Here is the current tank. Been running for 6wks now. Slowly added fishes in the past 2 weeks. These are older pics...tank currently houses:
10 x cardinal tetra
5 x siamese algae eaters
3 x otocinculus sp.
5 x amano shrimp
I started off with a basic idea of HC and riccia, but ended up wanting more colour so went with stem plants in the background. There are some plants in there that I can't wait to see them grow up. It looks a bit messy, but I am happy for what I have in store for my very first aquarium.
Some of the fauna:
I find that natural sunlight in the early hours when sunlight enters my apartment through the east facing balcony wall brings out the best colours in cardinals.
As the light gets stronger:
But must say, it is a bit of maintenance...my first layout without fauna (during the bacteria colonization phase was plagued by algae...hair, beard, BG algae..I lost over 30$ worth HC...down the drain literally). ...but the moment I started this new layout, I added SAE and shrimp which massacred the hair algae.
Btw...any suggestions for fertilizers? I really don't want to bother with dry ferts...my first ever tank...want to do it simple without accidents with fish trying to eat the powder and dying. I use netlea substrate and root fertilizer. lighting is 4 x 24 watt T5HO for 25GAL. I am considering the PFERTZ mix. Plants include Ludwiga species, mermaid weed, rotala, HM, HC, hairgrass. I read that iron is needed for colour along with low nitrates. With my bioload in this tank, the nitrate can shoot to 30ppm within 3-4 days after water change. Ofcourse, plants are still establishing (1-2wks since planting).