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An Attempt at Simplicity...

Ryan Young

17 Jun 2015
Well... Finally after about a year of contemplation I have finally attempted to create an aquascape that is simple in its design and maintenance. Although I ended up adding more plants than I probably should have I would say compared to previous planted aquariums this one is a lot more simplistic and manageable.

The tank is a Fluval F90 with their aqualife and plant led, pretty much its the standard kit you get when you buy this tank. I bought is as 'new' from someone semi- locally and am using 'new' in the loosest term possible as I found a lot of wear on the tank and the stand but didn't complain as it was still a steal! 😉

My main reasoning behind choosing this tank over others was due to the frosted glass area at the top which comes in handy due to the area I live in having quite hard water; the main downside of this tank is that it is 35cm wide meaning there was not a ton of width to play with.

I then kept my fish from my previous tank sat in here for 2-3 months before finally deciding to use the plants I had been buying on UKAPS and from my LFS when I saw something that peaked my interest, and drained my tank meaning I had to make a start.

I tried to keep this tank as cheap as possible and have therefore used Tim's Westlands method accompanied by pool filter sand and bought a bag of 40-80mm + 80-120mm Scottish cobble. In terms of the wood, I spent from October- January around 3 times a week visiting a local woodland collecting Oak branches off fallen trees which I am quite pleased with.

The plants I am using are:
Anubias Barteri var. Nana
Anubias Barteri nana Petite
Echinodorus Chrileni
Dwarf Hairgrass
Hygrophila Pinnifata
Microsorum Trident
Bolbitis heudelotii
Cyperus helferi

Let me know what you guys think in terms of things I could add, take away or re- arrange. I do not plan to keep my Pleco and although I have had him for around 5-6 years and he has been through a ton of different tanks he will most likely eat the shrimp I am buying.

If all goes well I will try to keep this journal documented, hopefully I can get my Harlequins to spawn again and if I do will make sure to post it here.

Bring on the algae 🙁

Hi John, thanks.
To be honest, I was pleasantly surprised with the tank mainly due to it being more or less complete for starting a tank as it included a light and filter; although I did not need the filter and the other fluval 300 model filters work as it uses the same tubing. The frosted rims at top and bottom are a nice touch also except limit you slightly if you are a fan of growing plants out of the water as it will be obscured.

My main two concerns with the tank are that the pipe has a cap so you can use a different filter and have the pipes come over the tank instead of through the pre- drilled ones however upon testing this there was quite substantial leaking which made it pointless as a feature.

Also, I am not sure whether this may be to do with the floor I have it on not being completely level was that the stand does not seem too sturdy. I was very worried about this to start with however when I filled it with water the wobble almost stops so not a massive issue I guess.

Something that drew me and always has drawn me to fluval products stems from their customer service. I explained to them that I bought this tank from someone advertising it as new and they were happy to send me a complete new hanging kit as the seller did not have it and said it was not included when he bought it. obviously I did not go into detail about the tank technically being used 😛 . But overall their customer service means that I have a lot more faith in their products.

Hope this helps 🙂
Looks really nice. I was tempted not so long ago to buy one of these but was put off by the pre-drilled systemised aspect of the filtration preferring to use my own although I didn't realise you could cap these. It also would have went well with my current decor.
Word of caution though, if you are considering keeping shrimp as I was a lot are going to end up in the filter as the intake slots looked quite large and I couldn't see a way of putting a mesh on there.

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