Hi everyone. I have been in this hobby for 30 years, but only recently came back into it after stepping away from it for the past 9-10 years. I have four children and all my spare time was needed for their activities and making sure they had their needs met. My oldest just graduated with his Masters from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland while my youngest is now a Junior in High School. Needless to say, time now allows for me dedicate the time for an aquarium. I've kept just about every freshwater species and was breeding and selling Tropheus wholesale for about 6 years back in the 90's. I have also kept big saltwater tanks with beautiful Navarchus and French angels, as well as reef tanks. The one thing I have never had in this hobby is a planted tank. So I decided to jump in head first and go high tech with my first planted aquarium. Not knowing exactly how much time I would have, I decided to stay on the smaller size with a 55 gallon. I like the size but I am finding the 13" width to be a real challenge to work with, and also for creating a sense of depth.
When I started this aquarium back in January, my filters had already been cycled from another tank. I also started with some of the easier plants such as wisteria and dwarf sag. Now I am finding that I crave the harder and more exotic species. This week I have 3 small plant orders coming in. These plants will replace the wisteria, dwarft sag, a coupe of crypts, etc. I have on the way some Mayaca fluv, Hydrotriche hottoniiflora, Heteranthera zosterfolia, Blyxa japonica, Ranunculus inundatus, Ludiwgia inclinata sp. 'cuba", Limnophilia Aromatic, and some Taiwan moss (for tying on the Manzanita branch). I don't know where I am going to put all this and am starting to think I should have rolled out the 220 gallon.
Chances are I will also be pulling out the red tiger lotus and corkscrew val. The HC carpet and Glosso, along with some Rotala Indica, Ludwigia peruensis and perhaps the Amazon sword are about the only things that will stay.
Below are my tank specs as they are currently as are the pictures. However, this is going to be "work in progress" for a while until I get the plants and look I want. The pictures below were taken today. The tank is stable and doing well. I will post some updated pictures after all the new plants arrive and I get them planted.
With this said, there will likely be a generous ROAK later this week with some Rotala indica, Wisteria, Dwarf Sag, Bacopa monnieri, corkscrew val, Crypts, and maybe some others up for grabs, so stay tuned.
Catalina Aquarium 3 x 54W T5 HO 2 x 6500K and 1 x Plant Grow (5000k?) 3-4" above tank.
Fluval 306 w/skimmer and DiY Spraybar, Rena Filstar XP S with inline 150W heater and inline 10 W UV Sterilizer. Periodic polishing with H.O.T. Magnum and micron filter.
Pressurized Co2. 10 Lb Tank. Regulator custom made dual stage by TPT Member Bettatail.
100 pounds of Eco-Complete
Temp 76, gh 5, kh 5, ph 6.8
EI dosing using the Macro/Micro ferts from GLA. Daily dose of Seachem Excel. Osmocote+ root tabs.
Wisteria, Dwarf Sag, HC, Glosso, Rotala Indica, Crypt Wendtii, Crypt Parva, Ludwigia Peruensis, Heteranthera Stargrass, Amazon Sword, Corkscrew Val, and a Red Tiger Lotus.
14 Neon Tetras, 8 Rummy Nose Tetras, 9 Rasboras Espei, 5 Otocinclus, 2 Albino Corys, 2 Cory Bilineatus, 1 GBR, 1 SAE, 5 Amano Shrimp and 5 Nerite Snails.
This is my first planted aquarium. Have kept African Cichlids, Saltwater Angels and Reef tanks, but never plants. I love the color and contrast of the planted tank. Lights, CO2, and UV all on timers. Photoperiod 8.5 hours per day. CO2 On/Off half hour before lights. Still not happy with the scape. Hopefully the new plants coming this week (2/25/13) will be an improvement.