[Riba] Introduction


Lifetime Charter Member
Lifetime Member
Feb 14, 2006
Holland, Eindhoven
As I posted a message on this forum, I thought it would be appropriate to quickly introduce myself (although I've been lurking around for quite a while now).

I have 3 tanks in total, a 27 liter with some rasboras brigittae. It is a low maintenance tank and is scheduled for a redo ;) My second tank is a 96 liter, also low maintenance. Main inhabitants are pearl danio's. Vegetation consists mainly of C. balansae. The tank is not yet as I'd like to see it, intention is that the Balansae gives a "forest"impression.

To finish it up, I have a 260 liter aquarium (bowfront), of which I have some more technical details:

# Juwel Vision 260 liter (120cm x 30-45cm (bowfront) x 50cm )
# Filter: Eheim Professional II 2026
# External CO2 reactor on timer
# lighting: 3 x 38WT8 and dimmable 2 x 39WT5 (6 hours full on a day)
# Fertilizing scheme: every other day 2 mg/liter NO3 and 0.2 mg/liter PO4
# Every other day traces (Tropica Plant Nutrition, 15 ml)
# every day a bit of liquid carbon additive (easyCarbo)
# every 2 or 3 weeks a 50% waterchange (tapwater)

I am pretty pleased with the tank, except with its lack of depth (especially on the sides). I am looking into a different CO2-reactor as the current one is quite noisy.

Main inhabitants: The tank contains two flocks, danio Choprae and M. Praecox (although it is ussually recommended to stick to only 1 flock for this size a tank, I quite enjoy the way the fish interact). For the top I have 3 pantodon Buchholzi, great fish which come alive when the lights become dimmed. At the bottom, various species dwell along with a heap of RCS's.
# Rotala rotundifolia
# Rotala rotundifolia sp. green
# Cyperus helferi
# Bolbitis heudelotii
# Cryptocoryne wendtii (probably leaving)
# Cryptocoryne parvi
# Xmas mos
# javavaren (probably leaving)
# javavaren windelov
# ludwigia Palustris
# limnophila Aquatica (probably leaving)
# blyxa Japonica
# riccia Fluitans (floating, providing coverage for the Buchholzi's)
# bacopa sp. red
# rotala Pusilla
# rotala Macrandra sp. green

My goal is to end up with a nice looking tank which can cope with some lack of maintenance every now and then. Lack of maintenance mainly implies a delayed waterchange and reduced pruning frequency. At the moment, I am trying some plants to see how I like them, and move them slowly to make a nice scape.
As I just came back from a businesstravel, the tank doesn't look really great. As soon as I'm not totally embarrassed with it I will post a picture ;)

I got into planted tanks when I picked up some plants from a top dutch planted tank aquarist. Reallizing I was lacking quite some knowledge (and skills, for that matter), I first focused on maintaining healthy plants. While I feel I'm at ease with this aspect, I'm slowly moving more into the "scaping" aspect.

On a more personal level, I enjoy a nice glass of wine and quite enjoy hanging out on the couch as well ;) Professionally, I am a computer "scientist", working (amongst others) in the healthcare domain and bio-informatics.

Kind regards,

Tom Barr

Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
I think switching over to low light and good CO2, then choosing plants carefully that do not over grow too fast seems like your goal.

Yes, getting a nice CO2 reactor will certainly help.
I've yet to have issues with noise with the designs I've done.
The venturi methods tend to chop up any larger bubbles and reduces the noise.
Sintered diffusion disc also are quiet.

I think many people tend to try to be good growers and then move into aquascaping later.

But I did the scaping first, then went back to growing and back to scaping.
I still have my cycles.

Few garden heavily continuously for decades in this hobby.
Amano is one of the few.

I learn as much as you can locally. You will learn more that way.
I think seeing the tanks and the plants, and then considering how to have them all grow in at the right rate is a key element in Dutch and most aquascapes, but particularly with Dutch styles.

Timing and trimming is everything.

But you need to have them grow well first.

Tom Barr