Layout will, naturally be governed mainly by individual taste and artistic capability, but to those putting together their first tank the suggestions regarding numbers of plants, etc. might be helpful.
The heater should never be buried in the sand, as this might result in a deposit of lime to form around the glass tube and impair its efficiency. It’s much better to wrap lead around every end of it to overcome the tendency to buoyancy, and stand it on two little flat stones to permit totally free passage of water all round it. It is also simpler to remove sediment with a siphon if the heater doesn’t rest on the sand.
When the single heater is utilized, the very best position is within the centre of the tank, but near the back as it can then be hidden from view by a piece of rock.
Steer clear of moulding the interior in such a manner that every thing is symmetrical. A rock correct within the centre of the tank with an equal number of plants every side is a sorry sight, and will definitely not look natural; neither will a big heavy rock tucked tightly into a corner with out any obvious balancing piece.
The aquarium should look balanced. The illustration shows a well laid-out tank, the rock slightly off-set to the left together with a largish Indian fern plant, are balanced by the tall Amazon sword on the extreme correct, with a uniform background of Vallisneria or Sagittaria.
The attractiveness of the aquarium could be significantly enhanced if the sandy bottom is made to undulate. A technique has been described on page 19 to produce a sloped bed, but much more ambitious and realistic effects can result from the combined use of stones and sand. Initial make the foundation utilizing stones about the size of your hand, and place them to ensure that they support every other, fill within the spaces with smaller stones to ensure that they interlock firmly, then finally fill in with sand. Keep in mind that it’ll be essential to add plants, so make provision for suitable pockets of sand inside your arrangements.
Maintain every thing in proportion. The use of too big pieces of rock, for instance, gives a false impression of depth. Whenever you are planting, group the species together as most unnatural effects will probably be the result of single specimens dotted about in a haphazard manner. Also, keep in mind to put the tallest plants at the back of the tank to ensure that the view from the front isn’t obscured.
How numerous plants will you require in a tank measuring 24 in. x 12 in. x 12 in.?
It depends on how numerous fish are intended to live within the tank. The maximum number of fish of an average size of 2-in. lengthy that should be put in is 35. This is only an average figure, as some fish can stand much more crowding than other people. Guppies, for example, can stand up to about 80 in a tank of this size. Nevertheless, we will think about the tank as holding its full complement of fish.
The number of plants needed is as follows:
18 Vallisneria – 12 inch Long
2 Indian fern – Large
1 Amazon sword – Medium
6 Ambulia – Medium
18 Sagittaria – 12 inch Long
2 Cabomba – 12 inch Long
8 Myriophyllum – 12 inch Long
Hair grass, etc. could be added for effect. The above number of plants is not intended to be a rigid rule, but a guide for the beginner.