I made this aquarium for my friend who asked me to make “winter hotel” for the huge amount of fish living outside in his garden pond during summer. It is mixture of all kinds livebearers (Gupies, Platies, Red swordtails, Black Molly, etc. ) and therefore we had to approach this task accordingly. As a base for our project we used JUWEL RIO 350 Aquarium set. This type of set contain an aquarium with a built in filter and light. The lights and filtration are quite simple but as you can see, when you choose right plants, substrate and add pressurised CO2 you can achieve nice healthy growth.
As substrate I used Tropica aquarium soil and small amount of decorative sand used in the foreground. The and is a mixture of Dennerle Crystal Quartz sand and different variations of the sand from hobby market. Stones were taken from a nearby mine which saved us significant amount of money. In local hobby market we also purchased 3 bold mangrove roots, which are fill the space in aquarium nicely. Don't be afraid to go big with hardscape, it gives nice character to overall picture. If you have so many livebearers with fast rate of reproducing you should reflect it in your plant selection and fertilser regime. This is why I selected easy and fast growing plants, all this fast plant growth is helping with filtration in this heavily stocked tank. It turned out to be right solution and even with the basic build in filter we don’t have issue to keep the aquarium clean and healthy. Down side of using fast growing plants is that they must be cut more often. On the other hand cuttings can be planted back to aquarium and help with filtration. Regular water changes and glass cleaning are must have, but that maintenance routine applies for all aquariums. In a temporary winter storage for pond fish like this, which will be taken down at the end of the winter it is not necessary to fertilse the plants as they will receive nitrates as a biproduct of the fish and fish food waste.
Said Jan Marsal