well, i officially started my first ever planted aquarium. ive been keeping fish for 15yrs now. ive owned your typical goldfish to reef tanks, scaling for 5gals to 90gals, but i have never attempted to create a planted tank. i always thought there was something peaceful and surreal about looking into some of the amazing tanks people have created, much like many of the tanks ive seen on this site. but the chemistry and co2 always seemed to scare me away. i always wanted to do it right and now with knowledge ive been picking up from reading your guys journals and the other tons of information on this site, i thought it was the perfect time. so please let me thank all of you first and foremost, for "holding my hand" through this uncharted adventure i am about to take.
so i dusted of the 75gal tank and i recently purchased 50lb bag of "red flint sand and gravel" and (2) 15lb bags of flourite. washed them off and can i say how much of a pain it is to clean flourite. it seemed like i could never make the water run clear. i finally filled the tank with RO water and started the filters. the water took what seemed like forever to fill. i have a RO unit that does 24gal/hr. the filters im running in the tank are (2) 400 emperor filters. those things are a beast IMO. currently i have the filters running with poly-filters hoping to clear any of the residue from the flourite. the poly-filters did an amazing good and highly recommend them to clear your tank and make sure your water is as pure as it can be.
after reading thru the site, i decided that i might have gone the wrong way just using a substrate mix and i should have gone full flourite. but considering how much back pain flourite is, im considering adding eco-complete. when i first started, i wanted to have the black substrate look but a LFS talked me out of it and recommended flourite. (funny how i figured out what LFS just now) so, im gonna pick up (2) 20lb bags of eco-complete maybe today. ill call on the availability. i plan to just layer the eco-complete over the existing substrate i have now. this solves two issues that have been bothering me. first, is that i didnt think i had enough substrate that i wanted. i wanted to have a drastic slope in my tank and the current amount i had right now just looked "weak" to me. the second, is i'll wont think about the substrate haunting me in my sleep if this projected doesnt turn out the way i want it to. so im gonna cough up more dough and forget about substrate.
i also picked up the wickest drift wood ive ever seen. its one massive piece. it will definitely be the center piece of the tank. its simply amazing. i'll post a picture once i subscribe and borrow my brother's digital camera. i saw it at a LFS and it is the main reason i started the planted tank.
i need to dig up the MH canopy from my brother's storage. its (2) 10K german bulbs with a ballast. so as it stands now, it looks like i wont be putting any money into light. which will save me tons of cash. and if my memory serves me right, i just recently replaced those bulbs.
so the fish tank is up and running. pics to come shortly. just have a couple questions.
1. will there be a problem layering the eco-complete over the existing substrate?
2. will i need to run a co2 unit asap?
3. will i need to run a co2 unit if im planning to have only micro swords and other tall grasses?
4. will there be a problem if i put a couple of fishes in now, before the co2 unit is set up? (girlfriend wants to see fishes in the tank)
5. any other advice? or something i should look out for?
Fender963: Moved until pictures uploaded
GDominy: Moved back now that pictures are included