My Aquastyle 9
I've been out of the aquarium hobby for about 12 years. I moved, and just never brought the tanks back out of the garage. I used to really enjoy South American and Malawian cichlids, and while I had some java fern and moss in some apistogramma and krib breeding tanks, I never really had a real plant oriented tank.
I got the bug to set up a small aquarium lately for plants and shrimp. Shopping around, I decided to start with an Eheim Aquastyle 9. The goal is to be relatively low tech. No CO2. Still figuring out my fertilization strategy, so I decided to start with maybe Flourish at minimal amounts. And the goal is to pick some plants that aren't overly demanding, at least until I get this tank figured out.
To start, I've put in the following:
Java Fern x2
Ludwigia repens (I think, it was labeled "red ludwigia")
Cryptocoryne wendtii red
Pennywort (not sure which type)
On the way I have some Xmas moss to make a moss wall in the back.
I'm thinking about ordering some mini pellia to try to get to grow on the stump. And would also like to get an anubias or two. Maybe some I saw on ebay labled "petite". I also thought about doing some kind of low foreground plant, but I'm not sure what to use. Suggestions welcome.
The stem plants are there mainly to grow fast and take up nitrate. I thought about getting some floater plants as well, but haven't come across any locally yet. Duckweed, etc. For that same purpose mainly, keeping nitrates in check as a buffer plant.
As I said above, I plan to put shrimp in this tank. Neocaridina of some sort. I kind of like the orange strains, but we'll see. My daughter loves snails, so I'll either get some nerites or apple snails. Not sure about fish yet.
Just using the included filter at this point. I bought a new sponge filter, but in a tank of this size, it kind of took over the look. I considered adding a Fluval 106, but am going to see how this internal works, first. I'm also using a small heater I had from before. Not sure if it's going to make it through cycle or not, as I'm not sure I trust a heater this old. But we'll see.
For substrate, I bought Aquasoil New Amazonia. Started to use dirt, but I was a bit nervous about doing it jumping into a new part of the hobby, so decided to spend a bit on a proven substrate with the idea of trying dirt down the road when I'm more comfortable with plants.
I've got a few river rocks that I might try to hide the base of the stump and the root cut with, as they won't stay hidden in the substrate. We'll see.
All the plants have a bit of dirt on them that settled after the mess I made filling the tank (even though I was pretty careful, it still happened). I'm a bit concerned that 3 days in, I have a bit of algae on the stump already. We'll see where that goes as the cycle goes. I think I've got about an 8 hour light cycle. I dosed ammonia to start the cycle, but understand the Amazonia will also kick out some ammonia, too.
The ludwigia is already showing some growth I'm happy to see. Hopefully the other stuff will follow soon.
Slightly blurry cell shot. Critiques or suggestions welcome: