I'm running this journal elsewhere on the webernet but I've been lurking on this forum as well and figured I would share here too.
This is my 1st aquarium and right out the gate I wanted it to be a planted tank. The LFS I went to set up me up with what I thought at the time was a decent enough system for what I wanted.
- 12g JBJ Nano Reef Tank
- DIY type co2 canister connected to an airstone (DIY because all the included ingredients it came with expired a number of years ago)
- A number of plants that came with no names.
The plants as it turns out where:
- some sort of Dwarf Grass
- Echinodorus Ozelot
- Alternanthera reineckii
- Bacopa australis - I planted this in a badly chosen area and only 2 stems now survive in a replanted position.
- 7 Cardinal Tetras - the overall count over the last 6 weeks has been both more and less, but now I'm at a steady and healthy 7
- about 10 Red Cherry Shrimp .. little buggers are hard to get a head count on. As above I've also had more and less than this, but it seems to have stabilized.
I have since removed some of the Dwarf Grass and have planted HC all around the foreground. I plan on replacing all the remaining dwarf grass with addional HC when I can find more (even though I'm surrounded by LFS's, I have only found one source of it thus far).
I had a hard time with the lighting that was designed for a reef tank, 50/50 atinic and a 10k, both 24w for 12gallons for a total of 48watts of PC lighting. I found I was fighting algea pretty early in the game which I beat back with blackout periods and overdosing Excel. I've since changed over to a couple of 6700k lights and that has made a huge difference. The only place that ever shows signs of a thin layer of algae is the drift wood which is fine as it gives the Cherry Red Shrimp somthing to pick away at.
Currently things are pretty smooth other than a snail invasion (the pics will tell the story) and drifting plant matter that never completely filters away. Lots of Pond Snails, a few Ramshorns and a few MTS - these last two I actually like, but I am probably going to have to get agressive with them soon.
I am disenchanted with the Reef Tank for this use though. The filtration can't seem to keep up with a tank planted to this level, the tank gets pretty warm with the lights on (81.5F) and there is little space at the surface for air-exchange (I had to introduce an airstone for the lights off period). Now that I'm figuring my way through this new hobby I've decided to replace this tank with a 24 inch 15 gallon rimless - but that will be a different thread.
Despite the shortcomings, I've managed to get by and its been a great learning experience.
The tank on Day 1:
The tank as of today: