Hello everyone! I thought I would start a little journal about my low tech 20 gallon tall today. I have a lot to catch up on so this first post will be fairly lengthy. Hope you enjoy and sorry for the low quality pictures.
I started my tank by designing a 3d foam and cement backgound for it. I got the idea HERE
As a tip to anyone who wants to build this type of background, do not let the cement dry completely. If you keep the cement wet it will continue to cure for a longer period of time and it will not crack or become brittle. I used a little spray bottle full of water to keep my background from drying. I sprayed until the day I filled the tank with water.
Once the background was mounted and the silicone used to mount it had 24 hours to dry, I added Seachem flourite and natural black sand. Then I filled the tank with water and started running the air pump for circulation.
After about 3 days of testing the water's hardness and pH and performing 50% water changes with a mixture of store bought distilled water and tap water, I was finally able bring the two perameters into line so that I could plants.
So far, I have picked out Java fern and Anubias barteri as my tank lights are currently being shipped to me and these make great low tech tank plants. For the time being, the Java fern is planted shallowly in the sand. Later I will move it to the decoration shown in the first pic. I'm going to try to attach it so it seems to emerge from the decoration.
I have cycled the tank for a week now with plants and I have added 5 pencilfish (Nannostomus beckfordi) yesterday.
I would post a full tank picture, but I woke up to my tank having a nice bacterial bloom this morning. So, without a light and the water being cloudy, all you would see is a giant glare. Oh well, maybe in the next few days I will be able to mount my new Marineland Double Bright LED fixture and take some full tank pics.
EDIT: The fish in the far left of the picture is a pencilfish, the others are white cloud mountain minnows. There were two pencilfish and three WCMMs.