Low-tech (no CO2)
Measurements: 72" length, 18" depth, 21" height
Lighting: (2) Finnex Planted+ 24/7 LED
Filtration: Aquatop FORZA F213 Canister Filter
Heating: (2) Cobalt Aquatics Neo-Therm Heater 200w
Substrate: top soil capped w/ Safe-T-Sorb & pool filter sand
Dosing: EI for low-tech (no Excel) & water changes twice/year when tank is stabilized
Dwarf Water Lettuce
Fissidens fontanus “Phoenix Moss”
Callicostella sp. Pancuraji
Taxiphyllum sp. “Peacock Moss”
Pilotrichaceae sp. "Pilo moss”
Stauro "Low Grow"
Crypt wendtii "Green"
Crypt red metallic affinis
Java Fern Needle Leaf
Echinodorus I have no idea whatsoever
Anubas "nana petite"
Buce "Velvet Leaf 4"
Female bettas (have five, they get along well)
Black Neon Tetras
Bristlenose Plecos (have two females that do a great job on algae, so might not need Otos)
Cories (pandas, adolfoi, concolor, or a mix)
I’m currently sanding the wooden tank stand. It was previously kept in an underground room that was very damp, and the carpeting wicked moisture up to the bottom of the tank stand, which left the wood discolored. I’m using a hand-sander, but it’s still taking forever, due to the inclement weather (I also obviously need to sand the deck it’s sitting on).
I’m using Safe-T-Sorb because of the low cost, the high CEC, and the nice, dark color. I have read that it can crash the KH/pH, although it’s less likely to do so in hard water. I’ve dumped 3” of STS in a bucket with water, and I’ll be testing the parameters over the next couple of weeks.
The first result is from Tetra Easy Strips, and the second is from API. I know that the results from the Easy Strips are not as accurate, but my water’s pH falls right between API’s pH and High pH tests (the exact colors are confusing), so I’m using Tetra as a back-up.
9/28/16 - Just did the 3rd day test results. The KH is finally budging, although the pH seems to be around the same. The GH definitely went back up, although the Safe-T-Sorb is supposed to lower the KH, not the GH. Not sure what happened there. The ammonia continues to rise.
I’m going to get a pH pen. I had one 15 years ago when I was last in the hobby, but this time around I didn’t see them available at a large retailer I used to frequent, so I assumed they weren’t available anymore, but I’ve since read of someone else using one, so I’m just looking in the wrong place. It’s just to satisfy my curiosity since I’ve read that neither test strips nor liquid drops tests are very accurate.
I wish this rain would hold off another day so I can get further on the sanding of the tank stand! My mom asked me why I didn’t just paint it instead of sanding & re-staining. I didn’t have a good answer.