Saturday, February 24, 2007


Samit's Planted Tank
This is the side view of my 32gl Planted Community tank, densely planted with various species. This was a community set up for fishes, for plants too!

Notice, few of the house keepers in this image - a Sail fin molly and a baby Pleco {Hypostomus plecostomus)! Sail fin Mollies (Poecilia latipinna) are really effective to get rid of Green algae, if not fed with any other kind of food. They will eat every bit of green algae, if they are hungry. But remember, NO FOOD! They won’t even go near the algae, if they are well-fed. The first fish that goes into any of my planted set up - is a 1 or 2 male sail fin mollies. In my views, Sail fin black mollies are the best option to be introduced a newly set up tank, as the first fish. They are hardy and tough; they can stand sudden temperature and pH changes. They are also called as Mexican Sail fin Molly or Giant Sail fin Molly. Another very interesting fact about this fish is, with gradual acclimatization they could be kept in Salt Water tank, fresh water tank or a brackish water tank.

Tank Background

Planted Mature tank of Samit Roy
Black background looks always good for planted aquariums. It increases the sense of depth; makes the bushes of background plants at the rear end, look more thicker; covers the back and sides of the tank and prevent unwanted lights!

White or other light color backgrounds might look good in a non-planted set ups like frontosa or mbuna setups.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Nymphaea stellata

Photograph of Samit's Planted Aquarium
Photograph of a floater of a Dwarf Red Lily (Nymphaea stellata) in one of my Community Planted Tanks. Floaters are not really very good for indoor glass aquariums. They just block the light and do not allow the light to reach other plants. Again, floaters are not actually visible from the prime viewing angles, e.g. front or side of an indoor glass aquarium. Again, while developing floaters, most of the plants do not shoot any new submersed leaf. However, I like to keep few floaters in my open top indoor tanks. They look pretty nice. But, floters should be monitored and cleared on a regular basis, to ensure that they do not cover the other plants from the light.

Aquatic Plants

Samit's Planted Tank
Aquatic plants develop entirely different leaves when they out grow the water level. Like this plant develops reddish green thick and short leaves, instead of usual bright orange, thin, delicate and long leaves that it develops under water. You can see the color of under water leaves of this plant, in Picture No. 027, behind (below) the Hygrophila corymbosa ''angustifolia''.

Hygrophila corymbosa ''angustifolia''

Samit Roy - Dgital artist and nature aquarist
Top view of Hygrophila corymbosa ''angustifolia''. The main difference between, Hygrophila corymbosa and Hygrophila corymbosa ''angustifolia'' is in the shape and size of their leaves. Hygrophila corymbosa ''angustifolia'' produces much longer leaves than ordinary Hygrophila corymbosa. This is a typical stem plant with strong roots and branches. The leaves grows smallers and dakrer in color if grown above the water surface.

Planted Tank

Planted Tank of Samit Roy Graphics Designer and digital artist
Side view of one of my freshwater planted tanks!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Cryptocoryne and Others

Samit's Palnted Tank
The image shows various Cryptocorynes and Java Moss (Vesicularia dubyana) in my planted tank. Like Java Moss, Cryptocorynes are also South Asian plants. Cryptos have been one of the most favorite plants among aquarists. They are not demanding, grow fast, do not require much light and suitable for even hard water. However, Cryptos require a nutritious bottom. They grow long and very strong roots. Once rooted properly, Crypots form a thick bush, making them suitable as mid-ground and background plants. Uprooting an year-old bush of Cryptos would lead you to rip off the entire set up, making the substrate, along with all other adjacent plants to come out with them.

Like other aquarists, crypotos are my favourites, too. I liked to use various Cryptocorynes together, to form a cohesive group of thick bush, including Cryptocoryne wendtii (both 'Green' and 'Brown' varieties), Cryptocoryne parva (the smallest Crypto) and Cryptocoryne undulata. They are also my favorites for their variety of shapes and colors. Colored Cryptos are probably one of the few colored aquatic plants that produce colored leaves without lot of light. It is compatible with most of the plants, it might restrict the growth of any 'rooted' plants, if that plant was planted in close proximity of a family of Cryptos.

PS: Can you see my Madagascar Lace (Aponogeton madagascariensis) in the corner?

Ludwigia repens

Ludwigia repens in Samit's Planted Aquarium
A close-up of Ludwigia repens. This is one of my favorites among all fast-growing and less demanding Stem Plants. A native of North America, this plant is one of the most popular aquarium plants through out the world. It can survive with even medium light, but will show it's actual color, bright red, only if it gets high light. Like other stem plants, Ludwigia repens is very effective to fill the mid-ground or background of the tank, if planted in small groups. This plant needs to be pruned regularly and when pruned it develops numerous side branches and becomes bushy.

Indian Aquatic Fern

Samit's planted tank and photographs
This is a floating Indian aquatic fern (Ceratopteris thalictroides! Notice the thick bush of the roots that provides secured hiding places for the fries!

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Samit's Planted Aquarium with Indian Fern
Another close-up of Ceratopteris thalictroides or Indian Floating Fern! Notice the red (purple) Alternanthera reineckii at the right corner!

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Floating Ceratopteris thalictroides, commonly known as Indian Aquatic Fern. This is a south Asian plant, ideally needs soft and acidic (pH 5.5-6.5) water., bright light, and 20-26oC (68-78oF) temperature. It can be grown submersed or as a floating plant. I like them to keep floating in my planted communitty tank of live bearers. The thick bush of its green broad leaves and dense bunch of roots provides a secured refuge for the fries! Buds form on the tips of older leaves, which can be separated and replanted or left floating. Though the leaf colour and shape is variable under different lighting conditions, in optimum conditions it becomes bright green and displays its visually rich foliage, as its plumage!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


Another close-up of Hornwort (Ceratophylum demersum)! Hornwort does equally well if rooteed or not! If not rooted it floats and branch out to cover all available space. Nice Floating plants for breeding set ups for nest builders and live bearers.

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Samit's Plnated Fish tanks
Close-up of a Hornwort (Ceratophylum demersum)! This is a fast growing plant, that out grows all other plants in the tank and covers the entire space avaialble! Very nice looking and require little care, but needs to be monitored and pruned regularly! In some countries, like New Zealand, Hornworts are considered as and invasive pest that is hard to eradicate.

Hygrophila corymbosa ''angustifolia'

Samit's Fish Tank
Close-up of Hygrophila corymbosa ''angustifolia'' from my 29gl Planted. Alternanthera reineckii is also seen in this photograph, at the right corner!

New Set Up

New Tank by Samit Roy
A new set up! Only livebearers are introduced initially with plants and other accessories to start the nitrogen cycle!

1. River-bed Rocks
2. Driftwood
3. Fossil Rock

1. 1" - 2" thick layer of 2-3 mm Calcium-free Sand on top
2. 3" - 4" thick layer of 4-5 mm Calcium-free Sand in the middle
3. 3/4" - 1" thick layer of 4-5 mm Calcium-free Sand mixed with rich red Laterite

1. Anubias barteri
2. Anubias barteri var. nana
3. Anubias barteri var. angustifolia (''afzelii'')
4. Microsorum pteropus
5. Microsorum pteropus 'Windeløv

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Samit's FIsh tank's photograph
Another image of my South Asian Loach tank

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Samit's Planted Tank
My loach tank!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

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Top View Samit's Outdoor Tub - Floating Plants and Floaters of Submerged Plants
Top View Outdoor Tub for Live bearers and cold water fishes like Gold Fishes and Koi carps! The Picture shows Floating Plants and Floaters of Submerged Plants

Laterite in Substrate

Samit's Planted Tank
Red lily, Nymphaea stellata in 42 gl planted tank! The submerged leaves of Nymphaea, always look very good on glass tank.Tough, in tub and ponds, the floaters look better. As far as, the plant's prefernece is concerned, I noticed that they like to shoot floaters ( click here to see 'floaters' ), rather than developing submerged leaves, if there is enough light. Like any other red aquatic plants, red lily, produces bright red leaves, if substrate is rich with irons! I use laterite soil, in the substrate! It works!

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Samit's Planted Tank
Tropical Fish Tank with Aquatic Plants

Madagascar Lace in my awarded tank

Samit's Planted Fish tank
One of my initial planted set ups, mostly mixed plants - from various biotopes and geo-locations! It was pretty, but it never had any strong characteristic! However, my favourite Madagascar Lace (Aponogeton madagascariensis) was there in this set up!

In 2004 I have recieved an award for this set up! Click the link below to see details: 2004 Photo Ace Contest by

Madagascar lace is a quite difficult species. It requires nutrient rich substrate, enough light, regular fertilization, co2 supply etc. Though it could be kept in a community set up with other species (except few aggressive and fast growing species like hornwart or pistia etc), it is so demanding that people prefers to put it in a separate tank to provide more care. Even if planted with other plants it is suggested to keep few inches away from other plants just to ensure it receives proper light without being guarded by other plants. Just to give this plant a little more advantage.

This plant has a long dormant period. So, even it is not growing, I'd suggest to keep the bulb in your tank, buried in your substrate. It might surprise you one day with a green bud.

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Samit's Planted Tank
Planted Tank of Samit Roy

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Samit's FIsh Tank with Java moss

Java Moss (Vesicularia dubyana) in my 42gl Planted Aquarium! These are quite hardy plants and does not require too much light! They look really pretty if attached with stone or driftwood! They get seriously damaged by Green Algae if exposed to sunlight or other high light, for long!

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Planted Aquarium of Samit Roy - Digtal Artist and Aquascape Designer
Flowering Aquatic Plan with Floaters

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Fresh water Planted Tank of Samit Roy

Planted Nature Tank

Freshwater Planted Tank of Samit Roy

Monday, February 19, 2007

Aquarium Tips: Part 5

Nature Aquariums and Aquascapes by Samit Roy
Tips that you must know before setting up an Aquarium Part 5:

9. Be aware of the “Beginners’ Blue”. The initial weeks could be frustrating, as your fishes might die suddenly, water might become cloudy or green, plants might die or get covered with ugly algae. Be patient. Try to understand the cause of the problem. Remember, the slow and steady still wins the race.

10. Be prepared to spend time with your tank, fishers, and plants. You don’t need to spend all the time beside your tank or work vigorously everyday cleaning up buckets of dirty water. Just spend an hour or a half, everyday with your tank. Watch them, feel them, touch them, try to understand them. You will never regret that!

Aquarium Tips: Part 4

Nature Aquariums and Aquascapes by Samit Roy - Graphic Designer and Digital Artist
Tips that you must know before setting up an Aquarium Part 4:

1. NEVER get your fishes and tank together. It will take minimum a week or two, sometimes more, to prepare a tank for fishes. This is the MOST COMMON MISTAKE that everyone makes. You must allow the beneficial bacteria to settle down build colonies and start the nitrogen cycle.

2. Accessories are not always extra. Choose the filter, heater, air pump and the lighting system very wisely. Filter is the most critical equipment for a successful set up. There are various types of filters available in the market. What kind of filter would be right for you, will greatly depend on the type of set up you are planning to build, the size of your tank, the number of fishes you want to keep, their sizes and so on.

Aquarium Tips: Part 3

Nature Aquariums and Aquascapes by Samit Roy - Graphics Designer and Digital ArtistTips that you must know before setting up an Aquarium Part 3:

1. Make sure you have electric connection and switch board adjacent to this space. You will require minimum 3-6 plug points with individual switch, depending on the size of the tank and type of set up. DO NOT forget to check the earthing and wirings carefully. Electricity leakage in tank could be fatal.

2. Always go for the largest possible size that fits in that space and your budget of course. NEVER think like the mythical fool who said, “Let’s begin with a smaller one! I will buy a larger tank, if this does well!” You will be sorry. It won’t do well, if you are a beginner. The smaller tanks are harder to maintain and could be done only if you have enough experience.

Aquarium Tips: Part 2

Nature Aquariums and Aquascapes by Samit Roy
Tips that you must know before setting up an Aquarium Part 2:

1. NEVER plan to keep your tank in the areas where you and your family members move very frequently, like in a narrow corridor or beside the doors or on the center table of your living room! Also, try to keep it away from the reach of the kids and other pets.

2. Avoid the space that gets direct sunlight, even if it gets sun for few minutes a day and for few months of a year. If your tank gets sunlight, even for a few minutes, you will have tough time with algae.

Aquarium Tips: Part 1

Aquariums of Samit Roy - Graphics Designer and Digital Artist

Tips that you must know before setting up an Aquarium Part 1:

1. Your aquarium is not a lifeless toy or showpiece like your Ming flower vase or Michelangelo replica. It is a living being – growing, breathing, aging like us. You need to treat it as a sensible and delicate life form. The idea is to set up a replica of the living nature, in a very small scale.

2. Decide the place you want keep your tank, before you buy it. Measure the space. Remember, you will need minimum 2’ wide area on both sides of the tank and 1’ at the back. You will need this area to maneuver your tanks and sometimes to keep accessories.