Going big..Well, bigger, at least!

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the confusing, chaotic place that is my mind...

Seatbelts, please...

Have you ever had a little tank you liked so much that you wanted to duplicate it in a scaled up size? Well, that's me right now.

We've talked many times about the idea of using so-called "nano aquariums" as a sort of "testbed" for ideas and concepts. The idea that it's easier to try some of these exotic experiments on a small scale than it is to go right to the "big time" is top of mind.

I've totally embraced this, after a long and storied hatred of nano-sized aquariums...I've found that they actually give me a lot of flexibility, and the capability of trying out new concepts easily and quickly.

As many of you know, I have been testing my concept of what I have been calling the "Tucano Tangle"- a 9-gallon aquarium set up to replicate aspects of the habitat of the Tucanoichthys tucano, a characin found only in one area, the Rio Uaupes- specifically, "a brook emptying into the igarape Yavuari"...like, that's pretty damn specific, right?

Damn, those sluggish streams and flooded forest floors again...

And of course, with me essentially trashing the idea of a hardcore, 100% accurate replication of such a specific locale, the idea was essentially to mimic the appearance and function of such an igarape habitat, replete with lots of roots and leaf litter.

This is what I came up with.

And man, I love this tank. It's been a lot of fun.

Like, I love it more than any other "biotope-inspired" tank I've ever set up.  I tried it on a small scale because of the tiny size (and breath-taking price) of the Tucanos; I figured they'd be utterly lost in a larger (like 50 US gallons) aquarium. Not to mention, that I'd have to take out a second mortgage on my home to acquire a population significant enough to make it look like there were any fish in the tank! 

Yet, here I am. 

Of course, I enjoy the small tank and have no plans to take it down any time soon. However, I love the physical appearance and the function of the aquarium so much that I totally want to scale this baby up! That's a total fist-geek mindset, for sure. Now, the idea of populating said tank entirely with the little Tucanos- although tempting, is sort of an economically impractical approach. I suppose I could do that...but at $12USD each, to get a school justifiably large enough to place in a 50-gallon tank would be pretty pricy.

And of course, some other fishes are found symmetrically with the Tucanos- specifically, the cute little cichlid, Ivanacara adoketa, some Amblydoras catfishes, Rivulus (yeah, killies- but the fucking things jump like mad...and in my open-top tank...), and the coolest of all- the equally tiny, elusive, and somewhat pricy Poecilocharax weitzmani- a fish that looks a lot like the Tucanos, but dwells in the leaf litter!  

Oh, man.

How can I resist doing this?

I don't know if I can for much longer, lol.

So, picture a scaled-up version of the little tank...The main thing I'd do differently would be to slope up the substrate towards the rear of the tank, and really make sure that the Melastoma roots or Tangle Branch Wood that I use are placed more towards the rear, giving the impression of a bunch of roots from marginal vegetation (species of Ficus and Leopoldina species are the dominant jungle plants in the habitat I'm interested in replicating). Perhaps, I'll arrange them in a bit of an arc, which will provide a lot of "front and center" swimming area- and a "basin" of sorts for leaf litter to accumulate.

The scale of a larger tank will allow me to create the more open, yet still complex  'scape that I am envisioning here. 

Oh, now I'm liking this idea even more now. I can fully visualize this.

So, my little exercise in scaling up will cost me a lot of money, a little bit of enjoyable time, and provide unlimited awesomeness...

I think.

Yeah, it will.

Right? Maybe? Yeah.

Damn it. Stop me.

Or maybe not...enable me, then. Yeah! 


That's what's my head this morning. I want to do this...at least right now I do...

Thanks for dropping in...

Stay creative. Stay innovative. Stay restless. Stay bold. Stay diligent. Stay motivated. Stay a little...wierd...

And Stay Wet.


Scott Fellman

Tannin Aquatics 




Scott Fellman
Scott Fellman


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