The question is real. Is this my best aquarium, or not? This is the third episode of the video series, that we make about my contest tank. Comment below, let us know what you think! Today, we’re gonna finalize it. Today, we’re gonna see, how this whole thing turns out. Welcome to the beautiful world of Aquascaping! My idea is to have the darker colors in the tank, so I’ll add as many dark colors, as possible. Could be Monte Carlo and the Tripartita the two, that are a little bit lighter green. And we will use those in patches. I want to just get back to the original, little bit darker color of the scape, like that. I was looking at this picture, that was made by Évi. Obviously she was using the plants, that we talked about before. The main plant would be the Riccardia moss. And then we have patches of Fissidens moss here and there. The tree will have the Alternanthera reineckii ‘Mini’ Additionally to that, we will have the Monte Carlo. The Monte Carlo will be probably on the top of the rocks, here and there. And we will alternate Monte Carlo with Riccardia. We will have the small, compact crypts, that I stole from the other tank. But we also have some new crypts, coming from Dennerle. Thanks Dennerle again, for sponsoring us with these plants and also thanks Aquadeco, for giving us these rocks. We have some additional plants, that will give some color, or some detail to the scape. And those are the Hydrocotyle species. The Tripartita and the Verticillata. And we have the Eriocaulon. How am I gonna use the foreground? Because that’s a very interesting solution, that we’re gonna use. I’m having here the ADA Riccia stone, Which is a very small, grey stone, and it’s very flat. And we’re gonna glue some Riccardia on it. Let me show you how this looks like. Let’s go back to… Surprise Matyi! He glued these Riccardia patches on the stones. And I’m gonna put them in the foreground, without any substrate, which is gonna be a very interesting style. Nobody used this before. And this is gonna help us, to start the whole scape, exactly from the glue itself. So the height of the tank will be more accentuated. I’m using those small patches of Riccardia also in-between the rocks, at the steps, that will lead towards the cave in the background. And also add to the steps, that will lead to the opening inside the tree. This will need a lot of trimming. This will not be easy to maintain. But obviously, when we are talking about contest tanks, we’re not talking about easy maintenance, we’re talking about performance. I’m gonna use the Monte Carlo on the top of the rocks. I’m gonna use Riccardia below it. And sometimes Riccardia will reach up to the top. That’s the main idea. I also have to take care of where the water level is. So I really wanna put everything under the water level. Matyi is pushing me. We’ve got the Monte Carlo and that’s the next step. This is a big moment. I’m gonna start adding the Alternanthera reineckii ‘Mini’ leaves. Tommy is guarding the plants in the background and he’s asking Matyi: what plants did he take and where did he take them from? Because he’s guarding the plants, that will go out to the customers. So when you have placed an order here at Green Aqua, yours will be a very sacred order, nobody can touch those plants. This tree thing, it’s the best. This is an inspiration. It was a very good idea from Évi. to have invented to use this red color for the leaves. We’ve got one more fear. We’re not sure, whether the Alternanthera reineckii ‘Mini’ will survive on the wood. As this is not an epiphyte plant. But let’s hope, that it can get enough nutrients from the water column. And if it can, then we win. If this has transformed into some Bucephalandra reds in a couple of weeks, then it didn’t work. So what we have to do now, is to use these patches of Alternanthera below the tree, to form this circle. Look at this root structure! We got a problem here with the Amazonia and the roots for the crypts. Pour in some Amazonia, and that’s gonna go over the roots and that’s it. Good thing, that I can steal from the other tanks. So I’m gonna take out the Eriocaulon from here. I gotta be very careful, because in that tank, I’ve seen some normal mosses and I don’t want to introduce normal mosses in this tank. Because that’s gonna grow everywhere. So I gotta rinse it first. This will add a kind of a different structure. Let’s continue with the crypts! I’ve just got the little Kompakts here, so I’m just gonna put them in here. “Anti-pirate” Fontinalis. So if you’re fighting the pirates, you should go for this Fontinalis. What else do we need? We need some carpeting plant, to cover the whole thing. And it’s not gonna be one type of plant. It’s gonna be more types of plants. Okay, so after some consultation with my guys, I decided not to use the Tripartita, because I’m really afraid of the maintenance and I think it’s gonna just run away. And I’m not gonna be able to trim it every other day. So I’m gonna use the Hottonia Palustris instead. I’m gonna introduce Marsilea crenata. This will go under the tree, in the shadow, because we suspect that nothing else would survive there. Okay, so I think the Monte Carlo will look ace here. I will put it at the bottom of the Eriocaulon as well. I don’t know, what to do in the foreground here. Maybe I will try to use one more patch of Monte Carlo. I’m not sure it’s gonna survive there. Okay, so let’s go with the Eleocharis! But if this won’t survive, the Crenata won’t survive either. So whatever… Almost ready with the right side. I just have to add a little more of Acicularis mini plants here. We’re gonna use the Verticillata! Csabi’s favorite. I can see the finish line here. I got the mini Bolbitis, the small fern here. Which is gonna be a dark, but very small patch. And I can just tuck these in-between the rocks. Yes, we’re ready with the planting! The hard work is done! Planning, hardscape, planting. Now the routine work starts. And we gotta be very careful in… cleaning ourselves. No. In doing the regular water changes in the first week. What I’m gonna do now, is I’m gonna fill it up with water, drain it, fill it up again. So we have fresh water in it. And then I’m gonna cycle the water, so maybe I’m gonna fill it up until here. And then I’m gonna fill it up and drain it at the same time. And then after that, I’m gonna fill it up and it’s gonna be ready. We’ll keep you posted in the first three weeks! And let you know what we do with it, so that it doesn’t get algae and hopefully we can also shoot the first trimming. And hopefully, these guys are gonna survive. So, here comes the water! [In Hungarian] Reggel óta?! [In Hungarian] Múlt hónap óta! They just asked me, whether I did it this morning. And I told them yes, we did this since last month! This is the third day that we have the tank set up now. So I’m just gonna give you an update on what happened in those three days. We changed water twice on the first day, one time on the second day and today, this morning we changed it again. It was cloudy for the first two days. I didn’t really like it. And then this cloudiness today, when I came in, [Snap] Boom, like this, it just went away. And the guys told me that they introduced the ADA Clear Water. And I have a similar product, the Seachem Clarity here in my hand. Both are really great products if your water is cloudy. Not because of bacteria, but because of something else, like leeching, small particles from these rocks here. I don’t see any plants dying, I don’t see any algae. We started dosing the first from day one. I see some Alternanthera reineckii ‘Mini’, which grows out from the aquarium, kind of suffering, so it’s kind of adjusting to the immersed life. I’m not sure whether this is gonna survive, we’re gonna see. But the rest of the plants in the tank look ace. I don’t have any problems. We introduced the TwinStar in the background. I think in a couple of days, we’re gonna be able to introduce the first algae eating group. Some of you guys have asked us, what kind of technology we use behind this tank. We’re using two Solar RGB lights, to have some nice reddish tint lighting above this tank, That will accentuate the color of the red plants and also the rocks as well. And we’re using two Eheim 2080 external filters, which are filled with Seachem Matrix biological filter media. Top quality! And we’re also using the Seachem Purigen, to have the chrystal clear water effect. We’re using a CO2 system below the tank. And an external reactor, an Aqua Medic 1000 external reactor. About the fertilizing, we’re using a GHL Auto Doser. And we’re using the ADA Brighty K and ADA Mineral, as well as the Seachem Excel, to have some CO2 supplement. And that’s also helping us, to fight the algae in the tank. And additionally, I asked Viktor to provide me with some ADA Iron, because I would love to accentuate the red colors of the Alternanthera reineckii ‘Mini’ in it. Some of you guys have asked me, what is the total price of a setup, like this. I’m not talking about the technology, I’m only talking about the scape itself and the plants. Obviously, as I told you before, financial issues were not considered here. Contest tanks are about performance, as I told you in the first video. And I added up, 100 pots of plants, 6€ per pot – this is just an approximation -, 200 kilograms of rocks, let’s say 5€. The wood would be probably 200€, the PowerSand, that’s 60€, five Amazonia, a total of 200€. I think that a setup like this could be achieved at around 2000€. We are at Day 10 of the setup. So let me tell you, what happened until now. So we stopped changing water daily. And we moved to changing water every other day. The wood started to change color, which I’m really happy about. It started to darken a little bit, and also some fungus started to appear on it, which is a completely natural process with Red Moor wood. Some of the Monte Carlo that I glued to the rocks have melted, so I replaced them. I replaced about 10 pots of Monte Carlo. So let me tell you quickly, what I’m gonna do during this maintenance session at the 10-day anniversary of the tank. I’m going to start trimming now, because I don’t really like the way, that these roots are growing downwards and they’re white in color. I’m gonna trim the Eleocharis as well, because some of it is too high. These stems on the two sides, these right stems are growing a little bit higher, so I’m gonna do that as well. I’m gonna use a bucket in that. And I’m gonna put a pump in the bucket. It’s gonna pump back the water from the tank, so I’m gonna cycle the water while trimming. So I’m gonna get rid of every floating particle in the tank, while doing this maintenance work. I already see that this is gonna be a very high maintenance part of the tank, just trimming the roots every… say week, or maybe every other day, I don’t know. So we’ve got our Japanese friend from Budapest, here at Green Aqua! Kawabata San! What do you have to tell to the Japanese viewers now? Okay, uhm… [speaking Japanese] In the next days, I’m going to introduce the algae eating crew. Some Siamese algae eaters, some Otocinclus affinis and we’re gonna also introduce the Amano shrimp and maybe the Clithon snails, which are the only snails, that can fight the Black Brush Algae. An algae, which is present even in the best quality tanks, at times. Three weeks into the tank’s cycle, it looks absolutely spotless. There’s no sign of algae, there’s no sign of melting. Fish have been introduced, White Cloud Mountain Minnows. Beautiful little fish! This is gonna be an early bird contest picture, because the final image will be taken at around three months. Right now, I just want to show you, how this tank looks like. Are you ready for it? Contest picture, here we go! And we’ve got Évi Kedves, – the creator of the original idea – here with us, Let’s see, what her reaction is to all of this! Oh my god! Yeah, pretty nice! Alright guys, so this concludes our three-video series of the contest tank. If you like the Green Aqua YouTube channel, if you didn’t do yo set, please subscribe, please smash that like button, if you like this work and this video, and also, please comment, let us know what you think! Until next week, bye!


  1. Thank you Balazs and Green Aqua so very much for your amazing videos. This aquascape is so awesome! Maintenance will be a challenge for sure, but I know you guys are up for it. I know you've named it "Sanctuary," but to me it looks like some sacred place on another world. Every person can see something different in great works of art, and that's what makes it so cool.

  2. my eleocharis is not growing at all since like 5 month i got around 7k lumen from my 2 t5 tubes (its a 180 liter aquarium from juwel)
    i use co2 and fertilizers from aquarebell

    idk what im doing wrong 🙁 is the plant already too ald and dead or is the light not stron enough?

  3. Reaaaaally niiiice! Im planning in visiting Budapest for my honeymoon. That tank is a must!!! LOL greetings from Ecuador!

  4. Amazing! Kudos man. Just wow! Best wishes from my side.

    Just a query. You use surface skimmer. Do you use oxygen pump/aeration over it?

  5. Wow! Your attention to details is amazing. Fantastic scape, amazing planting and choice of plants! I stand by my comment in episode 2, it’s definitely one of your finest tank!! 👏👏 Good job… well done!

  6. I think it is your best Tank so far. I really love it and I think I should build a similar tank some day.
    If you are afraid that some plant under the tree might die because they get too little light, you could set up a strong LED spotlight infront of the tank wich illuminates the area under the tree in the evening and in the morning when the shop is closed.

  7. I really appreciate the hardwork and attention to the details for this type of aquascaping. But it's not the type that I would enjoy looking at for long term.

  8. Very well thought out and masterfully curated layout. As much as I hate it, I respect your immense craftsmanship and I hope it’s rewarded in the IAPLC.

  9. What a great scape! Do you see people? All you need is planning, hard work and about 5000 Euros – and you can do this too! 😀

  10. This is so gorgeous. I love it!! I only wish my boyfriend could see this video (he was so pumped after the last one, and it's his fault that I heard about aquascapes) but he's gone for the next two weeks firefighting. He'd be proud. =)

  11. Hello, can I know how high do you guys hang your Solar RGB lights above the tank for this tank and also for your 180cm tank?
    Thank You!

  12. Not sure how you did it but, it looks even better than the concept. Unbelievable work, truly inspiring. Huge love from the UK to all at Green Aqua. Best of luck in the competition 👊

  13. What an amazing result! I think I have to visit greenaqua again soon, to see this incredible work in reality…
    Greetings from Austria

  14. Amazing , never believed the concept can be created at this perfection. Kudos to entire team from concept to implementation.

  15. Very good job!!
    It looks very nice!!
    Hello from Greece my friend!!😊🐠🦀🐙🐟🦑🦈🌞
    Very nice fish!!
    What are they??

  16. front shot didn't do this amazing scape justice as the depth seemed to be lost. I really like the off-angle view of the tank, where the depth of the scape is really pronounced and impactful. Looking forward to more updates!

  17. It is awesome, no doubt. I would like to see how it looks when the roots in the trees grow down further, i have a feeling it would look cool. (after the picture is taken ofc)

  18. great concept, i sure renicki mini will survive ,i try red sunset (Hygrophila polysperma 'Sunset' ('Rosanervig') not planting to soil,it still growup, and goodluck for trimming that ricardia everywhere:) ,i sure this will be amazing,

  19. Sir thanks for replying me and giving me time. I have one tank with hair grass carpet. I have brown algae issue. I will really appreciate if u guide me or make a video showing height of light and other parameters to get rid of this algae. Thanks.

  20. The finished product can move a man to tears.. I didnt even know these things were possible in reality! Beautiful is a woefully inadequate description

  21. I don't like it; looks very busy, colors looks unreal, there is no Real eye catching point, plants looks immature…but thanks for the nice vidéo as always !

  22. I have to visit your shop… but i don‘t know how to explain it my wife. One way 950 km to look some scapes, she thinks i‘m crazy!
    Beautiful, amazing work!

  23. Nice job. Great amount of patience Step by step' Bit by bit' made things more interesting the deptness, the elevations. Excellent transformation from a digital image to a real object. One quick question how u keep the substrate stable preventing from sliding due to water pressure r water movement.
    Nice job brother keep it up. What about the background cliff which u suppose to do it in graphix.

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