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Rainbow Forest by Jose Manuel Oliva Marco

My name is Jose Manuel Oliva Marco, I'm from Vall de Uxo a town in the province of Castellon (Spain). I have kept planted tanks since 1995. Due to my great passion for this hobby I decided to open a store devoted exclusively to aquascaping, and now I spend all of my time in this business.


The hardscape configuration is very basic. The substrate is an important part in all of my layouts, and I have been using Aquasoil Amazonia for many years. It is a very good substrate and I feel it has all the nutrients needed for proper growth of aquatic plants. The wood used in this layout is Old Premium Wood NA, the arrangement is designed to complement the plant species as the layout matures, it is a simple design and placement was easy. With Amazonia I also use Power Sand, since it is supposed to guarantee the optimal growth of bacteria responsible for breaking down organic matter to feed the plant roots.

To build the substrate I used all of these components : Penac P, Penac W, Bacter 100, Tourmaline BC, Clear Super, Power Sand and Aquasoil Amazonia.


-Aquarium 70x45x50(LxHxD)cm

-Lighting: ADA NAHM 1x150w +2X24WT5 6500º
T5 lighting at the beginning and end of the photoperiod (30 minutes)
HQI lighting for 9 hours​
-Filtration : Eheim 2217+ Sera 400 UV, Reactor Sera Flore 500

Water parameters and dosing

-Ph 6.5/7(at night aeration with Lily Pipe P-4), GH 6º, KH 2º, NO3 0, PO4 0, CO2 4 b/s.

Ferts: Daily 3 ml Brighty K + 3 ml Step 2, water change weekly 40% with ECA (20 drops).

My daily routine is very basic, I just add the fertilizer : ADA Brighty K and Step1; and also minor trimming of Rotala rotundifolia as needed, no more than a few minutes daily.

Weekly 40% water changes, of mostly RO water, because my local water supply has very high GH / KH values. At water change I also take the opportunity to perform the layout pruning if needed.

I clean the filters monthly. For convenience each filter can be cleaned separately with one week between each, so there is no big stress on the filter bacterial colony.


Ludwigia Brevipes, Ludwigia Arcuata, Lilaeopsis Brasilensis, Microsorum Narrow leaf, rotala Rotundifolia, Rotala Sp. Green, Cryptocoryne Wenditti Mi oya, Cryptocoryne Wenditti Tropica, Cryptocoryne Wenditti Green.


In this layout, I've selected species with a stocky body. I consider the fish a vital part in a layout; a good choice will make the end result better.

The selected species are:
Hyphesobrycon Sweglesi (Red Phantom), Hyphesobrycon Megalopterus (Black Phantom), Hyphesobrycon Amandae (Ambar Tetra ), Hyphesobrycon Flameus, Hyphesobrycon Herbertaxelrodi, Hyphesobrycon Roseus,Crossocheilus Siamensis.

Some species such as Hyphesobrycon Sweglesi and Hyphesobrycon Megalopterus, reproduce in this tank. I am pleased that the health of their environment is excellent, and the fish are happy in this tank. In the beginning of this layout I also added Nematobrycon Palmeri (Emperor Tetra), but his strong character was a serious incompatibility with the other inhabitants, and the size of the tank contributed to stress between specimens. Over the time, I decided to eliminate this fish from the tank.


This layout has been a great satisfaction for me, I had experienced some difficulty at first with plants such as Lilaeopsis brasiliensis which was slow to start, but now I´m very content with this tank. I am also pleased with my success at combining other plants with Rotala Rotundifolia in the layout. This Rotala has a rapid growth habit and involves frequent pruning.

The idea of the layout has been made in honor of Takashi Amano, who has contributed greatly to this hobby; and thanks to all my friends in the hobby for your attention and patience. Sometimes I can be impatient, but they are always there to encourage me and help me with everything I need.

Finally, thanks to APC for the opportunity to show my aquarium to the planted tank community.

Best Regards, Pepe.


45 Posts
hey hey the TOM is back

good job man
Thanks for the comment!!:p

yes it is, and we'll try to keep it active month to month.

thanks to Pepe for letting us feature his tank, and everybody - if you see an aquarium of an APC member that you think should be featured as tank of the month, nominate it in this thread :
Thanks for all Adam!!!:D, and many thanks to APC too for publishing this article.

Best Regards!!

45 Posts
beautiful tank. how did you get your R. rotundifolia to grow so straight and to not root out along stem sides?
Hi NursePlaty, the light is very important, in this case the Hqi and the intensive prune resulting essential.

Rotala Rotundifolia is a easy plant to cut and is very fast to grow after the prune, an intensive
prune is the method used.

With this method the plant grow compact and healthy.

Thanks for the comments.,,,,

Best Regards!!
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