Hello PT and thanks for stopping by my thread!
I've been lurking here for quite a few months, researching, gathering, planning and I'm just about ready to set sail on my new adventure in aquaria.
I'm a 37 year old computer geek, married with an awesome wife and a beautiful child. I've been taking care of aquariums pretty much my whole life, starting with ye olde goldfish bowl at a very early age, axolotls as a teen, cichlids as a young adult onto reefs and marine tanks, and now back to freshwater and plants.
Inspiration for this tank:
I'd be totally lying if I didn't say that seeing shots of the Amano Iwagumi / Nature style over and over again didn't lure me over to the dark side, although I see myself moving more towards a hybrid aesthetic rather than sticking to strict rules about arrangements. One of my other hobbies is collecting and smoking tobacco pipes. (I know, it's a filthy habit. But I don't do it very often, mainly when I'm fishing, and I enjoy the beauty of the briar wood and craftsmanship more than anything.) Most quality pipes are made from briar wood, which primarily comes from the large burls that form at the bases of the heath tree / bush depending on the size of the specimen. These are found all over the rocky cliffs and scrub forests of the mediterranean and a few other locales throughout the world. I've always romanticised the image of the stout little tree clinging to life in a rocky crag, managing to thrive in an otherwise inhospitable environment. I'm always amazed at how mother nature manages to cling onto life in the places that are out of the way. So even if only tangentially this is the image I have in my mind when I set about to make a tank for my office: a stubborn old tree on a mountain side.
About the tank:
Mr. Aqua 25G cube 18"x18"x18"
Circulation- Vortech MP10w-ES Circulation Pump
Filtration- SunSun HW-302 Canister
CO2 - Modified Reef Octopus BioPellet Reactor / DIY Cerges Reactor (Had this lying around from my reefing days and decided it was absolutely perfect for my purposes)
5lb Aluminum CO2 canister purchased from local homebrew warehouse
Matheson 3104c Dual Stage Regulator (Fleabay special
CGA320.Com Post Body Kit
Heater- DIY Inline
Controller- Neptune Apex Jr controller w/ Temp Probe (I plan to add a pH probe to this for solenoid control)
Lighting- Beamswork Green Element Evo 6500K 10x 3w LED
Substrate / Hardscape- ADA Aquasoil Amazonia, Lava Rock rubble for help with the slope, Seiryu / Ryuoh Stone and some spider wood.
Dosing philosophy: I think for me the EI method will make the most sense. Please feel free to chime in on what you use and recommend.
Stocking List: (All plants on order as of 06/18/15)
Pogostemon helferi aka "Downoi"
Alternanthera reineckii sp. mini
Lindernia Rotundifolia (Varigated)
Anubias nana petite
Cryptocoryne wendtii "Florida Sunset"
I think that about sums it up for a good start to the journal. Some pics of where we are right now to follow in next post.