Inspirational aquariums: Low maintenance 'island' tank

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This is a great example of a low maintenance planted aquarium using the island design to simple but great effect.

Plain sand and some complementary rocks surround two cleverly positioned pieces of driftwood and soil substrate and the wood has Java fern, Bolbitis and moss attached to it to create a very naturalistic appearance.

Hairgrass and small crypts are planted around the rocks to make a smooth transition from rocks to wood and ferns.  

All of the in-tank equipment is made from glass, so it’s hardly noticeable. The tank is of OptiWhite glass, with suspended lighting to further enhance its appearance.  

Eventually algae may grow on the sand so it can be syphoned and replaced as necessary.

What you will need

65 x 45 x 45cm/26 x 18 x 18” OptiWhite tank and cabinet £350

150w metal halide pendant £200

Pressurised CO2 system £100

External filter and glassware £200

Inline external heater £50

Sand and substrate £30

Liquid fertilisers £20

Décor £50

Plants £100

Total: Expect to pay £1,100

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