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🐠 TOTM VOTE NOW - December 2023 Tank of the Month Contest (16 gal & smaller)

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Vote Now - December 2023 Tank of the Month

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TFF Contest Czar
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Tank of the Month 🏆
Sep 23, 2013
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Northeastern USA

16 gallon and smaller
Please Vote Now
We have 10 awesome tanks entered in Fishforums' December 2023 Tank of the Month contest featuring tanks sized at 16 gallons and smaller. View all the tanks and descriptions below and then go to poll at the top of this thread, click on your choice for TOTM, and then click the "Cast" button.

Please DO NOT post any comments about any specific entry in this thread...such posts will promptly be deleted. You are not allowed to update your entry picture or video once voting has started.

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. You are not allowed to have friends or family join TFF for the main purpose of voting for you. This is a public poll so source of votes can be viewed.

Winner will be awarded a neat "Tank of the Month Winner" banner in their profile area and will be featured in a "TOTM Winner" thread for all to see and to comment on. Winner will also be added to our TOTM WALL OF FAME

You are allowed to change your vote if you wish.
This poll will end on December 7th at 9:16 PM ET (US).
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totm entry.jpg

Hi Everyone.
Here is my 10-gallon Chili Rasbora Tank.
The aquarium was started in June of this year using the dry start method. I've already started many tanks with the normal planting method, so I wanted to switch it up and learn something new. I flooded the tank on August 20.
It has already filled in pretty well, but I am trying to get the background plants to fill in better.

Here are the specs for those interested:
20 Chili Rasbora
Amano Shrimp
Japenese Pennywort
Crypt Wendtii Red
Limnophila Aromatica
Hydrocotyle verticillata
Glossostigma elatinoide
Pheonix Moss
10g aquarium
Nicrew Internal Filter
Aqeon 50w Heater
Chiheros A series
Fluval Stratum

Overall, I am pleased with how this tank has grown in. It does need a trim, but its still a fun tank to watch.
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I want to enter my new low budget office tank, (9.2 gallon). It is just a few days old. Unlike my main tank, I wanted to experiment with natural materials.
I am waiting for the wood to lose buoyancy, and maybe tidy up some of the roots and plants.
Also I plan to tie some plants to branches that stick out later

SOBO-390 tank that came with a filter, pump and light.

Dirt, beach sand, tufa rocks

Elodea, Hygrophila, Hornwort, Cryptocoryne, Red Tiger, Pennywort

2 Balloon Molly
2 Platy
6 Cardinal Tetra
1 Albino Bronze Cory
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Hi everyone this is my Dennerle Nano Cube 60L

I started this aquarium on Sept 3rd, 2023. I used the majority of substrate, plants, wood, and filter from my old tank which allowed me to add fish almost straight away. I've had no major issues with this tank except for some algae. I'm still not 100% happy with this tank as the crypts and repens are not fully grown into the size I would like them to be (I'm Impatient ). The lighting is a DIY floodlight as well as my C02 system which is just a 2L water bottle containing yeast and sugar. My most recent addition was a monstera plant up top to help with filtration. I only do around 20-30% water change weekly so having even more plants is always a bonus. The fish and shrimp are doing very well even breeding among the sawbwa. Speaking of I also have 20+ fry in another tank which when grown up will be added to this tank (females only).

Fish -

3x Ottocinclus
1x Female Honey gourami (Wild type)
4x Sawbwa resplendens
3x Amano shrimp
1x Zebra Nerite Snail

Plants -
Rotala rotundifolia H'ra
Rotala Indica
Ludwigia Super red
Hygrophila pinnatifida
Hygrophila corymbosa compact
Myriophyllum mattogrossense
Cryptocoryne undulatus
Staurogyne repens
Bolbitis heudelotii
Bucephalandra Biblis
Limnobium laevigatum
Microsorum pteropus Trident
Anubias Petite
Cryptocoryne parva
Monstera 'monkey leaf'
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History of the tank:
I started this tank in 2021. I had been keeping fish off and on since the late 70s, but never really spent a lot of time learning. This was the first time I started reading about the best way to keep fish, etc. I got all abuzz about using CO2, so I bought a cheap system where you mix water with the "food" and it would blast out CO2 for a week or so. It was amazing! The plants grew like crazy.

However, over time the inconsistency of the CO2 application (I would run out and then take awhile to buy more) and my inconsistent maintenance (long time between water changes) created a nightmare. The tank was just overrun with black beard algae.

I removed all of the plants and hardscape. I reduced light to 6 hours a day and spent a lot of time with just fish and nothing else. I started changing the water every day (30%-40%) for about a month. This helped stabilize the water and I was able to remove most of the BBA.

Over time, I slowly added plants, and one (kind of ugly) piece of hardscape- it's behind all the anubias and is where the neons like to hang out now. I'm pretty happy with it these days. I got to where the ph was 6 all the time and I was afraid it might be lower than that. The fish were fine, but I felt that it should be a bit closer to 7, at least so I could know what the PH actually is (API test kit doesn't go lower than 6), so I added some crushed coral right where the water flows down. That raised the PH to 6.4. I've added a bit of baking soda to bring it to 7 and I'm happy with that.

What's in it:
Tank- Fluval Flex 15 gallon
substrate - basic river rock gravel and Fluval Stratum
Filter- built in filter with out-of-the-box sponge. Bio media is ceramic that came with it in one slot and K1 media in the other.
  • PH- 7
  • Ammonia - 0
  • Nitrite - 0
  • Nitrate - 10ppm
Plants (please forgive me- I'm guessing on these)-
  • Amazon Sword- 1
  • Java Fern - 2
  • Various Anubias - 3
  • the tiny leaf stuff in front (Monte Carlo?) - 4 groups
  • dwarf grass spread in front
  • penny wort - (the kind of bare stalk in the middle- he's ...struggling but coming back!)
  • some kind of little grass -looks like regular yard grass blades - can't see that, it's behind some of the others - I bought it on sale because it was melting- there are 3 or 4 blades still living - nice and green, but it's not growing fast at all
  • one small patch of moss- it looks brown in the pic/video, but there's some green in it- trying to see if it'll grow
Fertilization - API Leaf Zone (about 7ml each 40% water change), API root tabs- once per month
Lighting - out-of-the-box light 10 hours on p/d
  • 2 Emerald Corys
  • 1 Green Fire tetra (he's the one left)
  • 6 neon tetras
  • 8 glowlight tetras
  • 1 otocinclus (my little hero!)
  • 3 green glofish tetras
Food - Bug Bites flakes, Fresh and Natural Ultra Fresh Tropical Micro Pellets, freeze dried tubiflex worms (once a week on Tuesday), frozen blood worms (once a week on Saturday), a piece of cucumber (twice a month for my little hero otocinclus)

Maintenance - 30%-40% water change 3 - 4 times per week with vacuum near the filter intake, Prime for chlorine, some baking soda for PH (I've only done that once so far), trim plants as needed.
Note: I was applying Seachem Excel regularly to keep the BBA at bay (I never completely got rid of it), but after some reading I realized that if I fertilize the plants better they'll do it themselves. I was only using root tabs to that point. I started adding the API leaf zone (as noted above) and the BBA has faded significantly. I also read that Excel might not be good for the fishes' gills, so not using it now.
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Fluval Flex 57. Equipment all out of the box, except for a 50w heater.
Stock. Handful of guppies and celestial pearl danios. 1 male honey gourami. Numerous red cherry shrimp. Some pest snails.
Hardscape. Black gravel, nice piece of rock on the left, piece of driftwood in the middle.
Planting. Background, cabomba. Middle, java moss. Foreground, anubias.
Tank has been set up about 18 months, but this aquascape/ stocking more like 6 months.
Maintenance. Weekly water change, with a small amount of flourish added.
Food. Variety of flake and pellet food. Occasional hikari crab cuisine for the shrimp.
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Hi all

This is my work in progress.

Here is my 15-gallon community tank. After a devastating heater failure that cooked many of my community but left behind a massive number of assassin snails that were breeding like it was going out of fashion, I had to strip everything down and took the opportunity to re-establish the tank with new plants and substrate. We are about 3 months in, I just added some more foreground plants this weekend, and I'm planning on planting to the hardscape wall at the back, probably with Bucephalandra 'Needle Leaf' or similar.

I was able to fast cycle as the filter survived. Water quality is Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 5ppm, pH 6.8. I'm overstocked but maintaining the water quality with frequent large water changes. Everything is happy.

Here are the specs for those interested:
7 Harlequin Rasbora plus another tiny Rasbora of unknown type that arrived as a freeloader and shoals with them :) (that's a survivor from the last community)
6 Celestial Pearl Danio
7 Pygmy Corys
1 Endler (another survivor) who shoals with everything :)
1 Hillstream Loach
2 Dwarf Suckermouth Catfish
3 Nerites
0 Assassins (yay!)

Echinodorus parviflorus
Echinodorus altlandsberg
Lysimachia nummularia
Lilaeopsis novea-zealandia - lots - the corys and danios love this so I'm training it to carpet the right-hand side of the tank.
Eriocaulon cinereum - added this weekend
Pogostemon helferi - added this weekend
Lilaeopsis brasilensis (I think - it's the only surviving plant from the old community and I'm not 100% sure)

Other info:
Hexagonal 15-gallon tank
External filter (built into the lid of the tank)
100W heater protected by an Inkbird Thermostatic Controller (once bitten twice shy). I think I will be adding a second heater for redundancy at some point in the future.
Caribsea Eco Complete substrate
Large central driftwood piece, small pebbles for accent at rear around a buried airstone
Resin hardscape wall
Resin bomb to keep the kids happy :)
2 LED light arrays (25W + 20W) both full spectrum - 1 hygger with day/night cycle (12h 6500K daylight phased over time) plus a nicrew set for a 6 hour 6500K cycle over the middle of the day.
Easy-Life Easycarbo daily
Easy-Life Profito weekly
Easy-Life Root Sticks
Mixture of Bug-Bites flakes, granules, and sinking granules, plus frozen live food and mixes of different veg for variety

Edited to correct typos and to add an extra photo
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This is my 3 gallon TopFin Shrimp & Fish Oasis aquarium home to 3 tiny ramshorns and 3 Caridina cantonensis (tigers). This little kit included a sponge for the filter end of the provided HOB. The HOB filter is weak enough to not disturb a betta and is perfect for my little shrimp.

TDS 118 (This morning)
Ammonia 0
Nitrate 0
Nitrite 0
GH 8
KH 2

I’ve added extra filter floss to the small HOB as well as a tiny nano sponge filter in the rear left corner. There is an extra piece of used filter media from another aquarium sitting in the right rear corner to assist with establishing the beneficial bacteria colony. I have no heater in this little aquarium.

There is a large bolbitis herteroclita and a rosette sword plant. There is a java moss covered arch and a small rock also covered in java moss. There are two windelov ferns stuck into a java moss ball, and one piece of cholla wood with black pearl bucephalandra.

The LED light is 6500K and is very bright. In fact, I usually have some sort of shade over the top of it to help reduce the intensity. This light has no automation and must be manually turned off and on. I turn on the grow light for my lemon trees which is next to the aquarium first. Then after a while I turn on the tank light with the cover over a portion of the top of the aquarium. Mid morning I take the cover off and let full light into the aquarium, then I do the same routine in the opposite order for lights going down at the end of the night. This light does not get in my way when I clean the tank using a turkey baster and some airline with a chopstick tied to it so I can direct the sucking end in between and around the plants and decorations.

Botanicals include a chopped up oak leaf and catappa leaf, a couple casuarina cones and an alder cone, some catappa bark and a chunk of mopani wood. Next week I’ll be adding a couple dwarf water lettuce floating plants.

This is my 4th aquarium and I am new to Caridina cantonensis. I’m looking forward to many hours watching this little aquarium and its inhabitants.
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Here is one of my three under 16 gallon tanks that I have, but one that looks the coolest now

What's in it:
Tank- 56 cm x 25 cm x 36 cm
substrate - pool filtration sand
Filter- sponge filter with very much limited flow
Tank has no heater, no fertilizers, nothing extra going on in there

  • Amazon barteri nana
  • Cryptocoryne affinis
  • Cryptocoryne wendtii 'Green'
  • Cryptocoryne wendtii 'Tropica'
  • Microsorum pteropus 'Windelov'
  • Hygrophila polysperma
  • Monosolenium tenerum plus some other moss that was growing in it
  • Ceratophyllum demersum aka Hornwort
  • Limnobium laevigatum aka Frogbit

Lighting - half of Sinkor 60 cm WGB for 9 hours a day

Livestock -
6x adult clown killifish (3m/3f) + 2 fry
myriad of various rams horn snails because of my overfeeding due to fry
my very first ever assasin snail to help control this overpopulation

Feeding -
I feed mostly live food, bbs, microworms, frozen cyclops, sometimes will do a first bite powder food. due to fry I have to overfeed to keep the parents from discovering it, so ofcourse, snails, bit of algae

The clown killifish are in this tank since august and I already have 2 fry that are half the size of adult females, so they are about 3 months old. I am awaiting some dario sp or dario hysgion from suppliers, I think this tank can support a trio in the bottom part which is practically empty and given I feed live food anyways, should do ok
The roots of the frogbit are on part very cool and one part nightmare. I shortened them several times, I keep pulling the plants out. The fish love it, so I guess that is it. They cover 90% of the surface
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It's finally my time to shine! Been waiting for a 10 gallon opportunity.
This is my 10 gallon setup. I have had it going for about 2 years now, haven't changed the water a single time since. I only top off when needed.
No fertilizer used, no aquasoil (just a sandy bottom), no CO2. I try to scrub the tank once a week but there really aren't any issues with algae, the animals inside clean everything for me really well.

Rocks and botanicals I found outside, a couple dead corals from a beach trip, and a piece of driftwood that is now barely visible on the right because of the Rotala Indica.

20g Sponge Filter

2 Mystery Snails
1 Japanese Trapdoor Snail
2 Rabbit Snails
1 Nerite Snail
A crazy amount of Bladder Snails
15-20 Platy Fry
Large colony of Orange Bee Shrimp and shrimplets (50+)

Previously I had a breeding quartet of platys inside, but they were removed after having too many children... Into my 36 gal they go!

Anubias Nana Petite
Rotala Indica
Water Wisteria
Ludwigia Red
Dwarf Hairgrass
Java Moss
A LOT of Corkscrew Vallisneria (Asiatica)
A single VERY healthy Cryptocoryne Wendtii Bronze

I feed the tank with a single algae wafer every other day, and in the days between I take some hair algae out of my homemade algae farm and throw it in for the bottom feeders. The platy babies eat pretty much anything. Despite how many might claim my tank is overstocked, the water params have been zero for Nitrite, Nitrate and Ammonia since I started the tank., and I've never seen any aggression between species for lack of space - everyone really seems to get along. The jungle of plants inside is pretty good at cleaning up those excess nutrients, and I have to trim it quite often as it is by a window and I'm using a Finnex light on it.
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Hi all!
This is a 2.5 gallon Fluval aquarium, planted with floating duckweed, anubias on the small bonsai tree, and Java moss as a carpeting plant. The inhabitants include a female double tail betta, a scarlet badis, and 3 Pygmy cories.
I’ve had this tank set up since the end of September with no problems. I do 2 weekly water changes, and feed every other
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End of Entries:
Please scroll up slowly as you review the 10 awesome entries and then click on your choice for TOTM in the poll at the top of this thread. Be sure to click the "cast" button to register your vote.

Coming up in about a week, we will be accepting entries for our Fish of the Month contest. For December, we will be featuriing any type of freshwater Cichlid. South American, African, Angelfishs---they all qualify for this contest. If you have this type of fish in your household, we hope you enter one of them into the contest.

Thanks for participating in the TFF competitions.
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