The first tank I ever set up myself , 30-odd years ago now, was a simple 60cm/two-foot community, complete with air-driven undergravel filtration and plants (modern aquascapers may gasp in horror, but that’s the way it was back then). To top it all, one of the first fish I bought for said two-footer was a Red-tailed black shark. Oh, how naive I was! Somehow I managed to get away with it and there was very little chasing — I must have had the most laid-back shark on the planet — but these days, of course, I know better, and my current RTBS resides in something three times that size.
But there are a lot of fish you can keep in a two foot tank — and there are many more species to choose from now than there were back then. It’s the perfect size for a community, biotope, aquascape — and great to set up for breeding something like dwarf cichlids. Turn to page 70 to discover our top 23 fish for a tank of this size, along with some great inspirational ideas and advice on setting up.
This issue also includes a personal favourite of mine — Chocolate gourami (page 56). I’m currently running a biotope set-up for a group of Vaillant’s chocolates and I’ve found them incredibly peaceful, graceful and very relaxing to watch.
Or why not set something up for one of the hottest coolwater fish out there at the moment? The Rainbow shiner is a technicolour beauty that’s peaceful, easy to keep and doesn’t need a heater. Believe me when I say this fish is red hot! Find out more on page 8.
Take advantage of the warmer weather and the forthcoming school holidays and head to the beach with a net and bucket for some family time. Rockpooling will keep the youngsters entertained, it’s educational — and best of all, it’s free! Take a look at what you can find on page 62.