[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: Planted tanks in public aquaria

Dave Gomberg <gomberg at wcf_com> wrote:

> Actually, AFAIK, there are almost none.   Queen of the public aquaria in
> plants is Tennessee in Chattanooga, wait for PAM 2 for an article.
> Baltimore just opened a big Amazon biotope tank, I will tell you more in a
> couple of weeks.   If Karen has anything to say about it, I would bet
> Boston has something.   But that is probably close to it.   Too bad.

Want just to add my 2 cents here, regarding the "plant" aquarium in 
Baltimore, as I've seen people refering to it. As Dave correctly stated, 
it is a *biotope* tank. That is a far cry from the "real" plant tanks we
use to keep in our living rooms. This biotope tank is *not* heavily planted 
by any measure, and poorly lit by any planted aquarium standard. My
impression is that it was carefully designed to closely resemble the true 
environmewnt of an underwater river bank in the flooded forest; it *wasn't* 
designed to look pretty. Just compare it to the images seen in documentaries
such as "Journey into Amazonia" and the Jacques Cousteau series on the
Amazon region. Plants planted at low density, mostly scattered along the 
steep bank and intertwined with large tree roots comimng from above the water.
Light is spotty, with darker places simulating the shade created by the forest 
canopy. Almost perfect IMHO, except for the missing murky water (the water 

Faithfullness to the original environment above all, seems to me to be the 
basic design concept used at most of the (smaller) exhibits at the Baltimore 
aquarium, and I guess at many other public aquariums as well. They even keep 
(or used to keep) a large tank whose main decoration is made of trash ! (tires, 
wooden crates, glass bottles) just to recreate the looks of the bottom of the 
Chesapeake bay. Extreme, but educative. The "plant" tank wouldn't be 

That said, IMHO the Amazon tank *is* simply awesome. I've never seen so many
cardinal tetras, there must be a thousand or so in there. Not to mention 
other species such as the oversized angels and discus, and dozens of catfish. 
Also, we never see in our "regular" size aquariums so many swordplants 
clumped together, dozens of them. Of course, with 3,000 gallons to spare, 
even the largest sword looks small...

-Ivo Busko
 Baltimore, MD