Change is as good as a holiday, I guess.
For the last six months, I’d had solid growth in my tank. I’ve been happy with the progress, and I’ve learnt a lot, but I’m starting to tire of the current layout. To make matters worse, I haven’t been able to maintain it to the right standard. One of the pitfalls of a Zimmer brace.
With all my spare time, I’ve been scouring the web for ideas. But first, I need inspiration.
As a big Discus fan, there are many cool tank layouts.
Bare Bottom. Sometimes with a few potted plants, they have no gravel and often sponge filters. The layout often has driftwood but doesn’t need to.
Planted. As described, the are a lot of plants. A planted tank does look spectacular, but do require a lot of care. For the size Tank I have, I’d need to invest a lot of money. Frankly, my planted tank skills need some tuning.
Hardscape. A pure Hardscape just has gravel, rocks, and driftwood. The layout is devoid of any Plants.
I’d describe my current style as somewhat planted. But it’s been more of an organic design. I wouldn’t call it well-planned design, but this also gives me some freedom to learn new layouts.
What I like
The best part about this hobby is that I don’t need to pick a specific Tank style; I can mix a few styles that work, then build something that I will enjoy. For now, the key things that I like:
- White gravel. I’ve never been solid on the bare bottom tank. It just makes things look unnatural.
- Low tech plants. My two favourite types are Anubias Bacteria and Val. Both very common in Aquariums, if they are planted well in a tank, they look great. Anubias is attached to objects in your tank, such as driftwood and rocks
- Rocks. My current Tank layout is devoid of rocks, a failing on my part.
I came across a design on a Facebook group that got my interest. With thanks to Wolfgang Schon for the Photos.
It a nice mix of driftwood, gravel, and low-tech plants. I’d probably add a few more plants on the floor, but not too much. Perhaps a few low growing plants, like foreground Plants. I’d look to put some strands of thin Val throughout the Tank. I also think some nicely placed Rocks would benefit the design.
It would require little effort to maintain; just a regular filter pad change and top up water should cover the work needed. For me, the biggest thing is that it makes the Fish the focus. Discus are one of the most colorful freshwater Fish, and I think they should be the focus.
So, what do I do?
Well, first of all, get back on my feet. That will be a few more weeks. I’d probably need to shop for the right driftwood, then Rocks, then Plants.
I’d probably need to shop for the right driftwood, then Rocks, then Plants. They will need to fit into my 5ft Tank. I’ll also look to re-use some of my existing Plants, and sell some of my other Plants.
It will be, exciting.