I probably should have taken some pictures of the tank when I started a couple of weeks ago...but that would have been truly embarassing. There was BGA everywhere, and two fish (a black skirt tetra and a gold barb who somehow managed to survive a decade of neglect). But then again..we've all seen filthy, nasty tanks before so no need to show that.
So I spent a couple weeks cleaning it up, doing tons of water changes, and doing my best to empty my bank account (more on that later
Well, here it is (with the awesome addition of some RAOK swords from longgonedaddy).
It was always low tech, but I've been dosing a little with Flourish. That and replacing one of the T8 lamps with a 6700K lamp have made noticeable growth in the crypts (no real idea on species, but surely some sort of Wendtii).
I took off one of the HOB filters and replaced it with an EHEIM 2217. It is incredibly quiet, and the flow is suprisingly good. I think the one reason I had a lot of BGA in it before was because I had dead spots and didn't feed the fish much at all (twice a week probably...I should be in jail
). I still have one HOB filter on the bank until I'm confident the EHEIM has sufficient bio filtering capacity built up. Probably a month, and then the Penguin is gone.
Back when I set the tank up 15 years ago, denitrifying sand was all the rage, and let me tell you...it works...probably too well. The combination of no food, denitrifying sand, and long photoperiod of terrible light is certainly what caused all the BGA.
I have pressurized CO2 on the way (what an ordeal it has been trying to get the tank filled!
). Many thanks to oldpunk, bettatail (and others) for the information on CO2 they put on this forum. It is really invaluable.
By the way...I KNOW that heater has got to go haha. I just put one I had in a box in there because I know while my two stragglers lived with 70 degrees, 75-78 was going to be better in the long run. Especially with all the new tetras. An ich outbreak seems to last FOREVER at 70 degrees. I'm looking for an inline heater to clean things up. Suggestions?
I also ordered a 36" BuildmyLED "show tank" fixture. I'm sure I'm going to have to dim it quite a bit for a while until I get the CO2 and some ferts figured out (and more plants for sure...no sense lighting bare gravel). I'm sure Hoppy will find some humor in my fixture selection, as i recently had a little anti-LED rant with him in PM's.
Hoppy, I will make sure to send you some PAR data on that fixture if you give me your methodology.
I'm going to try to cap the existing substrate with some Fluorite, and maybe adjust the plant locations a little. Or I may simply let let this tank run a little wild, as it is truly sort of a "practice" tank for a future bigger tank. Getting my head around all the new tech has been very exciting, albeit a little confusing.
Oh well...any suggestions are extremely welcome. The plants are pretty old school right now. I am thinking about something big, bushy, and roundish in the back right corner. All my other plants have long, narrow leaves, and the contrast would be helpful. Maybe a really dark green or red plant.