Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Olympic Peninsula, WA
Hi Dirge and welcome to the forum! It sounds like you've been bitten by the bug that has gotten many of us here. There are plenty of resources here to research and peruse. Take your time, read some of the success stories, as well as some of the failures, and come up with a plan of action that will work for you. I know from first hand experience how daunting all of this may be at first, but seeing that you're coming from SW, the principles are basically the same. Take a look around and decide what road you want to go down. If you want to make an Amano-style tank, there are plenty of folks who have been down that road successfully. Dirted, sand substrate, Aquasoils, CO2 injection, fertilizers, PAR meters, anything and everything for the tech geek in you. Low tech is another way. Or, anything in between. Fish-wise, read up on those here too. Many of the larger cichlids, like some the African rift valley species, will dig and uproot your plants. Some folks have gone to the dwarf cichlids, like the Apistogramma sp. or Mikrogeopahgus sp., to get around the digging aspect of some species of cichlid. Tetras are a very popular type of planted tank fish as are many of the Poeciliids (guppies, mollies, swordtails, and platies). There is so much information available (good, bad, and other) that it can be very overwhelming. There is no magic formula that says if you obtain x, add light in the amount of y, and bring all of that up to the power of z fertilizer, you will end up with what you want. Read some of the journals. Read some of the advice that has been given, and read some more. Come up with a plan, try it out, ask for help if you need it, and let us know how it turned out. I hope it works out for you, it will be your tank. Good luck and, again, welcome aboard!
Nikon Pimp #098
Fraternity of Dirt #121
Last edited by tippeecanoe; 05-28-2013 at 05:05 AM.
Reason: Spelling and capitalization correction...d'oh!