Hi everyone! I'm new to the forum, but not the hobby, and since I'm setting up a new tank thats starting off really cool, I figured I'd make a chronicle of it on here for everyone to see the changes as it progresses.
--The tank is a 60 gallon cube, 24"X24"X25".
--Substrate is about 1.5" of flourite, topped with another inch or so (varies in places) of a nice natural looking river sand from Carib-Sea.
--Only plants so far are a few amazon swords, cryptos, and water wisteria.
--Just a normal 24 inch T8 light for now but will be upgrading ASAP
--Emperor 400 Filter
To start off, I went into the creek behind my house and found some REALLY nice pieces of cypress driftwood that was already waterlogged and submerged underwater. I had to dive down about 5 feet deep to get them off the bottom, and the water was FREEZING lol. I grabbed the pieces i liked and brushed them with a very stiff bristled brush for about an hour, until no more bark or anything came off when sprayed with a hose. Let me also just say that the creek is a spring-fed, crystal clear water, sand bottom creek with basically a zero percent hange of polution, and that I've used driftwood from it before in other tanks for months at a time with no ill effects, so I'm not worried about the wood having anythign bad in it. Here are some pics of the wood I selected:
After the wood was clean, I started arranging it in the tank with no water to try to find the shape and configuration I liked best. At first I arranged them into a "outter circle" typical layout you see in most tanks. What I liked about this was that I could get lots of coverage from the wood on the back and sides, and have plenty of open swimming area for the fish in the middle. I didn't like how stereotypical it looked though.
So I re-did the aquascape into a more centralized single-tree-root-system sort of look. I immediately fell in love with the layout that I put together on the first try, and decided to go ahead and add the substrate and what few plants I have to keep everythign in place before filling it up.
Here's the tank after filling it up a few hours ago. Even though I washed the sand and flourite for about an hour, it still clouded up pretty bad.
So there you have my start. I'll add more pics tomorrow after work when the tank clears up a bit and we can see what it really looks like! = ) For the time being though, lets talk about a possible stock-list. I would like to stick to the Amazon Basin theme as much as possible, but I may cheat and throw some rainbows in there later if I don't like the options the amazon provides. Here are my thoughts so far:
--Java Moss. Java Moss EVERYWHERE! (does wrapping it to the wood with fishing line make it start growing on the wood?)
--2-3 discus. This is the main reason I wanted to do the Amazon theme. 60 gallons is plenty big enough for a small group, right?
--1 school of some sort of small dither fish, either Herlequin Rasboras or Rummynose Tetras. Would 10 be good? I've never had a school of small tetras like this before, and I'm not sure if 10 would be enough or too many in a tank this size. I would like a lot of movement from them.
--maybe 1 farlowella cat? Again no experience, but I've heard good things (eat algae like a pleco, but look way cooler, and fit my theme... wont outgrow tank?)
--1 altum angelfish. I don't want this to be an "angelfish tank"... I don't particuarly like them. I know they do best in groups, but I don't want them to lay eggs and get aggressive, so is it ok to keep 1 by itself? Will it be stressed? If not, I'll cut it, its not that important of an addition to me.
--A pair of german blue rams.
--3-4 hatchetfish, for a top-swimming fish so I have somethign on all levels.
--Loaches of some sort. What loaches are native to South America?
--1 Black ghost knife, maybe. I've had them before, and getting them to eat was never a problem, and I really liked them.
--A pair of Green Severums. No experience with these either. The guys at the LFS said that they were a very mild mannered cichlid, and I like the look of them. Think they would be ok? If I do discus, ill probably rule these guys out.
Any other suggestions??? I wish there was a list of South American fish somewhere that I could just scan over lol.