Inspirational aquariums: Bonsai paludarium

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When we first saw this offering from Italian tank manufacturer Elos we were bowled over. Here's how we would assemble one...

This sort of tank would be a special order, so we got a quote from specialist manufacturer Aquariums Ltd for a similar looking design tank and cabinet, with tank dimensions at 45 x 45 x 45cm/18 x18 x 18”.

Expect to pay £299 for tank and cabinet or £349 for the clearer, Opti-White version.

What you will need

Lighting: Being open topped and with foliage protruding over it, a hanging pendant light is essential.

Expect to pay £200 for a GroBeam 1000 LED from TMC.

Filtration: This should be adequate for your needs but discreet. Fit an external filter and hide pipework behind the foliage and terrestrial section.

Expect to pay £70 for a decent external filter for this size of tank.

Heating: You don’t want the heater to be visible so fit an in-line one like Hydor’s ETH heater to the pipework of your external filter, or buy a Thermofilter that already contains a heater, from Eheim.

Expect to pay £40 for the Hydor external heater.

Soil: The substrate is aquatic soil. You will need approximately 20 litres to create an effect like this.

Expect to pay £60 for the soil.

Decor: Rock Mini landscape rock holds back the land section and aquascapes the underwater section.

Expect to pay £40 for12 kilos.

Aquatic plants: Fine carpeting plants like Hemianthus callitrichoides 'Cuba' (HC) and Utricularia graminifolia form the foreground. It would be difficult to add CO2 to water this shallow so go for a pressurised set and inline gas reactor connected to the external filter in the cabinet, or add liquid carbon on a daily basis.

Expect to pay £30 for five pots of HC and £40 for five pots of Utricularia. Expect to pay £6 for a small bottle of EasyCarbo.

Bonsai: The icing on the cake, the Bonsai trees, are an indoor type, so choose yours carefully.

Expect to pay £85 for a decent sized indoor variety.

Total: £920.

Check out some of our other inspirational aquariums:

Modernist approach

Low maintenance island tank

Planted pico

Zebra plec breeding set-up

Calming moss tank

Rocky cichlid tank

Fun iwagumi

Classic nature aquarium

Medium sized reef tank

Posh nature aquarium

This item was first published in the Christmas 2010 issue of Practical Fishkeeping magazine. It may not be reproduced without written permission.