I'm looking or LOTS of help on this one!
My venture into planted tanks at the time of this writing is only 23 days.
with my 4g AIO nano. Wasn't much to think about with that one other than substrate/stone/plants and some ferts. For my new 12g long, i want to take my time picking the best equipment, working on a good layout, might do a dry start, etc. It's located in my office which I'm at m-f 9-5 and not on weekends. It needs to be fairly low maintenance (performed during lunch) and able to be left alone all weekend. Also the occasional vacation stint of a week or two with an informed co-worker able to do simple tasks like feed the tank. For this tank I am willing to spend some money on equipment like co2, ph monitor, etc with the intent on making things easier/less time consuming. For instance, getting a pressurized co2 system that can run for many weeks, rather than a diy that runs for much less time and needs constant attention. With this build, time/ease of use takes priority over the almighty dollar.
Overall look will be Iwagumi. This proportion tank just lends itself so well to that.
Although I was drawn to this piece of driftwood as seen in the pics below. Can this be used along with stone to create an Iwagumi layout? I just liked that it was a bit epic for this size tank and reaches out the top. So i'm kinda torn at the moment.
For inhabitants, probably little red cherry shrimp or crystal shrimp, a school of some itsy bitsy fish, nothing major. Opinions please!
So with that said, let me list what I have so far...
Mr Aqua 12g Long
2 bags of ADA Amazonia AquaSoil
Ecotech Marine MP10w (i just happen to have this laying around, figured it might work well for such a long tank)
I have an old black yoga mat I'm going to cut up to place under the tank.
Will be going on a low book shelf I have in my office already.
Now for a list of things I'm going to need a lot of help/opinions on! Please contribute!
I know the first question will be what kind of plants do i want to keep. Well... I'm not really sure. Definitely some kind of carpet. I like dwarf baby tears, i like hair grass. That's really my only definite requirement. Maybe some mosses depending on how we scape it. I'm too new at this to really be into specific plants so I can adapt to whatever. My main concern here is that I would like something that does not have to be suspended because we have a drop ceiling in my office and I'm not sure what's going on above it or whether I really want to get into modifying anything up there to support/hang a light. I'd rather do some kind of clip on or diy suspension.
I'm looking at canister filters. Currently thinking one of the Eheim Ecco Pro models, just not sure which one being that the tank is so long. I have the MP10 so would that help with circulation, allowing me to get one of the smaller models? Please advise! I am not interested in the Classic models... would rather have one of the newer designs.
I need suggestions for it all! The main unit, bubble counter, drop checker, etc. Doesn't necessarily have to be top of the line for no good reason, just needs to fit my main requirements above. If top of the line is what's needed to do that, than so be it.
Heater? Ph monitor? Temp gauge? Anything else you can think of that I would need and would be best in the 12g long.
Thanks in advance for suggestions and comments! I want to make sure this gets setup right!
Now here's some pics to start off the build!
Probably too much soil but at just $30/bag not a big deal to have extra!
The epic driftwood