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Favorite Aquarium Displays

What gets you excited about the aquarium hobby?

Posted: February 19, 2010

By Ethan Mizer

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I’ve been in a transitional phase with my aquariums, and I decided to break several of them down to restart them in the near future.

Part of the impetus to start over developed because I may be moving in the near future and I want to give my tanks a fresh start, as well as make the transition easier on myself.

This got me thinking about what excites me about aquariums in the first place. I find that the type of setup that grabs my attention the most, out of all the aquarium setup types I’ve seen, are elaborate planted tank arrangements.

The size of the setup doesn’t seem to matter to much when it comes to striking my fancy.

I like giant tanks (like the one Tom Barr and others set up for an Esquire editor – I believe there was a profile of the tank on their website at one point, and several pictures of the setup can be found online), small planted tanks, mini planted tanks, nano planted tanks and every other size of lushly planted tank setup out there.

I prefer more naturalistic displays over what I think of as “bonsai” displays, but I don’t have a favorite specific layout or anything.

Don’t get me wrong: I love reef aquariums, and some of the setups I’ve seen are truly amazing. Purely from an aesthetic perspective, though, I have to say I prefer really nice planted tanks to reef tanks.

What I mean by this is, if I could only have one 80-gallon aquarium, I would dedicate it to an advanced planted tank setup over a saltwater setup, regardless of cost or anything else.

So, my question to you is, if you could only have one 80-gallon aquarium, what type of setup would you choose, from an aesthetic standpoint? I’m not talking about what type of setup you could afford, or what type of setup you think you would have time to keep. I’m only interested in what your one ideal setup would be, regardless of time or cost, if you were restricted to one “theme.”

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Reader Comments

Ricky    Ridgewood, NJ

7/27/2010 3:47:12 AM

I keep goldfish in a 75 gal tank. I would like it to be heavily planted but the goldfish don't make it easy. Hornwort was recommended but I had to move it to my tropical tank because my goldfish feasted on the hornwort constantly.

boet    Seward, AK

4/25/2010 6:10:06 PM

I would setup a natural planted aquarium with a combination of sand and planted aquarium substrate, moderate light, no C02, and with my soft well water add rainwater type fish of contrasting schools all under 4 inches at most and all peaceful.

Kirk    Troy, MI

4/5/2010 6:46:30 PM

I agree - you can't beat a nice and thickly planted tank.

Reef Keeper(Len)    Edmonton, AB

2/26/2010 12:56:46 PM

I like to sit and watch the colors unfold as your reef tank grows. I beleive there is nothing like it. imagine a peice of the great barrier reef in your living room, so to speak!

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