Medium 120cm Aquarium

By: Stefan Hummel

This 120cm Aquarium is using an active aquarium soil substrate, allowing more delicate plants to thrive with very little effort. Soil is a ready-to-use, all-in-one substrate. The layout is simple but effective and the plants play the main role. This makes it an easy layout to recreate for everyone. Keep in mind that aquariums with active soil benefit from additional large water changes during the early phase, after the initial setup. After that period, it is almost no different than regular substrate, but your plant growth will be on a completely new level. Let's get started!

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Step 1

Fill in the active Soil. Soil is ready out of the bag, there is no need for pre washing. In fact, we advise against ever washing soil substrate.

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Step 2

You will need approximately 3x 8 liter bags of soil to achieve  5cm of substrate in the front and a small slope of 10-12cm in the back of your aquarium.


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Step 3

Distribute decorative stones - always use an odd number. Pay attention to the "Rule of Thirds". You can see here how the rocks have been positioned off center along the 1/3 lines.

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Step 4

Plant Echinodorus Jungle Star 'Little Bear' in the middle section of the background. Consider the size of the mature plant when determining planting distance.

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Step 5

With its bright green color, Hygrophila costata will provide great contrast in the background. You can shorten the tips of this plant if you want dense and bushy growth right from the beginning.

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Step 6

Plant Ludwigia palustris 'Super Red' next to the Hygrophila costata for maximum contrast. Use some Cryptocoryne wendtii 'Brown' to transition from the background plants towards the midground.

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Step 7

Fill the gaps between the rocks with the grassy plant Lilaeopsis brasiliensis and add Micranthemum umbrosum on the far right. The latter is a stem plant that can be perfectly trimmed to any shape and kept nice and compact.

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Step 8

 Split up the foreground plant Micranthemum tweediei 'Montecarlo' evenly throughout the space. This is a perfect foreground plant that doesn't require a lot of maintenance, and looks great mixed with the grassy runners of Lilaeopsis brasiliensis.

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 Step 9

This is it! Now cover the plants with paper towels and fill the tank with water. Well done! Next, simply follow the maintenance routine from our Beginner Step by Step Guide and enjoy your underwater world.

120Cm Cover


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