This tank that I've named Riven is my first foray back into the planted tank hobby after a four-year hiatus. It's really, really good to be back!
I started this ADA Mini-S on July 4. The first picture I took of it was three days later on July 7th.
Here's the tank after a week up and running.
I'm in no way as good in photography as so many people here on the forum. Coupled with the fact that my camera sucks, I can only beg forgiveness for the crappy photos. I tried.
And sorry for forgetting to put up my background.
Lighting 26W - 40W
In the beginning, light fell from a single 27W $19.00 Home Depot "Robocop" lamp. While this is a really good lamp for a tank of this size, I eventually replaced it for two 13W Ott-Lite Natural Light Supplement Plant Growth Lamps
I found these for cheap at Home Depot. The first was on sale for $24.95 (originally $49.99) and the second one I found a day later at the same store for .01¢! These are really good lamps as they are the exact
height as the tank and, due to their small form factor, allow for adjustable positioning around the tank.
For a couple of hours every few days, I've been turing one of the 13W lamps off and using a 13W and the 28W for a total of 40W. I've been playing with fire doing this, however, as the plants are not established yet and algae is always looking for an excuse to crash a tank party.
CO2 is supplied by a DIY mixture in a Hagen canister to a glass diffuser. (The mixture is sugar + half teaspoon of baking soda + a quarter teaspoon of bread yeast.)
Prior to the DIY -- installed on July 8th -- I used 2x the recommended dose of Flourish Excel.
Soonish, I'll be getting the ADA CO2 system, as it's so
good looking -- it matches my MacBook in sexiness! One thing I can say about ADA stuff. It's sexy as hell.
I dose Nature Aquarium Goods Green Brighty Step1 and Brighty K every day; a half-pump to one pump depending on a wildly-inaccurate and borderline-paranoid intuition of mine. Water changes have been done daily with one-half to one gallon of water.
This is filtered by a Red Sea Nano-Filter. I'd go with a canister filter, but I've got this tank on my kitchen counter with no place to hide one and quite frankly, I find canister filters incredibly ugly.
I've got a very thin bottom-layer of Nature Aquarium Goods Power Sand Special S covered by a 1.5" to 2.5" layer of Nature Aquarium Goods Amazonia. I love this stuff!
It's heated by one of those small flat Hydor heaters.
I spent way too much money on the rocks. They are Manten Stones from Aqua Forest Aquarium. Please tell me you like them because like I said, I spent way
too much on them.
There is no environmental theme for the plants I've chosen. (I term this method of choosing plants "NRWSE" -- for No Reason What-So-Ever.)
Actually, that's not entirely true; I picked Based On Coolness. Forevermore known as "BOC".
Glosso, because it's awesome; HC because it was close to impossible to get four years ago and, like Glosso, is awesome; a Mini Java Fern which is incredibly cool as it looks just like a regular Java Fern albeit smaller; Anubias Nana "micro" which is even smaller than "petite" and is super-duper awesome; Four-Leaf Clover for it's contrast in color and height to the Glosso and HC; a small amount of Christmas Moss is growing under the rock of Anubias because Christmas is awesome and if I can have a bit of Christmas in my tank year-round...; and Pennywort which I don't like all that much but put it in there just to see how it does.
I'm going to keep this tank algae eaters only. Right now I've got five Amanos and seven CRS. Eventually, I'll add some RCS from my 10 gallon breeding tank, but for now, I'm in love with the CRS and want to look only at them.
While I love the Amanos for their dedication to keeping tanks clean, compared to the small, beautiful red-and-white-striped CRS, they look like big, lumbering jerks. (They tend to bully the smaller shrimp in my tanks.)
Anyway, this is my first trip back into this great hobby. As I'm still very rusty and have forgotten so much, any comments or suggestions will be greatly appreciated.