my name is Mark, and I live in Muskego (Milwaukee suburb). I jsut got back into the hobby after a 10 year absence. When I say just got back in, I mean this last weekend.
I setup a 38 gallon all glass. It has 50 pounds of medium fine river rock with 4 pounds of laterite mixed in. Lighting is via a Current USA Nova Extreme (2 39 watt T5HO-1 6700K and the other 10000K). Filtering is via a Rena XP1.
I set it up on Saturday, loaded in plants on Sunday. I went for 6 mediumish Amazon Swords, and a couple hygrow (at least I think that is what they are). Today, after work, I setup a Red Sea yeast and sugar driven CO2 system. It is basically a DIY setup for the person without time to do a DIY.
The water parameters of note a ph of about 7.7, GH of over 300 ppm (water in these parts is very hard). I am a bit concerned about those figures, but I a can only go with what I was dealt. I hope the CO2 will knock down the ph a couple of points, but only time will tell.
What do you guys use for measuring PH and hardness. I would prefer a test kit versus a meter right now do to budget constraints.
I am figuring on live bearers for the tank...probably swords. When I have pics I will post some.