|07-11-2012, 09:10 PM||#1|
My first planted tank, 40g (dial up warning)
A few months ago, I was browsing Reddit and came across a post linking back to xenxes' bamboo jungle tank. I've kept a lot of tanks in my life, but never a planted one. I was immediately intrigued and started making plans to have my own tank with live plants.
I found that purchasing equipment brand new, especially tanks and stands, was really expensive- especially in the size I wanted. I went the DIY/craigslist.org route, and got a slightly damaged 40g tank, stand, and a 200w heater for $75.
The lip of the tank was melted slightly due to someone improperly installing a heater, but the glass was pristine. The stand it came with was structurally sound, but ugly as sin. It was originally black, but had been scuffed up a lot. So, I painted both the tank rim and stand a satin black.
You can see the ugly plastic, faux-wood trim here.
I forgot to take before pictures of the stand because I was so excited to paint it. It ended up taking 3 cans of spray paint, but I think it turned out well. Here it is sitting in my reading room.
Here it is, dry, ready for setup!
From there, it was just a matter of picking out equipment and plants. I selected AquariumPlants.com's own substrate, which I admit I was nervous about when it made my tank severly cloudy.
After a day of running the filter, though, it was absolutely crystal clear. I love you, Eheim. If only you didn't have such ugly green pipes.
This is what I woke up to the next morning. I was amazed. All my other tanks are smaller with HOBs, so I had no idea how wonderful a canister is.
The first plants I odered from Aquatic Magic, which consisted of the mosses, Anubias, and Echinodorus.
The moss showed up looking a little worn after 8 days in Customs, but I got a refund for the ones that were damaged. Overall, great company.
My second set of plants I got from scream-aim-fire here on TPT. :)
It's still cycling, so I don't have a lot of stock yet, but overall I think it's looking pretty decent so far.
I took some bad advice and started using SeaChem's Stability to cycle the tank faster, and stocked it with 5 neon tetras. All 5 have since died, and I feel terrible about it. For now, I'm just having patience and letting the tank do its thing. I really wish I had done that in the first place, but I at least learned a lesson.
Advice and suggestions are greatly appreciated. Thanks for reading!
Come join us in /r/PlantedTank on Reddit!