3D) on my website.



How did I get into planted aquariums? Yep...must say that I love animals, all kinds of them, especially fish, and birds. I love to see fish swimming in an environment which is as green as possible. When I saw a planted aquarium for the first time I said to myself, "Oh, I must have one!". At that time, I was 15. Soon, I had to forget about it because I didn't have enough money to buy one..Yep, a planted aquarium...only in my dreams till I turned 18.

I found a website in which people showed me how to make a planted tank as cheap as I can set up. My first planted tank was complete DIY, but I was very proud of it. Although nowadays I have a lot of high-tech tanks, I'm still proud of my first tank :) . Anyway, four years passed by, not a very long time, but enough for me to learn "something" in this hobby.

The Tank
This tank is my third tank. You can read the process from the beginning in my thread: Wild Paradise


Dimension: 80x40x40cm.

Lighting
: There are two lights for the middle area and the background. Because I have only moss in the foreground, I don't need to use another light for them. Each of bulb is 25W and 90k. That's 50 watts of light. People may think the light source is too weak for this tank to grow up but I think it works well. In summer, Vietnam is very very HOT (around 35--36 oC). So we must be very careful when deciding to have add more light. I also use a little fan to make the water cooler. The fan looks like the fan in CPUs. With the fan, I can cool the tank's temperature to around 27--28oC in the tank.






C02 System
: I bought it from a local store. This is the picture of my Pressurized CO2 System. I use a Glass CO2 diffuser placed halfway down the tank.



Substrate: I use Aquabase from Ferka. Within the substrate I have three layers: The first layer is the gravel, the second is a mixture of graveland Aquabase, and the third level is gravel again.

Hardscape: I only used driftwood, I don't like using rock in my tank.

Filtration: Jebo 508 it's a bio-filter water-fall style. I think this filter is strong enough for my tank, but if I have enough money, I will use an external filter. :)

Fish: I don't keep too many fish, because I want this tank to have a "wild" feeling. I got rid of the fish that are bright and colorful like Neon Tetras. The fish that blends perfect with this layout are Rummy Noses, Emperor Tetras, and some of my native fishes. I also have some algae-eater fish, Ottos. They do their job very well.







Plants: There are a lot of different plants, as you can see in the tank. Here are some of my favorites:

Echinodorus tenellus
Ammania gracillis
Eusterallis stellata
ludwigia arcuata
Hygrophila polysperma
Nymphea sp.
Barclaya longifolia 'red
Glosso + moss + fern + anubias







Water changes: I do water changes twice a week during the first two weeks of set up. After that, I change water once a week, each time 1/3 of water.

Fertilization: Until now I didn't need to use liquid fertilizers. My plants seem to be in very good health. I may use Ferka Water fertilizer later this month. This fertilizer works well for all of my tanks.

Feeding: I feed my fish once a week.

Aquascaping Technique: I'm not the kind of guy that always plans for the layout, and then tries to find driftwood, rocks, plants etc. to fit with the layout. I get used to do my layouts with anything I have. That's a "free" feeling.

I had a hard time selecting driftwood from my friend. Some of my friends said, "The driftwood looks so stupid. You'll need to cut it into two pieces to fit the layout." But I did not agree with them. I decided to use some pictures I took during a trip in a forest to get inspiration to be able to scape this tank successfully. Now I think my decision was not wrong. I really love it. What a free and wild style!

My greatest challenge aquascaping this tank came from the driftwood. It's been out of the water long ago that it didn't sink when I put it in my tank. I didn't know it until my friend said, "Ough, Hoàng, look, it's floating!!". Oh my gosh, what a big surprise! I used a rock to hold the driftwood to sink it. After 4 weeks, I was able to the rock out..Phew!



Final Thoughts:
Aquascaping is a very interesting hobby. The aquascaper must be patient, and very very patient.
Some of the newcomers in this hobby may be afraid when they see algae growing in their tank after set up. I know that feeling. But believe me, they all soon disappear. I think every tank has some algae. The point here is the amount of it. I still have algae problem in my tank. To get rid of them I know that I must be patient but sometimes they make me go crazy.
 

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Beautiful tank. I could definitely see the free expression in the scape. I like the way the driftwood runs through it almost like a wave.

Interesting comment about the fish being feed once a week. I'm in the same camp and have reduced feeding to a pinch 3 times a week. I think this is very important to controlling waste and organics in the water. I think most small fish in planted aquaria pick on things things here and there and will not go hungry.

Well done!
 

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Beautiful tank Hoang.

Could you tell us more about your tank lights and your fan? I'm surprised you can have your tank temperature at 27/28 with an ambient temperature of 35-36! Would love to hear more about your lights and fan!
 

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Very beautyful! And I like to give free grow plants too.Wild life is best teacher, I think.
Best regards,dear far friend!
 
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