Aquastyle 9 gal Excel Low tech
After being totally frustrated with BGA on my 29 gal, I decided to downsize and simplify.
I decided on the 9 gal Aquastyle tank due to the simplicity. My inititial thoughts are that the tank is well made and the light and filter are very tidy. To keep things tidy (no C02 equipment), I am trying excel for carbon, fertilizer tablets in the substrate, and some PMDD from aquarium fertilizer. I am keeping the top open to help get a little CO2 from the atmosphere and also to get as much light out of the pendant.
The filter is totally silent and I like the surface agitation. There is not tons of current in the tank though. In my last tank I have used ADA aqua soil. It broke down and seemed to turn to mud, which I think the BGA liked. I am using eco-complete due to it being cheap and easy to clean. It is very light weight which is not so good for planting. It is a bit shiny also, which I am not into.
I am using a crappy plenn plax heater since I cannot decide a heating strategy. I was considering a under tank heater, but i could not figure out how to get enough wattage. I am thinking of a cobalt mini therm 20 watt, since it seems small and easy to hide. I wish ehiem would use the space under the filter to offer an accessory heater and maybe an area for C02 diffusion.
The light seems pretty bright, so we will see how it pans out. The crypts, lotus, rotala seem happy. I put in some echinodorus to give everyone an idea if the light is powerful enough for high light plants.