So, backstory first: I got hooked on planted tanks shortly after I got handed a piece of junk hand-me-down 10 gallon setup back in 2002, and ended up working my way up to a high tech 40B that I was pretty happy with. Then I dropped out in 2012 for reasons and sold off most of my aquarium related stuff.
(Here is the last scape shortly before it went *poof*)
Well, a few months ago on a whim I stopped by a new LFS that opened during my hiatus (just to, you know, “check things out”) and man, the fish tank bug bit hard. I’ve spent the past month or so figuring out how exactly I want to get the ball rolling again, and today I went to buy my new tank. Yay!
I went in to buy a rimless Marineland 45 gallon cube…
(I definitely wanted rimless and while the quality isn’t great, with IMO sloppy silicone work and waaaay bigger seams than I wanted, the price was right on)
Buuuuuut I walked out with this…
(Rimless! Low iron! Flawless silicone and seams!)
The LFS had it labeled as an ADA tank but I’m pretty sure they don’t make one in this size (36x18x16 – normal 40B footprint). It’s probably a Mr. Aqua or GLA or something like that, but hey – it’s on the sticker. And it was even a few bucks cheaper than the ML cube! Cha-ching.
FYI, this will be a sloooooooow grow project, as I’m adjusting all my planning on the fly after buying a totally different tank than I originally intended (whoops). If you’re looking for immediate payoff – sorry, this isn’t the right journal to be following.
But! Here’s some of the inspiration for this tank, so you get some sweet pictures anyway…
And some hardware inspiration and ideas…
The overall idea is a South American “biotopey” (see what I did there?) tank, with dicrossus filamentosas, green neons, some cories (Sterbai? Trilineatus?), and a few otos and more curious algae eaters like farlowella/nannoptopoma/hypoptopoma. Most of the plants will be aquatic but growing above the water on some kind of mesh attached to emergent wood (Beavis: "Heh-heh, he said 'emergent wood,'”), which should allow me to use lower light levels (thinking a couple dimmable PAR38 bulbs) and will hopefully maximize nutrient uptake while minimizing algae growth. I’m thinking Metricide as a glutaraldehyde source instead of CO2 also.
I’ll be ready to order some of the hardware and miscellany this week, and should be able to get a start on the stand next weekend so you can expect updates then.
I’d love to field any questions or ideas you’ve got, so fire away – and thanks for checking in. Hope I can make it worth your while!