Once again, hello everyone
First post for me here, so I'll give a little introduction.
I first got into the Aquarium hobby when I was active duty military. It started out with Puffer fish for me. Unfortunately I had to give away my first setup when I was deployed. When I got out and started going to college I picked up the hobby again, buying a 55 gallon show tank where I set up a driftwood brackish water theme with..you guessed it. A pufferfish. I shopped around and managed to find a 3" GSP puffer at Walmart of all places. Today this puffer is 4.5" (I think he has reached the limit of growth for the tank he's in) and very healthy. It was while I was browsing the internet for information on keeping my brackish water setup that I was exposed to the Reef keeping side of the hobby, and shortly thereafter I started building on it. I thought I could do it low-tech..
I was in for quite a few suprises. I made a gazillion and one mistakes but about a year later I had a 29 tall main tank, a 5 gallon refugium (elevated over the tank so overflow would drain into the main display preserving pods/critters from having to be sent through an impeller to reach the display) a 10 gallon sump containing a 7" DSB with 10lbs LR (my DIY baffles ended up giving out though) --- stocked with corals, my best piece was a Duncan that I had purchased with 4 heads and was up to about 15-20. I saw "was" because while I was away from my house for a week my roomate somehow managed to unplug the entire system (early in that week of course) and I returned to a tank well into a decomposition cycle. Nothing had survived. So for about a year I was out of the hobby, I didn't have the cash to restart that whole system at the time.
September 15'th 2010 I moved to San Diego. I had to leave my 55gallon brackish setup behind me, and after a two weeks I was already playing with the idea of starting up another tank. My new roomates girlfriend is an avid FW planted tank keeper and asked us if we wanted to go with her to a LFS. I walked out of that store with an entire setup consisting of:
Aquarium - 7.5gallon Mr.Aqua bowfront (seamless,glass) http://mraqua.net/products/frameless...lass-aquarium/
Lights - Current 18" Nova Extreme T-5 2x20W 10K/460NM http://www.aquacave.com/detail.aspx?ID=2368#Reviews
Filter - Aquaclear HOB filter (20 gallon rating) http://www.animalworldnetwork.com/aqmpofi110v.html
CO2 - Disposable Cartridge http://www.tzong-yang.com.tw/en/prod...hp?item_id=239
On the first of this October I put the substrate, rock, wood, ro-di (ro-di for WC's and topoff) Microbe-Lift "Special Blend", started up the filter and dropped a small raw shrimp from the grocery store into the tank. Dosed the Microbe-Lift as per its instructions, and the cycle seemed to go through with barely a tick for each of the spikes. I think it was cycled after 2 weeks and gave it an extra week of every other day testing to make sure I hadn't missed anything then pulled the nasto shrimp carrion out and started stocking.
pH - 7
Alk - 80
TH(hardness) - 120
NO2 - 0
NO3 - <20
Ammonia - 0
Living stuff in there:
7 x Neon Tetra
2 x Killifish
5 x CRS
Amazonian Sword (something like that, it was overpriced but I wanted it)
Unknown-plant on far right behind rock in corner
Unknown-plant in front right netted onto a rock (gift from roomates gf's setup)
I gave the driftwood a quick boil (well simmered just under a boil) for 30 minutes and dropped it into the tank. I didn't really cure the wood beyond that because I dont mind the tannin's that come into the water. I like the slightly tea look in the water that comes from it.
I also have actinic blue for one of my bulbs, I'm not a big fan of the red spectrum tanks I see alot of people using for their FW planted tanks. I think i remember reading/hearing somewhere that the red spectrum benefits the plants in some fashion but I'm going for asthetics, and dont think the actinic bulb will inhibit my plant growth enough to matter.
Stole the rock from a local starbuck's landscaping
I just inserted a 3-way junction in the airline tubing for the CO2 unit to put a diffuser on each side of the aquarium
If you've read everything up to here thanks for the attention, looking forward to sharing in all of your own tank progression threads and of course sharing my own tanks progression!
Most current FTS (will be updating this first post pic as time goes by)