Hello all and thanks for stopping by!
I've been into keeping fish and fish tanks for as long as I could remember. My grandparent's owned pet shop in Franklin Park (Chicago Suburbs) during the 70's and 80's and I was constantly around all types of pets. 10 years ago when my daughter was born I got out of the hobby and sold near all of my equipment except for a spare 55 gallon tank a stand and some spare equipment just in case the bug hit me again. Well right before the summer started my daughter asked if we could get a fish tank and I couldn't say no to her.
So me and the lil' Miss will be doing a planted tank using my old 55. I pulled it out of the crawlspace and did a leak test on it and let it sit for a week to make sure it was still water tight. I then drained it and put the equipment in and getting it ready for the substrate and planting.
I've never done a planted tank before so this is a completely new experience for me and I hope to lean on the community for help and support. We both really enjoy the look of a jungle plant tank with things like Amazon Swords and Anubias and really enjoy seeing driftwood covered in Java ferns and moss. This plants we pick and choose are where I'm probably going to need the most help actually.
On to the equipment!
- Hydor 350 Canister Filter (basket of fine pore sponge media for mechanical, 2 baskets of filter ring media for biological, and a 4th basket of large pore sponge media for additional mechanical)
- Eheim 250 W Heater (Set to 78F and running stable using stick on therm on front of tank and Coralife digital thermometer inside water column)
- 48" Finnex Planted+ 24/7 (Not sure yet whether I want to run this in 24/7 mode or on MAX for set period of time)
- 5 Gal CO2 tank from my homebrewing kit
- Aquatek Premium Regulator w/brass bubble counter and black co2 tubing
- Inline CO2 Atomizer (install on the out take from the Hydor canister filter)
- I still have to buy a CO2 tester I just don't like the looks of them inside the tank. I already have enough hardware in there as you'll see below.
Substrate & Hardscape:
- Black Diamond Blasting Sand Medium Grit
- Osmocote Plus sprinkled underneath BDBS (I've already made 100 O+ 00 gel cap inserts for root feeding)
- A large centerpiece driftwood I found fishing while wading through a local river.
- Blue mexican pebble stone for accent
I'm leaning towards setting this up from left to right as seen here. Not sure what I'm going to do with the cut end of the driftwood. This is still soaking and waiting for it to finally sink. I am just about ready to stainless steel screw it onto slate. I'm giving it one more week.
- Lil' Miss wants a schooling fish and is debating between Neon Tetra, Harlequin Rasboras, Royal Tetra or Lemon Tetras.
- Dad wants a large group of Corydoras and I'm thinking either Pandas, Trilineatus, Metea or Habrosus or Sterbai.
- Cleanup crew will hopefully have Otos, SAE's and Amano's.
- Here is where I am having a hard time and could use some assistance. Here is a list of plants that I think I can keep with my lighting and should all be relatively easy and low-mid light options.
- Echinodorus bleheri (Amazon Sword)
- Valisneria (Jungle Val)
- Vesicularia dubyana (Java Moss)
- Microsorum pteropus (Java Fern)
- Anubias barteri var. nana
- Crypocoryne wendtii
- Sagittaria subulata (Dwarf Sag) - Not sure if I have enough light to do a carpet of this but hoping with the CO2 and dosing Flourish and Trace Elements I might?
As you can see I don't have very many stem plant options and could use some ideas for my lighting setup.
I hope to continually update this as I go along and I thank you all for your help in advance.