5 tips for aquas­cap­ing a larger aquarium

Practical Fishkeeping (UK) - - Step By Step -

Plan the aquas­cape. This can be said for any aquas­cape but it’s more im­por­tant in a larger tank be­cause there’s a lot more room! Sketches are a good idea. Think about hard­scape and plant­ing — do you want to go for slow grow­ing species if you don’t have a lot of spare time to main­tain the tank?

Is the hard­scape big enough? So many times I see large tanks with small hard­scape that looks over­whelmed. In­vest in a good range of hard­scape and you can pick and choose the most suit­able pieces. Some spe­cial­ist shops have a dry aquarium ded­i­cated to prac­tic­ing hard­scape lay­outs.

Fig­ure out how you’re go­ing to per­form wa­ter changes. High-en­ergy planted tanks need as much as a 50% wa­ter change ev­ery week so make it easy for your­self if pos­si­ble. Rather than lug­ging buck­ets about, I pump my wa­ter di­rect from my mains us­ing a sub­mersible pump and a bucket that’s con­stantly be­ing filled. I add dechlo­ri­na­tor at the start.

Large shoals of small fish look great and be­have more nat­u­rally in a large aquarium. De­pend­ing on the style of aquas­cape a sin­gle species shoal can look stun­ning. They cre­ate less waste than large fish and con­se­quently al­gae is less of a risk.

In­vest in good qual­ity equip­ment. A large aquarium is a po­ten­tially ex­pen­sive pur­chase, so do it jus­tice by fit­ting it with good qual­ity ac­ces­sories that will last many years. I have a CO2 kit that’s been run­ning now for over 10 years. I’ve used cheaper kits that have failed in a year or so.

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