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Vote Now for 2021 TANK OF THE YEAR!

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Tank of the Month 🏆
Sep 23, 2013
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Northeastern USA
2021 Tank of the Year

We're winding up another great year on Tropical Fish Forums. The holidays are coming and we at TFF are going to celebrate in style. is proud to announce our 2021 TANK OF THE YEAR poll. We had 12 top notch winners over the last 12 months in our Tank of the Month Contests. We need your help to decide which tank is the best of the best! We are asking all members to vote for the tank that you feel deserves the title of 2021 TANK OF THE YEAR.

1st place will be awarded a $50 Amazon Gift Card
2nd place will be awarded a $30 Amazon Gift Card
3rd place will be awarded a $20 Amazon Gift Card

This poll will close at 12 PM (US) EST on Saturday January 1st, 2022. Please do your part and cast your vote for 2021 TANK OF THE YEAR!

Please view all 12 entries before voting. Then go to the poll at the top of this thread, click on your choice and then click the cast button. You are allowed to change your vote if you wish. No comments about specific entries are allowed. thanks you for your participation in our contests.

Entrants, please note:
Any attempt to influence competition results, other than by casting your allocated vote, is not permitted and may result in your entry being removed and / or further action being taken. This is a public poll so all votes are visible as to source.

Good luck to our 12 entrants. Merry Xmas and Happy New Year to all our fine members.

Natjerm - January 2021 TOTM Winner

After 13-15 years out of the hobby, I sparked an interest in getting back into fish keeping with my 9year old son. It became somewhat of a great project to plan and gradually put together, so we’ll start with a few details....

Tank setup:
-20 gallon long (brand unknown, free off Kijiji and re-sealed)
-Eheim 100w heater
-Aqueon Quietflow 10 air pump with a 1” air stone
-Aqueon folding lid with matching light canopy
-2x Aqueon 36” LED lights, one Beauty max and one Day time White
-Fluval 207 canister filter
-Hand painted background (son helped me with)
-TopFin black fine gravel.
-Variety of river rock and black/grey flagstone
-Custom built aquarium stand by yours truly. Frame built out of pressure treated 2x4, specs from most readily available stand builds, strong as can be and built to last. Trimmed it out with a variety of leftover pressure treated railing and fence building materials I had leftover. Doors I threw together really quick and they need replacing already, but that’s a different story. Under cabinet led light strips are connected to a door switch that turns the lights on when you open the left door.

2x Corydoras Pandas
15x Neon & Diamond Neon Tetras
2x Zebra Nerite snails
3x Otocinclus
3x Amano shrimp

Future Stocking:
Plan to add 2 more pandas to complete the group when I can some in stock, my quarantine tank is running and waiting.

Christmas Moss
Anubias nana
Crypt wendtii
Ludwigia red
Crypt becketti
Anubias congensis

fish feeding: tropical flakes, frozen brine shrimp, frozen baby brine shrimp, algae wafers, blanched zucchini, frozen bloodworms

plant feeding: seachem root tabs, aquarium co-op easy green

Tank is maintained with 25% weekly water changes using a mix of tap and RO water. The fluval bio rings were swapped out of the canister and replaced with lava rock and packed all three compartments full. Filter is serviced once every 3-4 weeks.

Consistent reading of 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite and usually <10 nitrate. Gh averaging ~100ppm with introduction of RO water. Ph consistent at 7.8. Temperature fluctuates between 76-78F, and the heater never turns on as I have the thermostat set to 72ish.

I’m still waiting for the plants to fill out more to really get the looks I’m going for, but so far I’m very happy with it.
This is not an exciting to watch, it’s a very peaceful one. Which works well with the hardscape because it you want to find the ottos, shrimp or snails, sometime you gotta work for it. they have so many places to hide to find food.
Otherwise you’re just looking at plants and neons begging for food. That’s alright with me though, I can watch this tank all day long.
Best of all, it’s been a great experience getting my kids involved in the whole thing.

Razzmatazz - February 2021 TOTM Winner

Hello all!
Im presenting my 50G (36"×15wx22h) planted tank. Its 3 months old and an upgrade from a previous 36G bowfront.
Parameters are: Temp at 77F, 0/0/20, Ph 6.4-7.2 depending on what time of day I test due to CO2 injection. KH and GH at 6.
Water changes are done weekly and 30% is changed using 60/40 RO to tap.
Lighting is Finnex ALC supplemented with a Finnex Vivid+.
Filtration consist of a Sunsun 303B filled with sponges and Matrix. Also a Seachem Tidal 55 is used for surface skimming and chemical media (Purigen)
Tank inhabitants
2 Honey Gouramis
5 Rummynose Tetras
4 Rummynose Rasboras
8 Neon Tetras
7 Harlequin Rasboras
6 CPDs
4 Otos
2 Hillstream Loaches
4 Panda Corys
Amazon Sword
Pogostemon Stellatus
Water Sprite
Ludwigia Repens
AR mini
Mermaids Weed
Various Anubias
Various Cryptocorynes
Rotola Macandra
Thank you!

AdoraBelle Dearheart - March 2021 TOTM Winner

60 litre/15.5 gallon planted tank, started as an emergency tank in August 2020 after my shrimp were being poisoned by plants contaminated with pesticides. You can read about that here, if you're bored enough to check it out! Luckily, moving the survivors to this tank with new sand and only in-vitro grown plants saved the colony, who are thriving and reproducing in here :)

Ammonia: 0
nitrite: 0
nitrate: Rarely goes above ten
GH: 253ppm
Filtration: Sponge filter mainly for aeration and because the shrimp like it, All Ponds Solution canister filter for the heavy lifting.
Hardscape: Dragonstone, coconut hut
Echinodorus 'rose'
Limnophila sessiliflora
Rotala 'bonsai'
Amazon Frogbit
Hygrophilia siamensis 53b

TNC plugs (root tabs)
Tetramin Liquid ferts

Feeding schedule: Usually small meals twice a day, flakes once, frozen food once - mixed frozen foods, usually some daphnia/cyclops/moina since it's small enough for fry and makes a cloud in the water column, letting everyone feed, and the adult fish like it too. Smaller amounts of frozen mini bloodworms, brineshrimp or tubifex for the cories and adult fish. Cory pellets and wafers used at different times, shrimp live on tank algae, the same pellets as the cories, occasional Shrimp Cuisine and snowflake food. Brineshrimp with spirulina. Live food when I can get it, microworms fairly often since they're small enough for fry and I have colonies of microworms going. Feed small meals 3-4 times a day when there are fry, like there is currently. Have been trying a bit of veg now and then to try to tempt the cories to eat some. I like to feed a variety! Change it up often.

Maintenance: Frequency and volume of water changes differs according to stocking. Minimum of 50% once a week, but more often as fry grow and increase the bioload. Since it has shrimp, I don't like to do more than 50% at a time on this tank, and nitrates are always below 20ppm when I test, rarely go above 10 ppm, so it seems to be balanced pretty well. The frogbit sucks up a lot of waste.

Plant trimming as needed. Sessiliflora is planted around the sponge filter to hide it, frogbit needs thinning out and the roots trimming back frequently, every water change it gets thinned out.

Current Stocking

Three adult female guppies, six young sterbai cories (moving to 57 gallon soon) seven young blue platies growing out, many fry! Countless Neocaridina Davidii, six amano shrimp.

This is currently the female only tank. I'd kept a young female that had been born with a prolapse. Don't want her to breed, didn't want to cull, and wouldn't send her to the store, so she'll live out her life with me. Named her Cherry, and have kept two other females to keep her company. :wub:

I'm trying to wind up livebearer breeding/keeping, but it's a long process! Those two females are still churning out fry :lol: I want to switch the male/female tanks I have since catching fish out of this tank is a nightmare, really not suited for catching fry - It inevitably ends up with a load of plants uprooted, which doesn't help them thrive! So this one will become the retirement tank for the male guppies I'm keeping, the females will go to my other 15.5 gal tank, and the fry to the grow out tank. Cories will be moving to a 57 gallon tank when they're a bit bigger/the 57 gallon has been revamped (lots of projects on the go!)

Also toying with the idea of making this a themed tank! I think creating a naturalistic, fairy or hobbit type scape would be really fun, and suit the male guppies and shrimp pottering about :D I've been training the hydrocotyle tripartitia 'Japan' to grow over the coconut hut at the front right, the cories and the shrimp love that little hut. Also create little caves out of Indian Almond leaves that they like to hide under.

Good luck to everyone who entered! Some really stunning scapes and tanks entered, makes me want to work harder on my own aquariums!

Kolykaf - April 2021 TOTM Winner

20 gallon long
Sponge filter
Current satellite plus pro lighting
organic potting soil capped with pool filter sand
TDS 85
Gh 3
Kh <1
Ph 6.3
77F (25C)
The tank has been running for around a year and 5 months. It is moderately tannin-stained from driftwood, catappa leaves, alder cones and other botanicals. Among the plants are java fern, anubias nana petite, rotala indica, bucephalandra, dwarf sag, limnophilla heterophylla and najas indica.

It is home to a pair of betta uberis and around 6 of their offspring (it’s difficult to tell how many as they tend to hide)
12 Sundadanio globinus
7 corydoras habrosus
1 pair of clown killies

The original pair of bettas won’t touch flake/pellets or frozen so I feed black worms, daphnia, fruit flies and in warmer months mosquito larvae when I can harvest them from a bucket of water in my yard. The rest get bugbites, frozen cyclops, daphnia and spirulina flakes.
I typically change 25% of the water every 2 weeks. I use R/O remineralized with Seachem Equilibrium and add 1 pump (2ml) of Thrive all-in-one liquid fertilizer.

Sarabarton76 - May 2021 TOTM Winner

Here's my 200l/ 55g jewel Lido. It's 70 x 60 x 50 cm and has a large piece of driftwood taking out some capacity in the middle.
Set up in February. Parameters ammonia 0, nitrates 0, nitrites 0-2.5. PH 7.5

I use the internal jewel filter and lighting but have added an All Pond Solutions 1000l EF - I wanted to overfilter for my impending fry issue and I'm not brave enough to take the internal out.

I also added a small airstone as I think the depth risks issues with oxygenation, but at a lower flow than this size of tank would reccomend.

Plants include elodea, amazon sword, some cryptocoryne, althernantha, a couple of types of hygrophila, java fern and a little salvinia on the surface (which survives rather than thrives).

Understocked at the moment - 2 adult female mollies, 6 x 8 week old fry and about 8 x 4 week old fry. The boys were evicted a few weeks ago to control fry and I'm waiting to be able to identify the sex of the fry. No plans to expand until I know we wont have babies every 2 weeks.

I was using the aquascaper complete - probably not as reliably as I should. Noticed pale plants and some holes in leaves, so switched to seachem flourish a couple of weeks ago and the plants are much happier. Thus may represent me doing a better job rather than fert effectiveness.

Plant wise I'm still learning. The fish like to nibble through the stalks of some, I just replant the floating tops in one of the tanks so the aquascaping is very accidental. Micorcanthenum has not survived my tender touch ha ha!

I do a 20- 40% water change a week depending on time. I've just got confident enough to test only once or twice a week after doing alternate days for a while to make sure I didn't mess anything up. Glass cleaned by my 5 year old so probably variable in standard!

I feed twice a day, I suspect I'm overfeeding but when I feed less more plants get eaten so its a balance I am learning. I use tetra micro granules, plec spiralina wafers, tetrapro algae, frozen bloodworm, and fresh veggies 3-5 x week as available so I mix the variety up.

No big changes planned. I'm just getting used to running the big tank, and waiting on properly segregating boys and girls. Once I feel like I've learned my craft I may consider adding other types of fish.

We are enjoying being learners right now, can't believe how much the plants have changed already!

EDIT: Ive been reading tank cleaning thread, Upping water changes to 40% twice a week ......

Flushable Pets - June 2021 TOTM Winner

6.8 gallon Imagitarium
Started 05/16/21 with media from well established tank.
1 dragon scale betta, Wasabi
3 mystery snails
Stock lighting and filtration
PFS substrate
Anubias nana, Microsorum sp., Ludwigia repens, Rotala rotundifolia, Dwarf sagittaria, Salvinia minima.
Seachem Flourish and DIY CO2

Mick85 - July 2021 TOTM Winner

May as well enter the first of my breeder tanks that I just finished!
It's approx 18g 60x30x36cm starfire glass tank.
Substrate: bottom layer is organic garden soil, middle layer is Amazonia 2.0/gravel mix and capping is ADA La Plata sand.
Hardscape: round lava rock and spiderwood.
Background: Pink baby tears. alternanthera reineckii, rotala rotundifolia colorata (was tissue culture so still growing), filigree milfoil.
Midground: AR mini, S.Repens, Hygrophila Corymbosa, crypt wendtii brown, java fern, hydrocotyle tripartita Japan, mayaca fluviatilis,
Foreground: Monte carlo, eleocharis acicularis hairgrass.
Moss: Mini Taiwan moss and Java moss.

No livestock so far as I'm still cycling the tank but I hope to eventually house some pea puffers and try to get some babies!

Waterbabe - August 2021 TOTM Winner

Here is my 36G Acrylic, it's a couple of decades old now and really should of been changed by now but I struggle to part with it. As deep as it is, I manage pretty well, as I have experienced in the past, it's best to just stick to silk plants. It runs with a 1600lph power head and a over head filter system under the hood. It cleans itself very well, all I do are water changes, filter cleans and glass. I will confess now, "gulp" I have never ever used a ph test in any single tank I have owned on my life, and I never get a problem, I dont have diseases or fungus or infection, I do regular strict water changes with tap safe. All my tanks are the same or just bio run. Guess I'm lucky or have magic water lol.
In here are Weatherloach, Marble swords. Neon tetra, False tetras, White tip. Nerite snails. Like everyone I occasionally suffer with an algae bloom, typically now! But I'm never one who worries about stuff like that as it soon goes, it's all part of life in the tank! I'm not fussy :)

Flushable Pets - September 2021 TOTM Winner

6.8 gallon Imagitarium
Sashimi, a koi plakat betta
A gazillion MTS and bladder snails
Nicrew Gen 2 Classic
Stock filter
Rotala rotundifolia, Ludwigia repens and DHG
DIY Osmocote root tabs
Seachem Flourish
Weekly 25%-ish water change
Daily Tetra-Min pellets or blood worms
Tetra AquaSafe
Going roughly 5 months

Byron - October 2021 TOTM Winner

Amazon Blackwater 29 gallon/110 liter. Established following my house move in May 2019 with some more recent fish additions. Not a strict biotope because of the plants. Water is not tinted, but otherwise is "blackwater" in terms of parameters, aquascape and fish species. Dark grey play sand, Malaysian Driftwood, oak branches, dried oak leaves. Tank is not as "bright" as photos make it, not a great mobile phone for photos.
GH 0
KH 0
pH below 6 (lowest test capability) probably in the 4-5 range.
Temperature 79F/26C
Water Change weekly, 50% [had to reduce volume due to increased additives by water authority).

Plants, Floating:
Ceratopteris cornuta (Water Sprite)
Salvinia minima

Plants, Lower:
Microsorum pteropus
Taxiphyllum barbieri
Anubias barteri
var. nana

13 Paracheirodon simulans
8 Hyphessobrycon amandae
4 Nannostomus eques [last of a group acquired 7-8 years ago, will add more if I ever find them locally]
7 Corydoras pygmaeus [fry that hatched 3-4 years ago in another tank]
8 Carnegiella strigata, lineage 1 [phylogenetic analysis has revealed two monophyletic lineages within this species, with considerable genetic distance (10-12%) between them, making it probable that there are two distinct species within this complex (Schneider, et al, 2012; Abe, et al, 2013), and I was able to determine these are lineage 1]

Aquabarb - November 2021 TOTM Winner

Hi folks :)

This is my Juwel Rio 180 (47g) River tank. Not quite finished yet but its coming along nicely :)

Running with....
* 2 x heaters with a HTC306 T duel controller.
*Juwel internal filter and a large duel sponge filter.
*2x T5's 45w blubs
*Substrate: Play sand
*Plants: Cryptocoryne Beckettii- wendtii- willisii- Nevilli- Parva, Rotala Indica, Amazon Swords, Hygrophia, Moss balls and Water Sprite floating. (Feed with root tabs and seachem flourish)
*Decor: bogwood and river stone.
Current stocking..
18 Cardinal Tetra
9 Rummy nose Tetra
6 Pearl Gourami
12 Pepper Cory
1 BN Pleco
*50/75% weekly water changes. *Ammonia 0,Nitrite 0, nitrates 10ppm, Ph 7.4 Gh 9.1

Thank you for looking and good luck to all :)

WhislingBadger - December 2021 TOTM Winner
click on video below

Welcome to Badger's Rice-Free Sumatran Rice Paddy Biotope!
I built the tank last winter. Planted it in January and stocked it over the following several months.

36" long x 10" deep x 10" high home-made tank.
This is a Walstad-style setup. No filter; no ferts except what nature is kind enough to provide; light stocking; lots of plants; garden soil-under-sand substrate; 3w pump for water circulation running through a tube buried in the sand to a small spray bar on the opposite side. This gives a nice, slow flow through the tank.
Fluval Aquasky light set to a 10 hour on, 14 hour off cycle with about a half hour of dawn and dusk on either side and some cloudy weather around the middle of the day.
100w cheapo heater.
Home-made backdrop. It's supposed to look like a brick levy bordering a rice paddy or ditch. I made it from blue poly foam, Drylok paint, and concrete pigment.
Split bamboo to simulate rice. Because, you know, this is supposed to be a ride paddy, but I can't grow rice to save my life. See below.
The little pot is actually from Thailand, not Sumatra. Next time I get over to Sumatra, though, I plan to pick up the real thing. If the loaches know the difference, they don't seem to mind.

Temp 78F
Hardness <5 dgh.
pH c. 7.5-8
Nitrates: <10 ppm
No nasty stuff. :)

I originally wanted this tank to be stocked with licorice gouramis, in hopes of getting a breeding pair. Unfortunately, all of the LGs I could find were wild-caught, and since I am fairly inexperienced at breeding fish, I couldn't justify removing them from the wild.
3 male Betta imbellis, two of which were born in this tank. My female sadly died last summer, and I have decided for now not to replace her.
10 Dwarf rasbora (Boraras Maculatus). Six of them are new and haven't fully colored up yet.
5 Dwarf kuhli loach (Pangio cuneovirgata)
7 Amano shrimp (Caridina multidentata). These don't live in Sumatra, but related species do. Close enough.
More than a couple Malaysian Trumpet Snails (Melanoides tuberculata)
Several Bladder Snails (Physella sp.)
Assorted substrate critters: Blackworms, scuds, daphnia, copepods. I haven't seen any worms since shortly after I added the loaches, and I haven't seen any of the crustaceans since I added the bettas. It's a mystery, that...

Paddy herb (Limnophila aromatica).
Crystalwort (Riccia fluitans)
Floating fern (Salvinia natans)
Clover fern (Marsilia crenata)
Cryptocoryne pontederiifolia
Java moss (Taxiphyllum barieri)
And nope, no rice. I am, so far, an utter failure at growing rice. I managed to kill off the latest batch just when it was almost big enough to put in the tank. Rice is not forgiving to those of us who sometimes forget to water our plants. So, for now there is split bamboo. Stay tuned for further rice-growing adventures.
Slowly scroll up as you review the 12 entries, make your selection for TOTY and then click the "cast" button.
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Scroll up slowly as you review the 12 awesome entries, then in the poll at the top of this thread, click on your choice for TOTY and then click the CAST button. Thanks go out to all members who participate in this contest by either entering, voting, or both.
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All these tanks are well deserving of winning tank of the year! I would also like to give a shout out to everyone that entered the tank of the month contest in 2021. We were able to see so many amazing tanks throughout the year and unfortunately not all could be featured above.

Also a big thanks to @Fishmanic for hosting all of these fun contests! 👍

In 5 days, the winner(s) will be announced.
If you haven't yet voted, please VOTE NOW! :big_boss:
Winner(s) to be announced in just 4 days.
VOTE NOW! :vote:
Just THREE days left to vote
VOTE NOW! :big_boss:
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Just TWO Days Left to VOTE!
If you haven't yet voted, please vote now.
Winners will be announced and prizes will be awarded on New Years Day.
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