That is a great look tank and stand! Can't wait to see some progress
Thanks! I am really excited about this tank.
Today I picked up five large pieces of Malaysian driftwood from the local fish store. It is the same place I got the small piece pictured above. At the store, these new pieces didn't look so large together. But looking at them with the tank, and then with loading them into a plastic crate for soaking, it's a good possibility I will not be using all the wood. I do want a good amount of wood here, but I also want a lot of plants to grow, and some open space for fish to swim.
From the experience I had with getting the tannins out of the small pieces of Malaysian driftwood I used on my nano tanks project, I expect it to be a few days before the wood can go in this tank. I don't want the water to turn brown when I get the Nitrogen cycle started. And I don't want to have to do water changes for week/months just for the purpose of getting the brown out.
Since these pieces of wood are so large, I can't pressure cook them like all the smaller pieces. Even pressure cooking took three to four days of cooking for five or six hours each day. It worked well for those small pieces. With these large pieces, I am just soaking them in a combination of the hottest tap water I can draw, mixed with boiling water off the stove. I'll change the water at least once a day with hot water until I am satisfied my aquarium water will stay clear enough.
Then I need to figure out what to do about plants. The plants in the background will need to be varieties that grow tall. But I would really rather they not all be very fast growers. And for the foreground, I thought I might like a carpet of microsword, or baby tears, or something else. I need to find what it will take to get them to fill in well, before making selections. I would rather not do a dry start, but if that is the only way to really get it done, then I'll just have to go that route.
As an alternative to large plants in the background, it might work to just tie smaller plants or moss to the driftwood. Maybe a combination of all these plantings will be where this goes. I want to try to carefully choose plants that will all go well together in low pH, soft water, and to select fish that will work well in the same. Also, I am concerned about the amount of light with two Marineland Double Bright LED fixtures.
Looking at that chart, I am thinking it may have been better to get a fixture that would better fill in the red spectrum for plant growth with the second light. Maybe I will look for a red supplement light that I could just have turned on during part of the daily light cycle. But the red would still likely not penetrate the water all the way to the carpet.