Tank - Mr. Aqua 17.1 gallon (23.6" x 11.8" x 14.2")
Lighting - ZooMed 24" T5 fixture
Bulb - Ultra Sun 6500K
Filter - Fluval 304
Heater - Hydor ETH 300 inline
Substrate - pool sand
Fishes - Flame tetra
x2, Skunk cory x2, Black phantom tetra
x2, Bolivian Ram x2
Plants - Anubias
Water temp - 78F (25.5C)
Photoperiod - 10.5 hours
First tank shot - 5/26/15
OK, so clumps of Anubias zip tied to a piece of wood isn't 100% accurate but I think the rest is authentic.
Lots of driftwood? Check.
Leaf litter? Check. (these are magnolia leaves from my front yard, about 10-12)
Smooth sand? Check.
Subdued lighting? Check.
Low flow? Check.
Soft, low TDS water? Uh, no.
The water in Tampa is hard, like off the charts hard.
Hardness: 140-300 ppm or 8-17 grains/gallon
Anything over 10.5 grains/gal is considered very hard.
I'll have to look into getting my hands on some RO water. I have a TDS meter coming in, so I'll play around with it and see just how bad my home tap water is.
The flame tetras I got looked a little battered and bruised, and their tail fins were gnawed up. Hopefully they'll heal quickly and color up, they look pretty washed out.
Once the tank is a little more settled and the water quality is improved, I'd like to try my hand with a pair of the easier Apistogramma. And maybe, possibly, adding 7 dwarf pencilfish, but I think that's pushing the stocking capacity of this tank. And I've heard they're jumpers, so I'd have to fashion a cover of some sort.