Hey everyone, SunDevil76 here. I recently got back into the hobby about 6 months ago when I purchased a betta fish. While researching ideas for his tank, I stumbled upon sites such as this one. I saw just how beautiful some of these plants and fish could be so naturally I was hooked. My girlfriend noted my growing interest in the hobby so she bought me the Aqueon 25gallon Premium Aquarium Kit. It includes:
-25 Gallon Tall Aquarium Tank 24w x 13d x 19h
-Aqueon Quiet Flow 30 Power Filter
-100w Submersible Water Heater
-Aqueon 24" T5NO Dual Lamp Fixture (2x 14w Bulbs- 1 Colormax and 1 67k)
-Other small items (Fish and Plant food, water conditioner, strip thermometer)
I replaced the Colormax bulb with another 67k Daylight to improve plant growth
Here's the empty tank just before I set it up:
Shortly after the previous photo was taken, here is me laying down the Miracle Grow Organic Potting Mix:
Note the mesh barriers I added in the soil. These are to separate the two different caps I added: Eco Complete and Inert Black Aquarium Sand. The latter of the two goes between the two dividers to create a black sand "river".
Following this, I added the substrate caps accordingly, and then proceeded to plant the following plants I had ordered:
-Several Jungle Val stems
-Java fern (common attached to a rock, windelov attached to driftwood.)
-Amazon Sword (Runner, he's still a lil guy...for now)
-Taiwan Moss (Attached to the same kind of plastic mesh I used as dividers and rocks)
After planting, I proceeded to fill the tank using Prime to dechlorinate, and the "garbage bag" method to fill it as to not disturb the substrate. I somehow managed to mess this up and it kicked up a lot of dirt and made my water column so dark I couldn't see two inches into the tank.
Over the course of the next 72 hours, I did several major water changes and the water looks much better. Here's how it looks as of today:
I know there is a lot of work to do. Here are my plans for the near future:
-Arrange the hardscape (angle the malaysian driftwood and change the smaller rock arrangements. Also gonna try to find rocks that have a more consistent color with one another.)
-Continue doing a fishless cycle (I am on day 2 now)
-Add a black backdrop
-Clean/separate the substrate better.
Once the fishless cycle is complete, I am planning on adding the following fauna:
-1x Dwarf Honey Gourami
-15x Neon Tetra
-5x Corydoras Catfish (Not sure which species, probably Panda)
-Invertebrates: Red Cherry Shrimp, Amano Shrimp, Malaysian Trumpet Snails, Assasin Snails
I am always open to suggestions and criticism (constructive is preferable
). I am looking forward to making an awesome looking tank and growing in the hobby! Please stay posted and I will keep showing pictures of my progress. Peace!