NATURE IN THE AMAZON RIVER
Rena Aqualife Birch 120 cms x 50 cms Cabinet aquarium
XP 3 external power filter
Our shop display unit has been constructed using the above equipment and decor suggestions. The elegant, clean, lines of the aquarium and stand unit produces an impressive item of furniture to complement modern home decor. The impact of the design theme of an Amazonian jungle stream scene is clearly apparent. But it is the unseen essential items of equipment that creates the management of the system.
|Concealed in a cupboard of the cabinet is a Rena XP3 power filter to continually process the water through various filter mediums to keep the water chemistry within target parameters. Also concealed in a cupboard is the all-important Hydor NRG CO2 diffusion system to provide a measured, steady flow of carbon dioxide to ensure healthy growth of the natural living plants. (No air diffusion is used with this system). The type of substrate planting medium also plays an important part in ensuring the successful plant growth. This is lime-free German quartz with API Laterite. Hidden beneath the substrate is a Rena flexible heating cable, giving an even warmth to the substrate and the aquarium water above.|
|Tropical ìSpider woodî has been used for an additional decor item to contrast with the aquatic plants. The choice of decor in this type of aquarium respects the need to maintain optimum pH conditions.|
|The fish in our example are selected for their compatibility and non-interference with the delicate plant growth. They are: Discus, Bleeding heart tetras, Red nosed tetras, Cardinal Tetras, and Corydoras catfish. There is also a population of algae eating shrimps that together with the catfish perform a ìhouse-keepingî utility to keep the aquarium algae-free and to some extent detritus-free. The fish in our example are selected for their compatibility and non-interference with the delicate plant growth.|
Rena Aqualife Cherry 120 cms x 50 cms Cabinet aquarium
|Our shop unit example suggests how this clean-lined aquarium and cabinet might be set up with an entirely artificial decor theme. The main fish population is made up from various species of Rainbow fish, native to New Guinea and Australia. These Rainbow fish are complemented by Silver sharks to join them in mid-water, Clown loaches in the lower areas, and Golden panchax taking the surface area.|
|Concealed in a cupboard of the cabinet is a Rena XP3 power filter to continually process the water through various filter mediums to keep the water chemistry within target parameters. Two 300 watt heaters provide the essential steady water temperature. A Rena Air 400 Air pump supplies the ample air flow to keep the aquarium well oxygenated and distribute the temperature evenly throughout the panoramic scene. The black quartz substrate throws up the colours of the fish and artificial plants with its strong contrast. The same contrast impact between the substrate and the replica bamboo decor adds much to the overall startling effect.|
|The Rainbow fish are endemic to the Islands of Papua New Guinea and
Australia, some species occurring in both vast island countries. An
aeon ago those two countries were connected as one huge land mass that
have parted in the intervening time and now separated by the ocean. The
incidence of the same species of rainbow fish is just one part of the
clues to bear out this fact. In general Rainbow fish are among the
hardiest tropical fish and with few demands regarding water chemistry,
diet, etc. They are also long-lived and peaceful. It is a strange fact
that aquarium kept Rainbow fish outlive their wild cousins, simply
because they are allowed to grow old in the aquarium, whereas they
would be predated upon in the wild! Most of the Rainbow fish we see in
the aquarium hobby these days are farm bred and raised in the Far East
aquarium fish farms.
Rena Aqualife Beech 150 cms x 50 cms Cabinet aquarium
XP 3 external power filter
|Our display example of this impressive aquarium and cabinet uses a spectacular airplane wreck as its centre piece. The Rena Air 200 air pump supplies a constant stream of bubbles from the cockpit of the wreck both for effect and to aerate the water for the population of African Lake Cichlids.|
||Filtration is provided by a Rena XP 3 external power filter hidden away
in the cabinet below. The ocean-type substrate is Coral sand and Coral
gravel live aragonite reef sand more usually seen in tropical marine
aquariums, but chosen here in a freshwater environment simply for its
visual quality to replicate the sea bed. The rockwork is also natural
Ocean rock from tropical seas. The decorative artificial plants,
however, are not sea plants but selected for the effect required.
| The interesting feature of these lake fishes is their habit of
mouth-brooding their eggs and young. Eggs laid in a spawning site would
be far too vulnerable to predation in the comparatively barren natural
lake environment of these species. So the female lays her eggs as the
male releases sperm to fertilise them, and then takes up the sperm and
eggs into her mouth where the eggs develop and hatch. The fry remain
inside the extended throat ìbrood-pouchî, only venturing out to feed
when the parent fish deems it safe to do so. If danger threatens the
fry quickly return back into the sheltering mouth. As they grow they
leave to fend for themselves.
MANGROVE TO THE SEA
Rena Aqualife Birch 120 cms x 40 cms Cabinet aquarium
|This aquarium is known as a Brackish Water tank – the water being somewhere between freshwater and seawater. The inhabiting fish can survive in either extreme environments, or happily in the ìbetweenî brackish conditions.|
| The filtration is provided by the Rena XP 3 external power filter, and aeration is taken from a Rena Air 300 air pump. The substrate is part Silver sand and part Coral gravel, to illustrate the change from brackish water to seawater conditions – ìMangrove to Oceanì. Spider wood is used in the brackish theme end of the aquascene, while Natureís Form replica coral rock and artificial corals theme the seawater end.
There are a number of aquarium fish suited to this brackish water type of environment, and the Green and Tiger Scats are among the most popular of these. The Monos, or Malayan Angelfish, are also well suited to any of the three distinct water conditions, fresh, brackish, or sea. The Target fish need to have enough space that they are not tempted to worry the other species with their natural territorial demands. For success with these species we recommend that a substantial part of their diet should be made up of defrosted frozen foods to maintain good health and reduce bullying problems that might arise.
|Brackish water fish provide the possibility to maintain some species that contrast with both the general run of tropical freshwater and tropical marine fish, and have their own particular attraction. Other species may be taken from some of the Tetraodon species of Puffer fish, Archer fish, Bumblebee gobies, Half beaks, Needle fish, and an number of other less frequently available fish.|
Rena Aqualife Classic 120 cms x 40 cms Cabinet aquarium
XP 2 external power filter
The clean lines of this Aqualife aquarium and cabinet stand suit it to most living room or other prime site locations. The decor we have used in this example is an artificial reef rock background, with natural plants chosen for their hardiness and adaptability and withstand the boisterous habits of the fish collection.
|Out of sight in the cupboard of the cabinet stand is a Rena XP 2 external filter continuously filtering and conditioning the water to help maintain optimum chemistry and condition. The ornamental air releases are operated by a Rena Air 300 air pump. The major rockwork is made up from Algarde artificial Reef rock standing on Canterbury grit substrate.
The fish have been chosen from a selection of the more rugged species that will generally live well with each other, able to fend for themselves when necessary.
|Foremost in the fish population are the Tiger Barbs. This attractive and strikingly marked fish has been developed into a number of colour strains, represented here by natural, green, and golden varieties. The species has a reputation of being a fin nipper and generally guilty of harassing other fish in the community. But keeping a number of Tiger Barbs together concentrates their energies on chasing and playing with each other, largely leaving the other fish alone. The other fish in this collection are various Trichogaster gourami species in a variety of colours, blue, golden, sky-blue, pearly spotted. One ìstrangerî is the Pink kissing gourami, belonging to a different family altogether. All of these fish are hardy and undemanding, so easy to keep and care for. Good and adequate feeding is essential for maintaining peace and community living for these species. The tough nature of the plant leaves helps to protect them from the risk of undue attention from browsing or destructive fish in the community.|
ROMAN STATUES CLASSIC
Rena Panorama 120 Cabinet aquarium
XP 2 external power filter
The bow fronted glass of this aquarium lends that touch of class to the aquarium and cabinet stand combination that is already a truly classic design. For our example of setting it up as a themed aquascene we have taken that ìclassicî label a step further and created the Neo-Roman decor arrangement. Some bigger and more rugged fish have been used in our example, and suit the environment they complement so well.
|An external Rena XP 2 power filter continuously processes the aquarium water, passing it through several filter mediums to ensure optimum water quality. A Rena Air 300 air pump delivers the diffused air supply. The strikingly coloured base covering material is Ultrastone marine-blue gravel. The powerful blue of that gravel contrasts strongly with the stark-white of the Romanesque decor pieces. Some artificial plant pieces are set out here and there to relieve the blue-and-white prominence.|
|Among the fish selection we have chosen Parrot cichlids – a man-made variety with an uncertain pedigree! This strange fish appeared in the Far East hobby some years ago now, but until now nobody seems to know how the strain was developed, or admit to being its creator. There are even tail-less strains being produced for the Far east market where such hideous fish are considered to be special. The other fish are entirely natureís product and not changed by commercial breeding in any respect. They are: Silver Dollars, Panther catfish, and Black-and-white tailed hemiodus. The fish and decor are well suited to each other, as the Silver dollars would eat natural plants, the Parrot cichlids would most likely pull the plants apart, the energetic and restless Panther catfish are liable to upset more sedate species requiring a quiet and peaceful life!|
SUNKEN IN THE AMAZON
Juwel Rio 400 Cabinet aquarium
Juwel internal filter
|A BIG aquarium with a BIG theme! This modern take on the old and vastly more modest aquarium ornamental shipwreck idea presents a spectacular three-part model wreck scene that needs the bigger aquarium to accommodate it and allow its take-over as a centre piece and conversation topic. Set within the panoramic proportions of this large aquarium the dominating shipwreck centrepiece provides immediate impact. We have chosen just two species of fish to complement the decor.|
| An internal filter comes as part of the package with the Juwel range of
aquariums, but for maximum efficiency we have added a Rena XP 4
external filter to this example. A Rena Air 400 air pump provides the
constant aeration for the aquarium.
| The 3-part Shipwreck has been
carefully crafted as a quality casting and is well suited to be encased
within the clean lines of the aquarium and cabinet. The substrate is an
attractive Lime-free German quartz which sets off the wreck pieces very
well. The additional Aquel simulated rock and associated artificial
plants go together well to finish off the creation of the scene.
|The fish chosen for this example are restricted to just two species, Angelfish and Rosy Tetras. It needs to be borne in mind that the number of angelfish we have on display here would be excessive for the size of the aquarium should they all live to become adults, and if you copy this idea you need to be aware of this factor. There would be a need to either dispose of some as they mature to other fishkeepers or have the facility to re-house them in other aquariums.|
|However, our choice here is just a suggestion, and there are plenty of other species to choose from that would flourish in such a set-up. With a big aquascene such as this there is much food for thought as to how you might set it up to suit your taste, and a chance to use your imagination to create an amazing living picture.|
STONY CORAL REEF
Juwel Rio 300 Cabinet aquarium
Standard Juwel internal filter and Juwel heater
|Caring for hard or stony corals needs specialised set-ups for success. This Rio 300 aquarium and cabinet stand has been set up with a range of equipment that makes the project possible. In this installation we have domestically cultured corals that are far from their native tropical seas, where they would be bathed in sunlight, or strong daylight, for much of their lives in nature. A set-up like this reproduces the vital elements of those conditions, allowing the fishkeeper to successfully keep, cultivate, and grow stony corals in aquarium conditions.|
|The internal standard filter whilst useful, is far from sufficient to operate alone in this type of installation. So the additional Rena XP 4 power filter is added as a source of biological filtration, while the Rena XP 3 power filter is set up to provide mechanical filtration. A Vectron ultra-violet steriliser 400 exposes the aquarium water to ultra-violet radiation and controls the proliferation of bacteria and suspended algae forms. A V2 Calcium reactor 600 maintains an essential balance of calcium to the water chemistry – calcium from which the coral builds its skeleton as it grows. The V2 Protein skimmer 600 skims off the yellow protein material as a scum from the aquarium water that passes through it – essential to maintain the bright clean appearance of the seawater.|
| A TC Chiller unit is needed to ensure the water temperature does not
rise to a toxic level at any time during hot weather spells. A natural
coral gravel is used as substrate and imparts its value as an
additional medium in which nitrifying bacteria can cultivate as well as
that in the filtering system. The all-important lighting is provided by
two I-Bar T.5 lighting rigs of 3 white tubes and 2 blue tubes creating
a light spectrum essential to the long term well-being of the hard
corals during their development.
WILDS OF AFRICA
Juwel Vision 180 Cabinet aquarium
Juwel internal filter
|A stylish bow fronted aquarium and matching cabinet stand. The aquarium
incorporates the Rena standard internal filtering system. In this
example we have complemented this by adding an external power filter
for optimum filtering efficiency. The bow front glass gives the fish a
slightly enlarged appearance and brings the whole aquascene out into
the room. This example has been designed around an African theme, with
African fish swimming among African aquatic plants.
|The two filtering systems used in this aquarium are both kept out of sight. The internal Juwel system filter is built-into the back of the aquarium while the Rena XP3 external power filter is hidden away in one of the cupboards in the cabinet stand below. The air supply comes from a Rena Air 200 air pump. White sand is used for a scattering of substrate on the bottom, and a large piece of natural bogwood stands on it, reaching up to the surface of the aquarium. Anubias plants are set among the niches formed in the bogwood. This highly adaptable plant needs nothing more than the bogwood surface to attach to for its well-being, and if the light level is low it is able to continue to flourish even so.|
|For the fish collection we have taken all African species to properly continue the African theme of the decor. Long finned characins, Red eyed Characins, and Congo tetras (or Salmon) are joined with Rainbow cichlids (or Kribs), Three striped catfish, Reed fish, Longnose elephant fish, and Upside-down catfish, forming a compatible collection – although not all from the same part of the vast African continent.|
|The Congo tetra was once a very rare and much sought after fish for the aquarium hobby, but by now they are entirely aquarium raised fish which are not only very much cheaper than the wild caught stocks, but also much hardier. In ideal front lighting situations the metallic colouring is superb.|
Juwel Vision 260 Cabinet aquarium
Juwel internal filter
|This bow fronted aquarium has a smart appearance to allow it to be sited anywhere in the home. Although the fish are fancy goldfish varieties and theoretically could be kept unheated we recommend that a thermostatically controlled heater set at a moderate temperature should be incorporated to ensure an even and stable level of warmth for the aquarium – about 21 degrees F. The use of the additional Tetratec power filter along with the built-in unit is particularly important when housing goldfish varieties, as the amount of waste faecal matter from such big eaters needs an adequate filtering system to cope properly.|
|In our example we have chosen Algarde replica mangrove roots set on Dorset pea gravel and colourful artificial plants, as goldfish will inevitably eat any natural plants or pull apart any you might provide.|
|The Fancy goldfish varieties become very knowing pets and get to recognise and respond to those who feed them regularly. The twin-tailed varieties are generally better suited to aquarium life as they are slower moving and have a reduced metabolism than their more active single tailed cousins. But be aware that the round bodied fancy varieties may be very susceptible to bladder derangement if fed exclusively on dried foods. The internal organs of the fish are contained within that globular body and if dry food is ingested and assimilates water and swells, this can cause pressure on the swim bladder and result in its malfunction, sometimes permanently. In this condition the fish will either float at the surface unable to get down without extreme effort, or more often it will sink to the bottom of the aquarium unable to achieve buoyancy to swim naturally. With proper care goldfish will live very long lives indeed, and give lots of pleasure to their keepers with their responsive nature seemingly making a connection between the two, albeit driven by food rewards!|
Juwel Lido 120 Cabinet aquarium
Standard Juwel internal filter and Juwel heater
|This aquarium and cabinet stand is ideal for situations where there is limited space to site a fish tank. The example we are showing here takes a bold approach with the brightly coloured artificial corals and plants backed by artificial rock formations. The single integral Juwel internal filter system is entirely adequate for the sort of fish collection demonstrated here.|
Also hidden away in the cupboard below is the Rena Air 400 air pump
that connects to the Flexi air diffuser concealed beneath the
substrate. The substrate is a Multi-coloured Lime Free gravel with
strongly contrasting colours to suit the bright theme of the other
|The plastic ìrockî is formed from pieces of the Interpet range
of Stack-a-rock formations that give much flexibility in planning the
structure required to suit a particular aquarium. The brightly coloured
synthetic corals and ìWrigglesî Octopus and Lobster are from the Azoo
|One of the delights of this sort of aquarium with its nooks and niches, populated with some livebearing fish, and no would-be major predators, is the occasional appearance of baby fish. Although the Platy fish in this example will produce quite a number of babies from time to time they will also eat many of them, leaving only the few clever ones that found a secure hiding place to grow up in until they were larger than ìmouth sizeî and no longer at risk from being eaten by the parent fish.|
|It is always a wonderful experience to witness the mother livebearing
fish giving birth to their tiny babies, and watch those that survive
grow and develop colouring and eventually determine their sex. But
always be careful not to allow repeated births and consequent build-up
of an excessive population of fish produced in this way as the
limitations regarding the capacity of the aquarium might be exceeded
with dire results from overcrowding. Be prepared to give away to
friends some of your home-reared fish rather than risk fouling the
system through holding on to too many fish.
Juwel Trigon 350 Cabinet aquarium
Juwel internal filter and Juwel heater
|This fascinating marine aquarium is set up to replicate a beautiful natural -looking coral reef environment. The supporting system is quite high-tec out of necessity to ensure the success of the living corals and stability required for the well-being of both the corals and the fish. To that end the equipment requires the addition of a Techo chiller TC10 unit to take over from the heater to cool the water temperature when it threatens to rise to a level that the corals cannot tolerate for more than a very short time.|
| The array of filtering devices is just a part of the equipment
essential to the success of this reef tank. An integral Juwel Internal
Filter is useful but needs the addition of the two Eheim external power
filters to achieve the desired goal of perfect water chemistry. There
are two of these in use, A Pro2 model 2028 and a Wet & Dry model
2229. In order to keep the water temperature from rising to a
dangerous level in hot weather or from the lighting and electric motors
the Techo chiller TC10 is an essential item of equipment. We have
removed the cabinet doors to show you the external power filters and
the chiller unit stowed below the aquarium. The lighting has been
changed to ZooMed tubes which are Ultra Sun, Reef Sun, and Ocean Sun.
|The use of natural coral sand, containing algal oolites for maximum nitrobacter activity, and Calceus ocean rock, known in the hobby as ìLiving Rockî, which also harbours more of those same nitrobacter, are all parts of the elements that combine to harbour and culture unseen masses of the all-important nitrifying bacteria that do so much to control the stability of the seawaterís chemistry, necessary for the long-term health of all the oceanic life within the tropical marine reef aquarium. Remember, corals are living animals and not vegetable as some often believe. Like any animal life they have specialised needs for their well-being to thrive and grow.|
Juwel Rekord 70 Cabinet Aquarium
Juwel internal filter and Juwel heater
|The example shown here of a smaller brackish water aquarium is based on a relatively simple construction with basic equipment. The aquarium comes with the built-in standard Juwel internal filtering system, which is adequate for this particular set-up style. (An additional external power filter could be fitted if required – eg. if a larger collection of fish was envisaged).|
|| The diffused air is supplied by a Rena air 50 air pump. The substrate
used here is natural Coral Sand which does more than just provide a
decorative effect, as it contains algal oolites that host the myriads
of unseen nitrobacter that help to control the nitrifying processes
that occur naturally in the aquarium.
| The decor is largely made up from
natural Lava Rock which is harvested from volcanic areas of the world.
The replica Sea Shells are modelled on actual species of shellfish
found in tropical seas. Artificial plants are used because natural
growing aquatic plants would not tolerate the salt content of the
|In nature the Spotted Puffer fish may be found in various water conditions, from entirely fresh to full strength seawater. But their preferred habitat is undoubtedly the brackish ìin-betweenî watery world. One feature of these puffer fish that makes them desirable for some aquarium conditions is that with their sharp beak-like teeth they will crunch up the shells of water snails to eat them.|
|An efficient and natural way to rid an aquarium of a snail infestation. However, that sharp beak can also be used to nip the fins of other fish so companion fish must be chosen with care. These Tetraodon species of puffer fish need special consideration for their diet. Proprietory brands of dry fish food will be largely ignored. Defrosted frozen foods, however, are ideal, and live foods may be regarded as a special treat. Regular adequate feeding is very important to ensure aggression between the community is minimal or even eliminated.|
Juwel Rekord 96 Cabinet Aquarium
Juwel internal filter and Juwel heater
| The clean modern lines of the Rekord range of Juwel aquariums are easy to appreciate as seen in this panoramic style of aquarium and cabinet.
The example shown here takes a bold, if unusual, theme with the Blue Moon lighting that is more often encountered as an added spectrum for marine invertebrate aquarium lighting. Artificial Sea fans and Sea Whips used as the primary decor in this setting are more theme ideas borrowed from the marine environment. However, this is a freshwater aquarium with popular species of tropical freshwater fish.
|A Rena Air 300 air pump supplies the air piped to the Aquamist 12î airstone diffuser producing the ribbon of bubbles. The substrate is White lime-free gravel and the added decor items are the striking Blue Glass ìstonesî. Filtration is provided by an integral standard Juwel internal power filter.|
|Of the three species of fish used in this example it is interesting to note that we have Red Serpae Tetras long finned varieties of Black Widow and Zebra Danios. Not entirely without justification the Serpae tetras are often regarded as ìfin nippersî that generally harass the other fish in the community. But here you can see even long finned fish that would normally be regarded as too much at risk to be in the company of the Serpae Tetras, living peacefully together without fins being damaged. The reason for this is that the fish are well fed on a good variety of nourishing foods. So the lack in the diet that usually is at the root of fin nipping habits is not a factor here.|
|The convenience of relying on just the two or three times-a-day pinch
of dried food without the occasional treat of some satisfying
complementary food item can often result in the fin nipping vice.
Frozen foods fill this requirement of completing the diet very well –
and it is convenient too – just break off a piece, or pop out a cube!
Juwel Rekord 120 Cabinet Aquarium
Juwel internal filter and Juwel heater
|At just a touch over a metre long the Rekord 120 is the largest of the Juwel Rekord range of aquariums with cabinet. The example shown here is set up themed as an Ancient Egyptian scene, utilising many of the ornamental decor pieces with this emphasis that we stock.|
|The Juwel integral internal power filter is supported by the addition of an Eheim 2213 external Power Filter for optimum filtering efficiency. A Rena Air 300 air pump very competently copes with the air requirement for the aquariumís needs. The substrate is Quartz Sand that fits comfortably with the Egyptian theme. Artificial plants have been used in the aquascene to add some colour and interest to the overall effect.|
|Firemouth Cichlids and Bengal Danios are the two fish species used in the aquarium. The Firemouth cichlid is one of the most spectacularly coloured aquarium fish when it displays in full colour, showing off to a prospective mate or warding off a would-be aggressor. On such occasions they project a brilliant scarlet ìruffî from the gills in this display mode, and sequin-like scales sparkle from their bodies.|
|The word ìCichlidî is very often automatically and wrongly associated
with aggression by many fishkeepers. But actually the Firemouth, for
all its bluster when displaying, is normally a very peaceful fish and
not deserving of such a reputation.
| The Bengal Danio (Danio devario), being a robust and active fish, makes a suitable companion for the Firemouth. There are a few other of the larger ìDaniosî that could equally as well fill this role of living alongside the Firemouth cichlid. Bangal Danios are not demanding of any special conditions, and are very adaptable as far as water chemistry and diet are concerned.
If you plan to construct this kind of theme for your home aquarium be prepared for visitors taking a new interest in your aquarium!
Juwel Rio 125 Cabinet Aquarium
Juwel internal filter
|At 81 cms long the Juwel Rio 125 aquarium and cabinet will suit many situations where a larger aquarium is not possible, and as shown in this example it can look very attractive. The fish collection is an assortment of tetras, rasboras, gouramis, catfish, etc. comprising a community of smaller fish. The Black Quartz rockwork is stacked to form an attractive backdrop of rocky strata, set off by just one type of growing, natural Java fern plant. The substrate chosen is an interesting ìSalt and Pepperî quartz, that goes well with the rockwork. The two Aquamist airstones add a nice decorative touch as well as keeping the water aerated and the heat evenly distributed throughout the aquarium.|
| Among the fish chosen for this example we have included the strange but quietly beautiful Phantom Glass Catfish that you will see hovering in midwater, unlike most other catfish species, with their long whiskers trailing down from the mouth. The glass-like body will reflect rainbow spectral colours when the light catches them at the right angle. But otherwise they are glass-clear, and show the bones of their skeleton.
The bright sky-blue fish are a colour variety of the Dwarf Gourami. This beautiful little Indian fish has been developed for a number of colour varieties in the Far East fish farms over the past few years. It is often debated among fish keepers as to whether these new varieties – stunningly beautiful though they are – can be regarded as an improvement on natureís creation of the original fish. The naturally-occurring Dwarf Gourami male has to be among the most beautiful of any fish. When the species is breeding and the male has constructed his bubble-nest at the surface to tempt the female to spawn, his colouring becomes even more intense and truly spectacularly beautiful.
Juwel Rio 180 Cabinet Aquarium
Juwel internal filter
|The scope afforded by the dimensions of this Juwel Rio 180 Aquarium
is generous enough to allow your imagination to design a very attractive aquascape. In this example we have taken the fascinating and mysterious statues from Easter Island as our theme.
| The substrate is Mini Reefís ìAccentsî and makes a suitable base for
the ornamental decor set up on it. The background is constructed from
Classic Strata Rock which has a very natural appearance but has
interesting features in its formations. Artificial plants are used to
brighten the stark effect of the stonework of both the background and
the prime decor pieces of the traditional Easter Island statue forms.
|Filtration is provided by two units, one being the integral Juwel filter built into the aquarium, and the other being the Rena XP2 external power filter housed in the cabinet below. The fish are various varieties of the Sailfin Molly. Even the wild Green Sailfin Molly has the spectacular spread of dorsal fin that gives the species its popular name, and is not something that has been developed by selective breeding. But selective breeding certainly has played a big part in the development of many different colour forms of this impressive fish. It is the male that carries the huge spread of dorsal fin, and it is best seen when displaying to a female, which it does for most of its waking hours! The Molly fish are among the most persistent courtship fish species among the various livebearers, so the display is frequently witnessed by the fishkeeper. But not only does he use this feature to court the females, but also uses it to present a much larger animal than he actually is to deter competing or interfering males from making their advances into his domain and sidetrack his females. (Mollies will do better when a modest amount of salt is added to the freshwater, creating a light brackish density).|
Juwel Rio 240 Cabinet Aquarium
Juwel internal filter
|A BIG theme for a BIG aquarium! This aquascene is a bold interpretation of a desert scene with cactus plants and animal skeleton remains as the main subject material. All of this is set out within the expanse of the BIG Juwel Rio 240 Aquarium and Cabinet. An impressive aquarium with an impressive and imaginative aquascene to match.|
|A standard Juwel internal power filter is incorporated into the design. To complete the maximum efficiency of the filtering requirement a Rena XP3 External power filter has been installed as well. A Rena Air 400 air pump is concealed in the cabinet below and provides the adequate flow of air to the aquarium, utilising a Rena Flexible Air diffuser for the bubbles effect.|
|Plastic cactus plants have been incorporated to add to the desert theme. The realistic bogwood pieces are, in fact, artificial and so not producing any acidic effect to the water where it is not wanted. The other type of artificial wood (to the left) is replica Swahala Drift Wood All of this is set on a base substrate of Ultrastone ìCarolinaî gravel. Other artificial plants are added to brighten the backdrop.|
| The fish in this aquascene are: Blind cave fish, Colombian Moon tetras,
Buenos aires tetras, and assorted Swordtails. They all add up to a South American origin, albeit from a widely scattered geography. The Blind cave fish is of particular interest. Its origins are from subterranean rivers where the complete lack of light renders eyes and body colour useless, and so evolution has done away with eyes and colour completely. Outside those subterranean caves there are fish of the same species with eyes and have retained all the normal greenish body colour. This species is the closest neighbour to the Swordtails in their natural Mexican habitat from the other South American species displayed here.
| WHERE IT ALL STARTED
Juwel Trigon 190 Cabinet Aquarium
Juwel internal filter
|This stylish corner unit bow-fronted Juwel Trigon 190 aquarium and cabinet stand would brighten any corner of even the darkest room, and that is how it is designed – to fit in a corner. With its 190 litres water volume this spacious aquarium lends itself to accommodating a wide variety of fish, freshwater tropical, coldwater, brackish, or tropical marine, and from tiny to large specimens. All-in-all a very versatile unit to suit many applications, and with panache too!|
|The combined power of the Integral Juwel filter and the Tetratec EX1200 external power filter, copes well with even the high output of waste from the goldfish varieties you see in this example. An APS 400 air pump provides an ample flow of air, which is a prime requirement of aquarium-housed coldwater fish. The artificial rockwork is from the Touch of Nature range of Lace Rock, and sets off the artificial plants very effectively.|
|The various single-tailed fish you see in this aquarium are almost all varieties of the goldfish (Carassius auratus). But one variety of fish in this display has a mysterious background that makes it suspect as being entirely the same species. This is the jet black ìgoldfishî that appeared in the UK market only a few years ago. The fish has a roundness to the body that sometimes suggests the genes from the Black Moor fancy goldfish might be involved. There are also often prominent barbels from the corners of the mouth, much as you will see on Koi Carp. With genetic engineering reaching into fish production now it seems likely that this is the source that first produced this new variety of ìgoldfishî. So maybe this is a cross involving Carassius auratus and Cyprinus carpio and produced in a ìtest-tubeì laboratory environment??|
Via Aqua 380 Aquarium and cabinet stand
Seamless viewing front panel
|A compact little aquarium that will fit anywhere. With the essential equipment all built-in it is an ideal starter kit or gift for the young aspiring fishkeeper. For this example we have used artificial plants set on a mixed quartz substrate as a simple decor. The fish are Flamingo guppy males, and Cardinal tetras, both very colourful and easily managed species of tropical fish.|
| Cardinal tetras were discovered in Brazil and Colombia by fish
collectors working for the Aquarium fish market, and made a BIG impact
on the hobby when they were first marketed in Europe.
discovery the hugely popular Neon Tetra was without equal and enjoyed
universal popularity as the worldís top favourite tropical fish. Then –
as now – the market was supplied by ìNeonsî almost entirely by
farm-raised fish in the New Territories of Hong Kong. Initially it was
thought the Cardinal Tetra was similar enough to the Neon Tetra that by
following the same requirements captive breeding would be achievable on
the same scale.
| But those early thoughts did not prove to be correct,
and the Cardinal Tetra remains a challenge to commercial breeders.
Although larger and even more spectacular than the Neon Tetra the
higher prices needed for raising the fish and getting it to market has
left the Neon Tetra to remain ìKing of the Castleî!
|The Flamingo Guppy males caused quite a stir when they were first introduced to the aquarium hobby. The brilliant scarlet colour of the caudal fin (tail) set against the warm gold of the body and its highly variable pattern of coloured spots and markings, so beautifully set off by the sheer flamboyance of the broad delta shaped tail of the adult male, gave this fish huge impact. The flowing banner-like dorsal fin just added more accolades from admiring hobbyists who first saw this new variety.|
Via Aqua AR 620 Aquarium and cabinet stand
Seamless viewing front panel
|A small tropical marine aquarium set up with the well-being of the occupants in mind. The ìLiveî tag we have given to the substrate and coral rock takes account of the essential live nitrobacter that has to be cultivated within those items in order to properly regulate the water chemistry for the fish and corals. Seahorses and Pipefish are fascinating marine fish which demand they are kept only with similarly inoffensive and unobtrusive species of fish.|
|Their slow feeding habits requires them to have the benefit of time to hunt and eat their food without it being snapped up first by other more active species of fish. We have added the clown fish in this example, but manage them with caution to ensure the safety and well-being of the other occupants, by taking care to see that all get their required intake of food. This is a very basic and specialised marine installation and would not be suitable for a more boisterous or larger community of fish. The Mandarin fish is one of the most colourful marine fish species, intricately patterned and subtly coloured, but quite a shy fish until well established|
|The soft corals are less demanding than hard or stony corals, but still require some special consideration to ensure success. Being living animals corals need feeding and lighting as well as other essential requirements for success and water chemistry needs to be stable. These necessities make the small marine ìreef styleî aquarium inadvisable for the beginner.|
|Better to start off with a fish-only set-up and move on to taking on live corals when you have experience in keeping the water chemistry and temperature as stable as it needs to be. This is especially true of the smaller aquarium where in the event of a mistake being made any toxic build-up would be quick to prove fatal as opposed to the larger aquarium where such an incident would occur slightly more gradually and give time to recognise the danger in time to do something about it.|
Evasion Aquarium and cabinet, Model 100
Integral internal power filter
|This panoramic aquascene is set up on the lines of a fairy tale theme, with mystical castles and fairies in the decor assembly. The fish are Black Phantom tetras and Veiltail angelfish. The two main decor pieces are the Mystical Castle and the Classic Underwater Kingdom castle tower. These pieces are dressed around with artificial plants and figurines of fairy characters. All of this decor is set on a mixed coloured gravel base. The fish are Black Phantom tetras, Silver and black veiltail angelfish. It is interesting to compare those two varieties of angelfish.|
|The Silver type is exactly as its wild cousin would have been, but without the elongated caudal fin (tail). The Black type has been devised through specialised line breeding over a period of many years, making its debut to the aquarium market some 50-and-more years ago.|
|Angelfish have been favourites for the fishkeeping hobby for almost the whole of its domestic history in the UK. But it was some time after their first appearance here that the domestic varieties began to emerge. First a darker coloured ìBlack Laceî angelfish, then veiltailed versions of both the silver and the black-lace appeared, half black and pure black followed not so long after that. Since then we have had golden, silver, piebald, marbled, white, blushing, blue, and other varieties cropping up from time to time, all in either short tailed or veiltailed versions. They frequently are seen to lay their eggs in the community aquarium, taking great care to clean a leaf or rock ready to lay the eggs on it. They will defend the eggs and newly hatched fry, but if stressed by interference from the other fish they will eat either eggs or fry. But in that environment there is no chance for the babies to survive, and a separate breeding and rearing tank is necessary to raise the babies in safety to maturity.|
MONSTERS OF THE OCEAN
Custom built aquarium – made to order to fit available space
2 off Rena XP3 power filters, one biological and one mechanical
|This large capacity marine aquarium is deeper back to front than the eye registers through the water, and is approximately one-third deeper than it appears. Two Rena XP3 power filters continuously condition the water, one set up as a biological filter and the other as a mechanical filter.|
|In short that means one filter takes care of the water chemistry while the other removes detritus, but beyond that brief description the actual functions are far more sophisticated. The Hydor external heating system removes the need to have a regular glass tube encased element type within the actual aquarium where it is more susceptible to damage from very large and boisterous fish.|
|It also eliminates the risk of burning some of the more sedentary fish that can come into accidental contact with a hot glass housing for the heating element. The Rena Air 400 air pump delivers an ample output of diffused air via the Flexi air diffuser for this large aquarium. A Vectron 600 UV steriliser irradiates the aquarium water as it passes out of the aquarium and delivers the treated water back to the aquarium.|
|The base of the aquarium is covered by Caribbean Sea Marine Sand natural Ocean Rock is placed on it to provide nooks and crannies for the fish to navigate and as a base for the artificial corals from the Peter Golding range.
The fish collection is made up from Turkey (or Lion) fish, Longfinned batfish, Spotted grunt, Zebra Moray eel, and Lemon Ray. Although already quite large these fish all have the potential to grow considerably larger and will eventually have to be re-housed elsewhere to retain the correct level of fish to water capacity.
SUNKEN SHIPWRECK IN THE OCEAN
Rena Aqualife Birch effect Corner 120 Aquarium
2 off Rena XP3 power filters, one biological and one mechanical
|This large Aqualife bow fronted corner aquarium and cabinet stand makes a superb marine aquarium, as this example shows. The spacious marine aquascape that its dimensions permit can be impressive and inventive, according to your preferences, both for the decor and choice of fish species.|
|The equipment which supports this installation as a fish-only aquarium (no invertebrates) is not that extensive nor complicated. Two Rena XP3 external power filters combine their functions to provide effective water management, one delivering Biologically conditioned water and the other delivering ìscrubbedî clean water. The Rena Air 400 air pump puts out a good volume of air in the form of diffused bubbles, not only for decorative effect but more importantly to maintain a good level of dissolved oxygen in the water. A Rena thermostatically controlled 300 watt heater keeps the water at the required steady temperature. The standard lighting is provided by the fluorescent tubes that come with the complete aquarium and stand package. For the substrate we have shown natural Coral Gravel as our choice, and set onto the substrate we have used artificial Replica Corals and a two-part Shipwreck to create the aquascene. The dramatic rock-like background by Natureform sets off the whole aquascene to great effect.|
|The fish we have chosen are some of the larger species we frequently stock. They are: Foxface, Regal Tang, Common Clowns, Squirrelfish, Yellow Tang, Neon Cleaner Wrasse, Juvenile Emperor Angelfish, and Moon wrasse. We consider all of these species to be reasonably easy to keep and care for, and should reward their owners with lengthy life-spans.|