12L Nano Dutch Tank “Clearwater” – Setup

To be honest, I have a vague idea of a Dutch style tank. Nonetheless, I’m giving it a try with this nano Dutch tank and I hope you like it.

What You’ll Need

If I understood it correctly, the Dutch style aquarium has been around for quite some time already. The main focus is on using the plants to create the aquascape. So, you’re going to need lots of plants.

Hardscapes are sometimes used but sparingly or none at all.

I’m probably not the best person to get an advice on the Dutch style aquascape so I think it will be best if you read the following articles for more info.

The Basic Equipment

  1. Tank (ANS Opticlear Tank 30M)
  2. Filter (AZOO Mignon Filter 360)
  3. Light (FLEXI-mini HCRI LED Light)
  4. CO₂ system (refillable cylinder with regulator and solenoid)
  5. Fan (Crab Aqua Mini Cooling Fan)*


Substrate And Conditioner

  1. Aquarium soil (Tropica Aquarium Soil Powder)
  2. Water conditioner (Seachem Prime)
  3. Beneficial bacteria (API QUICK START)


  1. Marsilea crenata
  2. Pogostemon helferi
  3. Pogostemon erectus
  4. Rotala rotundifolia
  5. Rotala macrandra
  6. Hygrophila ‘Siamensis 53B’
  7. Hygrophila ‘Araguaia’

Setting It Up

Preparing the plants for planting was the one that took the most time in the setup process. It will depend on the type and number of plants used. Do be prepared to set aside a few hours for this.

Step 0 – Place the tank on a flat and level surface.
Step 1 – Pour soil into the tank and slope it higher towards the back.
Step 2 – Spray the soil with water and start planting.
Step 3 – Fill the tank with treated tap water slowly.
Step 4 – Fix equipment onto the tank.
Step 5 – Switch on all equipment.

Growing It In

It doesn’t look like much now after setup but I foresee that lots of trimming and replanting will be required for this style of aquascapes to keep it in shape. Without any hardscape to get in the way, I hope it will be easier.

For the first time when setting up an aquarium, I’m using bottled beneficial bacteria. Lots of good feedback I’ve heard for the API QUICK START that I feel compelled to give it a try.

When everything has grown in, I’m sure it will look much better than now.

Do you have any tips for me regarding a Dutch style aquarium?

What say you?

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