My ulterior motive for posting is to do some networking. I know exactly zero people who are into this hobby and my small circle of normal people friends are about tired of talking about my tank plans...and my beloved snails. I don't know how else to meet people.
If people don't want to talk about snails and aquariums they are not worth talking to.! LOL...
-1" of dirt (the iracle Grow Organic Potting Soil kind)
Good choice in soil, but you might want to cut the thickness in half. Wont hurt anything to go more, just not needed.
-1" of sand (black...I've read about the blasting sand, I'll probably choose that)
Tough to beat BDS medium grit for a substrate over dirt!
-Finnex Ray2 for the lighting
AS others have said...that's a ton of light for a non-co2 tank
-AC 70 filter
-Put dirt directly in tank (little/no sifting)
-fill with enough water to produce mud
-Let dirt soak for a few days (or longer????)
-Plant right after soaking. Plant list is not yet final, but I plan on starting with super easy stem plants like water wisteria, moneywort, etc. I am also not a hater of duckweed.
-liquid ferts as/if necessary
I put my dirt in bucket, rinsed lightly to get the sticks and stuff out, and made mud. I scooped that into the tank. It was easier and neater to move around and scape in to higher areas.
Yes, plant right after putting in the dirt AND PLANT HEAVY! You can not have too many plants when starting out. If you have a light plant mass the nutrients won't get taken up fast enough and with a RAY2 and no CO2 you are going to start a nice algae farm very quickly.
-Watch paremeters for a couple of weeks, maybe a month
-Begin adding fish
-Fish list is not final, but I'd like maybe: 6 lemon tetras, 6 harliquin rasboras, 5-6 cories of some sort, either a honey gourami (I like their little feelers) or a cockatoo cichlid.
Get a chopstick and probe the substrate on a regular basis. Gas bubbles will want to build up and then will come up through your sand. Probing regularly for the first couple months will help.
Of course there would also be some ramshorn snails and a couple of assassins to keep them in check.
I was also wondering if trumpet snails are worth adding to aerate the soil. One of my big fears is the whole toxic gas bubble thing I keep reading about. Which is probably blown out of proportion. I have learned from the snails that not all of the negative viewpoints are necessarily always valid.
Am I missing anything that I should be doing? Or, am I doing things I should not be doing at all? The dirt soaking is one thing that I am not too sure about. I am not positive if that is the best way to soak it...or if it needs to be soaked at all. Again, the bubbles of death thing kind of worries me a little.
I have also heard that sand will make matters worse when it comes to anaerobic spots. I am no opposed to using gravel, but I feel more attracted to sand. I have also read that planaria have a harder time living in sand...which is a good selling point. I have battled those worms in my snail tank already and I do not wish to have a Worm War II.
So, yeah, if anything stands out as really wrong, please let me know. Or, if my plan should get the green light to move forward.
Your plan is pretty solid!
Sorry for the rambling and such. I am wordy, I know. It's the Asperger's. I never know when I have provided enough or way too much info.[/QUOTE]