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Premium Member
2,096 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
50 Gallon Rimless by Orlando

Introduction and Background

Hello APC! I am Orlando Morales, the creator and keeper of the May tank of the month. I live in the growing university town of Gainesville, Florida with my wife, Laura, and co-inspirator of the represented aquarium. I started keeping aquariums at the young age of nine, while living with my family in Panama. Back then, aquarium keeping for me was more than an hobby, although I very much enjoyed it, my aquarium served a very important purpose. My father and I were avid fishermen and we used the aquarium as a bait holding tank, so the aquarium and it's creatures were constantly changing. I did, however, begin experimenting with aquatic plants in the aquarium during this time. I would bring swampy plants home from Gatun Lake in Panama, where we would Bass fish, and grow them in the aquarium, with some success. Nowadays, I spend my time finding inspiration from nature to help create my aquascapes. I often canoe the rivers of North Central Florida and enjoy viewing aquatic plants in their natural habitat.


Pictures of the Inspiration:

Lighting setup:

Shortly after setup:

One month:

Two months:

Latest pic:


Lighting: Tek 4x39w T5
Substrate: Ferka Aquabase
Filtration: Ehiem 2217
CO2:Choice Regulator 10LB cylinder 3BPS with Cal Aqua Labs In-line Diffuser


Monosolenium tenerum, Eleocharis species, Staurogyne species, Cyperus helferi, Bolbitis heudelotii, Microsorum pteropus, Taxiphyllum montagnei


Neocaridina denticulata sinensis, Caridina japonica, Hyphessobrycon amandae


Not much maintenance due to the list of slow growing plants. I do change 50% of the water every 2 weeks. I have developed a new trace from DIY and it seems to work well.


One of the biggest challenges with this tank was the slow growing plants I used. Starting a tank with slow growers can be a little difficult to get things balanced from the beginning. But somehow I lucked out with no issues of algae of any form. Good flow, good co2 and a little TLC can go a long way in planted tanks.

Final thoughts

I like to think of planted tanks as a small view of a world we don't get to see to often. Being able to create something like this out of man-made products is quite astonishing to me. I don't like to take anything too seriously when it comes to planted tanks. It's when folks tend to make things complicated that it should not be. That's when I think folks get distracted from focusing on what's important. Having fun doing what you love to do is what life is all about.

Lastly! Id like to thank everybody at APC for all your support and help along the way. APC is a true inspiration to us all in the planted tank hobby.

Kind Regards,

3,136 Posts
Best customer service AND an expert aquascaper >>> great looking tank.
Very nice work. I also like the pictures of your area.
Gee, all this time I thought you were Orlando Bloom. LOL

5,302 Posts
Hi orlando,

Nice job Orlando! It is an excellent size for aquascaping, is this one of the sapphire glass tanks? What bulbs are you using in your fixture?

1,074 Posts
Awesome scaping, Orlando!! Congrats

1,614 Posts
Thank you Carole and Veloth:)

I have let this tank go by the wayside and have started 3 new tanks that are in preparation for our 2 new Gallery rooms at GLA.

I will have a 48x24x24, also 36x18x18 and a 36x18x21

All of these tanks will take lots of time, but it will be fun as usual :)

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