The project of this little tank was materialized with a very peculiar fish family in mind, a family that has really a lot of fans but that is very difficult to find in the aquarium shops, the Aphyosemion, also known as "Killy fish".
To understand why I built the tank in this strange way, it is important to know some data about these animals.
The Aphyosemion is a tiny fish that lives in seasonal puddles. When the rain season comes, many small stagnant puddles are formed in the forest, and, another of nature's magic tricks, after a few days a multitude of colourful fishes seems to appear from nowhere ! They actually come from eggs laid there by Aphyosemion the season before. After mating this fish lays the eggs down in the gravel (or mud) and when the rain season ends, and the water of the puddle evaporates, the eggs remain trapped in the dry mud for months. And when it rains again, as a miracle, the eggs hatch and a new colony of Aphyosemion starts a new life.
This genus actually originates from Africa, and the design of the tank doesn't imitate their natural habitat. The reason why I created a kind of "Canadian look" for this tank, was to give to the viewers the immediate feeling of a puddle in the forest, a precarious micro environment that will last only for a short period of time.
I used a lot of Mangrove wood for the tank, because the stunning colours of this fish need to stay in a dark environment in order to "shine" as in nature. The root on the left side is the same kind of root I used in the creation of "Pole Star" and "In The Battlefield" tanks, but I painted in brown-red with acrylic paint to maintain the darkness in the tank. Then I used artificial replicas of tree branches for the underwater part (to give the feeling of a flooded riverside with roots) while for the upper part (to simulate the forest and cover the neon light) I chose a red dominance that gives the tank a warm, autumn feeling.
Tank : cm. 50 X 26 X 35
Temperature : 25 - 26° C.
Lights : 1 neon (fluorescent tube) 15 Watt for photosynthesis (to achieve the bright red colour of the environment)
Mechanical parts: 1 Biological filter of 1 lt., 1 pump 60 lt/h, 1 heater 30 Watt.
Plants: artificial reproduction of North American tree branches.
Animals : Aphyosemion sp.
Chemistry : KH=0, pH=6.0, GH=0, NO2=0, NO3=0.
Water change: every 2 weeks, 1/3 of the total with RO water.
See next page for more pictures of Northern Flames tank.