First Dirted Tank (and first post on TPT!)
Hi TPT! This is my first real post here, and I'm hoping to get some helpful feedback. I have a 16gal bowfront that I want to turn into a Walstad planted tank. Current fauna is 5 Endlers, 1 molly, and 1 GBR (the other one died). Here is what I have come up with based on lots and lots of reading/research!
1. MGOCPM: let it air dry in a thin layer for a while (a week perhaps? with daily stirring? Should it also be moist while "air drying"?).
2. After that's done, put it in the tank (about 1" deep), plant LOTS of fast growers, cover with very fine gravel or sand (I prefer the look of gravel).
3. Slowly fill with Prime-treated water.
4. Give it light for 10 hours/day. Natural light, too, if possible. This bowfront is by a huge east-facing window so it should get some good indirect natural light.
5. Since the soil is being "aired out", it's safe to add the fish back in right away, correct?
6. Just top off with Prime-treated water. Huge water changes twice a year. Feed the fish daily.
Is this all correct so far? Here are my other questions:
To circulate the water, is a powerhead (with sponge attachment) better or would an AC50 with only sponges suffice?
The temp in my house (especially by that window) is usually around 68-71F. Will that work for this tank, or should I keep the heater in it to maintain a warmer temp at ~78F?
I've read that a high CEC material should be mixed into the soil, but would it be okay to use something like SafeTSorb as a capping layer instead of mixing it into the soil?
Aerating the water isn't necessary because the plants provide oxygen for the fish, right?
I'm hoping to have a gorgeous planted tank (especially since it's highly visible in my living room!) and also hoping my Endlers will actually reproduce in it! I've had them for more than 6 months, and they've made ONE fry! I have 5 other tanks (not including emtpy, brand new 40 breeder and 10gal tanks thanks to petco's $1/gal sale) to help spread out the fry when/if that ever happens.
Thanks in advance for any and all suggestions and input!!