Marie-Sophie Germain is no stranger to fishkeeping, having written books on nano aquaria, tropical shrimp and even scorpions. In addition, her articles have appeared in the French magazine Aquarium à la Maison. More recently, Marie-Sophie has been appointed as Community Manager for Dennerle France for whom she created the fantastic Danish style aquarium featured in this article.
Striking and bold, a tank full of red plants is certain to turn heads, especially when carried out as nicely as this Danish-style aquarium has been. It seems hard to imagine that this style of aquascaping won’t take off in popularity in the near future.
What is unexpected about Marie-Sophie’s tank, is that it isn’t crammed full of red stems as one might think, but rather a well-balanced array featuring just about ever colour on the red side of the spectrum from a deep crimson red to a pleasing yellow-brown foreground, passing vibrant orange on the way.
All of the plants appear in great health and some are even starting to grow emmersed as they poke out of the top.
The tank in question is a Dennerle Scapers’ Tank which has the dimensions Dennerle believe to be the perfect measurements for a nano aquascape (45L x 31H x 36W cm) as well as a variety of equipment choices that make this package ideal for growing plants and succeeding with shrimp. The tank has a nice depth and a wide footprint which makes for a visually pleasing arrangement that’s often missing in the numerous slim tank models.
The set comes complete with external filter, hang on thermometer, Deponit mix and shrimp substrate, some fertiliser and shrimp food.
Marie-Sophie has added a Dennerle Nano co2 kit to this setup and uses as drop checker to control the co2 level and, having experimented with lighting levels, Marie-Sophie found that two lights were needed to maintain the vibrant red colours seen in her aquascape. She initially started with just the one 24 watt light before trying four Dennerle LED lights at 5 watts each. Unfortunately, these did not produce the same levels of blue light that the 24 watt Scaper’s lights were capable of meaning the plants lost their red colouration slightly. Marie-Sophie rectified this by swapping her four LED units in favour of two 24 watt Scaper’s lights.
The use of Red plants in aquascaping is increasing and the contrast they provide with more traditionally used green plants is a striking element in any aquascape. High lighting levels and iron supplementation are often used to promote the growth of red plants. Some plant species turn red when they reach the top of the water column, near the light source, whereas others can exhibit vibrant orange tones.
The plants used in this Danish-style aquascape are all good examples of red aquarium plants which can be found quite easily online, or through aquatic retailers. Some are slightly more rare, however it is possible to create a similar effect at home.
Plants used in this aquascape include:
Ludwigia repens rubin
Ludwigia glandulosa perennis
Cryptocoryne Sp. Flamingo
Having written a book on shrimp, and running here own website on the subject, Marie-Shphie added a some shrimp to her Danish style aquarium and the role they perform in maintaining attractive leaves cannot be underestimated. Their ability to control algae is well known and they are gentle on the leaves, unlike some fish and snails that munch away indiscriminately.
Marie-Sophie Germain is passionate about growing red plants in her aquariums, and I’m told there are further projects on the horizon. Let’s hope the ever increasing use of red aquatic plants gives birth to a whole new category of aquascaping.
For further information on this revolutionary tank, Marie-Sophie has started a Facebook page on her Dragon’s Sunset Aquascape where she keeps a timeline of tasks accomplished and regularly adds photos. Those interested in this emerging style of aquascaping can also check out the Danish Style Aquarium Facebook page.
The equipment for this aquascape was provided by Dennerle France of which the Facebook page can be found here.