I've been wanting a tank for a while now, and I finally have the means of getting one, this will be my journey of setting up and maintaining a planted tank.
Full Tank Shot: 5/07/13
Tank: 40G Breeder
Substrate: 1.5" MGOPM / 1.5" Spectra Quartz Sand (Black)
Filtration: Aqua Clear 110 (I want to upgrade to a canister in the future)
Lighting: Catalina Aquarium T5HO 3x39w
I tried to build a stand a couple weeks ago and failed miserably. Bought one at a local LFS and stained/sealed it. I think it turned out fairly nice. I'll be adding a curtain to the front soon.
Rigged up a DIY paintball CO2 system this week. My original plan was to use 2 needle valves to help control the flow more accurately but my Lowe's didnt have the right adapter/connection.
I added Dr. Tim's nitrifying bacteria to my tank wednesday night. So far I'm very happy with this product. Its hard to see in the picture but my current parameters are:
I checked my tap waters GH and KH a week ago and they were relatively high. I plan on using RO water from LFS to help lower GH/KH. Might do 1:1 ratio first and go from there.
GH = 16dKH (285ppm)
KH = 11-12dKH (179-197ppm)
I ordered the light fixture wednesday so I'm hoping it will be here monday or tuesday. The tank is currently super dark from a mixture of: soil releasing tannins, black background, and just 1 small light fixture in my room.
I added carbon to my filter this morning to help remove the tannins, and I'll be doing a 25% water change tomorrow morning. The carbon will be removed and replaced with purigen before I add any plants or fish.