My Aquarium

When we built the home-office I decided that I also wanted to have a built in aquarium. I set it up so that it's visible from both our bedroom and from within the home office:
Aquarium from the outside
I knew this was a little risky. Most aquariums are up against a wall and you can only see in from once side. Being able to see from both sides makes it a little more difficult to setup the plants and rocks so that it looks nice from both sides.
Also, the aquarium gets twice as much light and has the risk of becoming green with algae. This normally doesn't happen very often, but it appears that this time of year it does:
Aquarium water is green

My aquarium is filled with Cichlid type fish which are quite hardy and long lived and more intelligent as well. I didn't want a salt water aquarium, which would have been prettier, but much more expensive to setup and buy all the fish. I bought a large 95 gallons (360 liters) which can allow the fish to grow quite large.
My second risky decision was to have a planted aquarium. Normally aquariums are full of plastic plants, I wanted real plants. It meant getting a CO2 tank to promote the health of the plants and buying expensive (about $50.00 each) lamps to provide artificial ultraviolet light. You also need to buy a special substrate (dirt) for the plants to grow in. To do the CO2 properly you also need a bubble counter and a diffuser. Because I now have Discus Cichlids which are more sensitive to PH changes I've also put in a solenoid on a timer which turns on the bubble only during the day, when the plants will take it up.
My setup
So here's my final setup. I have a good canister filter (EHEIM 2217) on the left, a CO2 tank (silver colored). The brass thing connected to the the wall is the solenoid which turns the CO2 on and off.
Below that also attached to the wall, in red and black is my latest purchase, an ultra-violet (UV) sterilizer which should get rid of my algae problem. It uses only 8 watts so my electrical bill should go up noticeably. Also, this time of year, it gets a little cold at night (maybe 15° Celsius) so I ended up buying two heaters since one didn't seem to cut it.
Having an aquarium you can see on both sides is great, it looks nice at night and the fish recognize me even when I'm in the bedroom! You just need to realize that you'll have to buy a lot of equipment so that the fish stay healthy.


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