Hypnotic timelapse of aquascaping a planted aquarium

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/08/29/hypnotic-timelapse-of-aquascap.html

It is pretty impressive.


I’m assuming the neons in the video-built tank would still need to be fed, or can they survive on the plants themselves?

But yeah, I’d be stoked with that aquarium.

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They may be able to survive on the plants themselves. I forgot to mention this in my previous comment but I noticed there’s no filtration or oxygenation that I can see, although I did skip through quite a bit of the video.

That reminded me of the book Theatres of Glass: The Woman Who Brought the Sea to the City about Anna Thynne, a mid-19th century woman who discovered that if she put the right collection of plants and critters in an aquarium it would create an eco-system that would be self-sustaining for quite a long time.

Not unlike those eco-pods I’ve seen advertised that were originally sold as “able to last forever”. They’ve scaled that back to 2-3 years which is still pretty impressive.


I did notice that, at the end of the ‘construction’ video, some intake/outflow tubes appeared on the left side of the tank–I assume they run down to a filtration system in the cabinet below the tank. I would expect the tank plants to produce all the necessary oxygen for the tank, especially since it’s a small number of Betas and not a whole passel of fish.

This all makes me miss my old koi pond. Didn’t have it for long, but damn did I love that pond.

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Tanks like this usually (at least, among the enthusiasts) have a relatively short lifespan- 6 months? The “soil” has a bunch of fertilizer in it, and when that gets depleted the plants aren’t sustainable. They aren’t built to be self-contained, they’re built for the visual aesthetics. Many of them have no fish or animals at all.
You can dig pretty deep on tumblr by searching the “aquascaping” tag…
It’s a seriously expensive hobby. Just FYI.


Yeah, the video pretty much gave that away. Neat results, but I’m sure I can’t afford it.


No, they’re self sustainable (except food and light). I have a planted aquarium. With a Deep Sand Bed of “Eco Complete” about 2 inches it’s a 30 gal…with several plants which are almost filling the tank. And a small school of tetras and a pleco catfish for cleaning and the catfish poop feeds the plants…I vacuum the surface poop out every couple of months tho and wipe down the algae.

It’s been up since 2005. And it’s rock steady now. With an automatic timer to feed the teras and catfish…I don’t even have to be here for a month or so. It’s got an overhange filter, a penguin. And the only time I get any cloudy water is when I change the filter and stir things up.

A few years ago I stopped doing larger 10 percent water exchanges and only replace evaporated water. No problem. And I stopped doing the deep cleaning of the sand bed…because it’s fine now…and has been for a decade. I don’t want to stir up any weirdness that’s perfectly happy at the bottom of the ‘sand’ bed.

The plants are wonderful and even send runners out to make new plants…and the fish are happy.
That’s all that counts for me.


SamWinston is right. And bigger tanks are easier to maintain than smaller tanks.

The right mix of rocks, gravel, plants and fish in a big tank can make for an extremely low maintenance aquarium. When my 100 gal is heavy on the plants and light on the fish, I can keep it in good shape with weekly feedings and a monthly 5 percent water change. But, if I want to maintain a lot of big fish, I have to do daily feedings and weekly water changes.

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